Letter to the editor: Pearl Harbor what-if

To the editor:

What if Donald Trump had been the president when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941? Based on Trump’s handling of COVID-19 so far, here might be some highlights.

Word of the attack spreads; people become fearful. In a fireside chat Trump calms them, saying that this is just fake news. The Japanese are very good people and he has a personal relationship with the emperor. Later, the situation becomes more serious. His administration is on top of it. He holds daily press briefings and forms a task force to develop countermeasures.

West Coast state governors are calling on the president to declare war, but he resists. The emperor might not like him, if that happens. Let the states declare war. He wants nothing to do with it. A few weeks later, each state has its own army, but readiness for fighting is questionable. Some soldiers have to train with fake rifles; others use their kids’ BB guns.

Hawaii has been invaded, but Trump’s interest has waned. “They are only blue states anyway. Who needs ’em?” he was heard to say. He needed to work on getting reelected. If war was declared, he’d have to set up a draft. People might not like him if he did that.

Trump still insists there isn’t a need to declare war. He plans to disband the task force. Word gets out and he decides to not do it. He didn’t realize how popular it was.

Meanwhile, the Japanese keep advancing …

P. Allen Macfarlane,



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