Donald Trump has successfully politicized America’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic to the point that it has crippled the nation. Had the President of the United States simply:
- Listened to the scientists and doctors,
- Encouraged and modeled mask wearing from the beginning,
- Led a national effort to secure ventilators and personal protective equipment, and,
- Developed a national testing and tracing strategy,
thousands of lives would have been saved, our economy would not be in tatters, students would be in schools and colleges, and he would be sailing toward re-election.
Admittedly, taking control of a once-in-a-century pandemic would not be an easy feat for a competent leader, so the idea that the only man in the world who could bankrupt a casino would be up to the task is just fanciful.
But even Donald Trump could have handled, “encourage and model mask wearing.” Even he could have mastered that step. Of course he didn’t though, opting instead to take the tact of convincing his cult followers that wearing masks made you weak, and a sissy, and a….Democrat.
When Democratic mayors and governors tried to enforce basic mask wearing rules, Republican governors and legislatures thwarted their attempts at every turn: see Texas, Florida, Kansas, Georgia, to name a few.
There are enough data now to draw clear lines of causation from Republican policies to covid infections and deaths. The Kansas example is incredibly stark. After the Democratic governor implemented a mask mandate, the legislature passed a law saying compliance was up to the county.
Roughly 20 of the state’s 100+ counties complied with the mandate. Roughly 20 of the state’s 100+ counties have the virus under control. The remaining counties have full-on outbreaks, all because they refused the mask mandates under the charade of “civil liberties.”
Civil liberties is a phrase that people who are more likely to support Trump use when they do not want to follow existing laws, pursue the common good, or change their current practices. When this happens, people who are less likely to support Trump try in vain — foolishly really — to appeal to logic and reason to get them to comply.
“Wearing a mask is no different than wearing a helmet or a seatbelt,” they lament.
“No shoes, no shirt, no service! We’re just adding masks for a short time!” they plead.
“You can keep your guns! But we need some regulations to protect kids in schools!” they whine.
“Guns in state capitols and polling places make people feel scared,” they reason.
All to no avail, because the “civil liberties” of the people who support Trump are more important to them than anything else. They do not care about public health. They do not care about school safety. They do not care about others’ feelings. They do not care about the common good.
They reject any and all state intervention in their lives…until…they are left on a snowy and frozen tarmac for three-and-a-half-hours.
Until….their internal body temperature rises to the point of putting them in distress.
Until…they contract the coronavirus that they were unwilling to take any steps to prevent.
Then — all of a sudden — they love the state! They long for state intervention. They dial that magic number that is solely designed to bring the state right into the center of your life: 9–1–1.
Civil liberties, be damned! I am stranded or scared or stuck or sick and I need the state.
You see they don’t want the state to make them do anything. They don’t want the state to ask them to serve, to sacrifice, to support. They are not willing to put a single nickel in the pot to help others; but when in need will reach into that same pot and take out fists full of dollars.
Civil liberties in their truest form are not a bad thing. In fact, in the context of the founding of this nation, they are a great thing. In that context, civil liberties simply mean we are subject only to laws established for the good of the community but we are free from unjust governmental interference into our lives.
That’s great. That’s wonderful. All Americans can get behind that. “You mean I only have to adhere to laws that are for the good of everyone and I’m protected from undue government intrusion? I’ll take it!”
Unfortunately, this crowd has perverted civil liberties to mean, I’m free from laws that are for the good of everyone and I consider all laws that I don’t like to be undue government intrusion.
The civil liberties charade has weakened our nation and wounded our spirit.
The presidential election is four days away. A vote for Joe Biden would begin to heal this country from the selfishness and destruction that Trump and his most fervent supporters have waged on this country. A vote for Donald Trump may mean that we never bounce back.
The choice could not be more clear.