As states start to prematurely open up one by one, those of us who pay attention to what medical experts and pandemic specialists have to say wait with bated breath for the inevitable spike in new cases. The curve was still growing in many major centers of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the recent openings will surely lead to a major spike in the coming weeks. I sincerely hope that the experts were being overly cautious, and that somehow far more people are asymptomatic than we thought, and that herd immunity is indeed a possibility, but I doubt it.
Americans can be counted on for nothing other than for being guaranteed to revolt against common sense and reason, to put their very lives on the line to defend a free market capitalist ideal that only serves as the means to keep the very rich on top and crush everyone else underneath the boot. It is a story that seems to repeat over and over again throughout our history, as evidenced by the voting masses’ willingness to re-elect a man like George W. Bush, or to revolt against pandemic response measures designed only to save the lives of Americans.
Despite being a very progressive social democrat, probably bordering on democratic socialist, I think there is good reason for a healthy suspicion of authority. It is a good idea to question what you read, what you’re told by those supposedly above you, and to remember that it is possible to be misled by those in authority. That said, the large numbers of working class people who have decided that the pandemic is some kind of Democratic conspiracy, and that Donald Trump is doing right by us, have to be suffering from sort of shared mass psychosis.
It seems we are stuck with 40% of voting Americans carrying this shared delusion, while there’s an uncomfortably large minority that decides things one way or the other based on whether or not they’re swayed this time around. Whether they vote someone like George W. Bush because he’s “someone they could have a beer with” or Donald Trump for “telling it the way it is.” Gone are the days of hoping that our President would be somehow better than us, more intelligent than us, more capable than us. Instead of the President being someone who represents the best of what we aspire to as a country, it seems that we’ve fallen into a rut of electing people who we can relate to, even if the reason that we can relate to them is because they are nothing humans who have done nothing of value and whose successes are because they were handed to them. American exceptionalism is well and truly dead.
There was a time when I carried a lot of optimism about American politics. Despite turning out to be a just above average president, the election of Barack Obama was certainly the height of my optimism. I was drawn in by his promises of change that we could believe in. He was educated, well-spoken, and I believe an overall decent man worthy of the office. He ended accomplishing very little in his eight years, but still stands head and shoulders above any president the country has had in fifty years or more. That’s a tragic reflection on how low the bar really is for the chief executive.
So it seems we are doomed to embrace unqualified, downright evil leadership. We have a president who is routinely and unapologetically misogynistic and racist, and 40% or more of Americans love it. This is the America they want. And the ruling elite are doing everything they can to ensure that even if the majority of the population decides that we don’t want it anymore, there’s nothing we can do to stop it. There’s a very real possibility that election fraud caused Trump’s election to begin with, and Repubican-controlled states around the country are doing all that they can to seemingly ensure that it happens that way again.
So what do we do? I wish I had an answer. I wish I could write all this and build up to the grand suggestion that could turn this around, but I’m at a point now where I’m desperately looking for answers that I’m not going to find. Is there a number of dead at the hands of President Trump’s mismanagement that would make his supporters see him for what he is? Would it take each and every one of them losing family to the virus before they even consider that they’d been led astray?
I hope it doesn’t come to that. But I just don’t know.