Political Theatre category archive
Laurie Roberts takes a look at one Arizona’s congresscritter’s call to shoot the messenger.
At AL.com, Kyle Whitmire considers Alabama’s reluctance to order/request/ask persons to wear masks in the face of the current pandemic. In doing so, he explains the concept of the common good in simple terms:
Government exists to balance individual freedom with the collective good. There are times when government must step in and make people do things they don’t want to do. That’s why we have traffic laws, building codes and zoning ordinances.
Follow the link for the rest of his piece, in which he tries to figure out why many no longer seem to care about the common good in these viral times.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Travis Langley cites John Avion, who suggests that Donald Trump’s willingness to accuse others, such as President Obama, Andrew McCabe, and even the entire Democratic Party, of treason may result from Trump’s confusing loyalty to himself with loyalty to the country.
Langley goes on to wonder whether this may instead be a case of projection. A snippet:
More often, though, people project their worst inclinations onto other people as a way to keep from feeling bad about them. Projection downplays the importance of our worst aspects by casting them onto our perceptions of others, letting unfavorable features seem socially acceptable if they’re commonplace. Projection only fits if, at least unconsciously, Trump either committed treason or somehow sees treason in his own way of doing things. Some people feel he has, but this question is about what he personally perceives in himself and thus projects onto others.
It’s an interesting read, and his conclusions may surprise you.
Will Bunch is depressed at what the coronavirus has revealed about (far too many) Americans’ loss of the concept of a common good. Here’s a bit, in which he explores the some of the forces behind of our epidemic of ignorant intransigence:
Confronted with scientific realities like man-made climate change, the forces of conservative libertarianism turned their guns toward expertise, with the goals of thwarting environmentalism and keeping corporate profits high. The bills for global warming are starting to come due, but that has been superseded for the time being by the COVID-19 crisis; the lack of trust for medical expertise from Main Street all the way to an ignorant president whom 62 million Main Streeters installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has proved lethal.
No other nation has botched its coronavirus response so badly because no other nation holds science in such low esteem. “Who made you perpetrators over my life?” the self-proclaimed Trump Girl demanded of the experts at the Palm Beach County meeting. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Stanford psychiatry prof Keith Humphreys noted that the United States simply can’t impose a coronavirus testing regimen like South Korea or Singapore because we don’t trust the government on public health. “Clusters of gun-toting protesters opposing public health measures are a real — and uniquely American — problem,” he wrote, “but it’s the much more prevalent distrust in government’s role in public health that would curtail the success of any test, trace and isolate program.”
I commend the entire article to your attention. It is a long and depressing read, but an important one.
Hal Crowther believes he has found a precedent for our President.
Follow the link and decide whether you think he’s onto something.
Brian Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, marvels at Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s determined effort to ignore reality. A snippet:
Oh yeah. I do have an idea. The person who is supposed to lead this nation refuses to wear a mask. He refuses to believe the virus is real. And he refuses to even mention the fact that he has completely blown the country’s response to the pandemic. And he’s blown it not only in the first instance but in every instance thereafter.
And DeSantis, for one, doesn’t dare do what he knows is best for Floridians and all those with whom they come into contact. Because he doesn’t dare cross President Donald Trump publicly, out of a cultish devotion or fear of reprisal, or both. Even Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas is waking to the fact that COVID-19 kills and is moving his state to a more enlightened status.
But DeSantis chooses to do stupid. And, by Gump’s definition, that makes him stupid.
Elsewhere, Paul Krugman points out that “Americans didn’t fail the COVID-19 test; Republicans did.”
While we’re on this topic, I suggest that you read Vinita Mehta’s post at Psychology Today Blogs exploring why right-wingers don’t take the threat of COVID-19 as seriously as persons elsewhere on the political spectrum.
Image via Job’s Anger.
David deconstructs a strawman argument.
This, by the way, is a frequent tactic of persons who do not have the facts on their side. It’s not always a right-wing tactic, but often is because the facts lean left.