June, 2020 archive
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 The bills for global warming are starting to come due, but that has been superseded for the time being by the COVID-19 crisis; the lack of trust for medical expertise from Main Street all the way to an ignorant president whom 62 million Main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.”
Be polite to those who come to your aid in your time of need.
Sheriff Wade said the manager of the nearby Econo Lodge motel and a female driver who witnessed the accident went over to assist Guiford when he began to fire a gun from inside his truck.
Shortly after, Sheriff Wade reported that Guiford got out of his truck, shot the motel manager in the leg, then attempted to cross the highway.
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.
My local rag published the letter I wrote to the editor on Monday. You can find it on their website, but I’ll save you the trouble. Here is the text:
I find myself bemused by those who refer to the removal of Confederate monuments as “erasing history.”
Let’s consider the history.
Almost all of the monuments in question were erected in the 1890s and early 1900s coincident with the imposition of Jim Crow and the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan. They were intended to remind freed slaves and their descendants of their “place” and of who was in charge. They memorialized, not gallantry on the battlefield, but racism, oppression, and theft of labor in daily life.
When invoking history, invoke the history that was, not the history that was made up.
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.