DAN YORKE – He’s fiddling while the house is burning

DAN YORKE – He’s fiddling while the house is burning

Think Zero Mostel in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Tradition ... Tradition!

Instead, Transition … Transition!

Might as well sing for the next nine weeks. Because this isn’t going to be pretty.

For most of us, no matter how we voted, it is incomprehensible to think our sitting president won’t engage and accept the president-elect and his team. That requires admittance that he might have lost the race (can you believe we have to talk like this? Of course he lost the race!).

So, we follow the script.

He never loses, so he’ll never admit he lost. The election, while reportedly the most secure in history according to the federal government that he directly manages, was stolen by the Democrats. Republican congressional members feign support of this allegation and echo Yogi that it ain’t over till it’s over. While some GOP senators have softly said that the Biden team should have national security briefings, they quickly hook in the caveat that the election has yet to be decided.

COVID is exploding and we learn that the president hasn’t been at a virus task force meeting in months. Gee, what a surprise. Tough to lead a meeting on things such as social distancing when you’re running around the country sponsoring your own campaign super-spreader tour. One Rose Garden press conference this week on Operation Warp Speed is the only resemblance of real work. Otherwise he has thrown in the towel, retreating to his safe place, Twitter.

And yet, this past weekend, everywhere in the country, Rhode Island included, you have pockets of packed rallies supporting the president and his election conspiracy theory. In the presence of a Trump fanatic, you dare to tilt your head as a quiet way of asking why and you hear, well, it’s no different than Hillary Clinton who “never accepted his election.” When you respond that Hillary conceded within 12 hours and that Barack Obama welcomed the first family-elect to the White House with hugs and handshakes and a now-famous oval office meeting, a blank stare follows. Back to protest mode.

It’s exhausting.

Meanwhile, governors are panicked and scrambling over the virus. Our Gov. Gina Raimondo just keeps lecturing on “following the rules” and threatening a lockdown. Last week, she once again managed to bury her own weekly meeting lede, threatening us as children for nearly a half-hour before she finally brought on the star of the show. Dr. Laura Foreman, head of Kent Hospital Emergency, who shared the human tragedy of last life moments shared on cell phones and the burnout of our front-line medical heroes.

That is the correct strategy. Rather than crashing the economy, keep bringing out the doctors and nurses in a coordinated public relations plan. The only chance to reach those who deny this virus, the young and old who gather in selfishness and protest, is to hit them in the heart. Constant threats of lockdown may work for some, but will mostly result in anxiety and fear and for the rebels that she targets, the opposite of cooperation.

Two overflow medical facilities are near opening, likely to be used on the back end of patient treatment. Seeing this may slow down the social gatherings.

The silver lining is the vaccines are on the way. Well into the warm weather of 2021, we may shop and dine more freely, maybe fill a stadium and hug our family and friends again.

But for now, please pass the cranberry sauce to your non-household loved ones, virtually.

Dan Yorke is the PM Drive Host on 99.7/AM 630 WPRO, Dan Yorke State of Mind weeknights on MyRITV/Fox Providence and owns communications/crisis consulting firm DYCOMM LLC.