When will Trump act like a ‘wartime president’?

Donald J. Trump calls himself a “wartime president.” He says he is fighting an “invisible enemy.” As near as I can tell, the fight has just begun.

When, I have to ask, is Donald Trump going to start acting like a “wartime president”? When will the commander in chief cease with the phony happy talk and the hollow boasts about what a “fantastic” job he and his response team are doing in fighting the coronavirus pandemic?

My guess? He won’t stop the false bravado. He won’t in effect declare a state of war against this invisible enemy. Why? Because doing so just might send a signal that he and his team haven’t done quite as good a job as Trump keeps saying they have done.

Moreover, a wartime president doesn’t pit Americans against each other. He doesn’t criticize politicians from the opposing party. A wartime president calls all political leaders — from both parties — into the same room and talks candidly to them about the challenges the nation faces.

A wartime president calls a truce with governors and mayors who are struggling with their own battles. He offers to provide unquestioned, unqualified support in their battles.

A president at war with an invisible enemy damn sure doesn’t condemn the media — print, digital or broadcast — that are doing their job in reporting the progress of the battle to the public.

Are we at war, Mr. President, with a common and deadly enemy? Or are you at war with those who merely question the manner in which you are behaving?

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