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 The bills for global warming are starting to come due, but that has been superseded for the time being by the COVID-19 crisis; the lack of trust for medical expertise from Main Street all the way to an ignorant president whom 62 million Main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.