The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Rich Galen

Monday April 13, 2020

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  • As we appear to have hit the apex of the CORVID-19 rollercoaster, it is useful to remember we still have to come down the other side, take the last sharp curve, and glide to a stop before we push the safety bar up and out of the way.

  • But, it is not too early to begin pointing hashtags at who said what to whom, when they said it, and how many people's lives could have been saved had the conversation gone differently.

  • Because it is easier for most of us to figure these things out, we pick a side. In this the sides are Dr. Anthony Fauci vs Donald Trump.

  • Fauci has all the attributes that irritate Trump: He's short, he's got multiple degrees, he works (and has for decades) deep in the Federal bureaucracy and thus works for Trump, he's outspoken but worst of all Fauci is the darling of the mainstream press and shows up on TV a lot.

  • A very lot.

  • Dr. Fauci's career as a federal employee is probably measurable in months, if not weeks.

  • For his part, Donald Trump has used his daily briefing as he always does: Part information, part soapbox, part scolding the press, part denigrating his opponent(s), and part - large part - self congratulatory.

  • As if to encapsulate it all, last week Trump claimed himself to be "a cheerleader for America," when pressed on his denials of shortcomings (like testing), his strange adoption of hydroxychloroquine as the magic bullet against COVID-19, and his "aspirational" (a word he learned from Fauci) and wholly unrealistic goals about when the country will re-open for commerce.

  • We all remember cheerleaders in high school. High school cheerleaders are different from college cheerleaders in that (a) they were typically all girls, and (b) they were not trying out for the Olympic Gymnastics Team when not rooting for the home team.

  • Cheerleaders in high school had an easy job: Cheer the good news and bemoan the bad news.

  • The home team could do no wrong. The visiting team was obviously cheating when they did something right. And when the refs called a foul against our boys, it was proof they were in the pocket of the car dealer whose son played for the opponents.


    In the days when I did lectures to new comms people, I would discuss the matter of the press always being on the side of the Democrats.

    I used my long experience of one and a half seasons as a team manager (along with well-known Democratic statistician Mark Gersh) for the West Orange (NJ) Mountain High School Rams varsity basketball team.

    I said:

    If you're the visiting team, you are never going to get a close call under the basket. The call will always go the other way.

    As a good coach you know this. So rather than rail against the basketball gods, a good coach will not create a plan for an away game that includes a lot of plays inside. The good coach will put his shooting team on the floor and, to the extent possible, take the referees out of the game.


  • As you can see, I was a barrel of laughs back in those days.

  • In the current circumstance, we do not need the cheerleaders designing the game plan against COVID-19. We need the coach who is smart enough to look at his talent, the other team's talent, the environment (home or away) and design a plan to get a win.

  • Within the game we need a coach who can cheer his team's good plays, work the refs on bad calls, and make adjustments on offense and defense to suit the situation.

  • Have I tortured this metaphor enough?

  • Not quite.

  • We understand that celebrity coaches will take their bows after a tough win. But they will also talk about what a great group of kids were on the floor to have been able to execute the coach's game plan.

  • So, what we need to get us down the other side of this rollercoaster with the fewest casualties is not a head cheerleader, but a head coach.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: The Wikipedia entry for hydroxychloroquine, and the delegate tracker because this is still a Presidential election year.

    The Mullfoto is a shot of Mullings Central her Christmas outfit.

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