After the requisite grandstanding and obstruction that the Democratic Party’s hard left base demanded, a deal was finally struck for a Wuhan pandemic rescue bill. Some complexities in getting it done remain, but it looks like there will be vital government support for the most vulnerable in this bizarre disruption.
- Nobody is going to talk about it now, but this is why the irresponsible spending presided over by both parties throughout the past many administrations was spectacularly wrong. The nation will suffer for it too. The debt was already unsustainable; the reason political leadership has to address that problem when there isn’t a crisis is because it’s impossible to address it when there is one. The new “stimulus” bill now inflates that debt by 2 trillion dollars. It isn’t that the amount may not be worth it: sure it is, psychologically if for no other reason. The problem is that we can’t afford it. Nor will any party have the guts to raise taxes to pay for the bill any time soon.
Meanwhile, our roads, bridges, waterways, railroad tracks, sewer systems and water pipes need urgent repair and expansion that will also cost a couple of trillion dollars or so. Adding Medicare for All, college loan forgiveness and free tuition to that…well, it’s fiscal fantasy land, and wildly dishonest and irresponsible for any political leaders to imply it can be done without making a dire situation worse.
- While I was watching “The FBI”—the only place the FBI lives up to its hype and legend is on TV–CBS kept running ads with various series performers and TV news personalities saying, “We’re all in this together!”
That is a transparent lie, however. If we were all in this together, such a large component of the public, social media and mainstream media wouldn’t be deliberately attacking the elected leadership of the country and doing its best to undermine his credibility, support and level of trust among the public.
That’s not what being in “this” together means. Here, for example, is the CBS headine about the moron who swallowed the fish tank cleaner: “Arizona man dies, wife ill after taking drug touted as virus treatment: “Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure”
Trump did NOT tell anyone to self-dose with fish medicine that contained a chemical still being tested, and only someone with a brain pan the depth of a finger tip would think so. How does deliberately making it sound like Trump was giving out deadly advice bring us “together”?
In an unusually harsh comment on this latest disgusting episode of news media incompetence and bias, Prof Reynolds wrote yesterday, “Press: Want people to stop thinking you’re garbage? Stop being garbage. And CBS, you’re garbage for running this story with this headline. Absolute garbage. And you don’t care, and we all know why.”
- Today the President said “I would love to have the country opened up and rarin’ to go by Easter.” Yes, that would be wonderful. The statement did not mean, however, that he would open the country up by Easter. (A description of the real process is here. Yes, that’s a link to Breitbart and I don’t usually cite Brietbart, but this is all quote, and I am too tired to go hunting for a source that has the same information. ) Nevertheless, that is how it was immediately spun on social media and by the vicious, anti-Trump media—he was just going to lift all restrictions and see what happens.
You see, this kind of statement by a President is called “keeping hope alive.” It’s called calming nerves, soothing the populace and counteracting doomsayers. Presidents have done this for centuries, but never before have large portions of the nation set out to sabotage these efforts. Saying that there are promising leads in finding cures and vaccines are part of the practice; so is suggesting that the end of the crisis is in sight.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was marvelous at this kind of soothing BS, and I say that with love and admiration. Despite his ability to lift the nation’s morale, the Great Depression was getting worse until World War II intervened, but the nation wasn’t in despair. Because it wasn’t in despair, the U.S. didn’t have a revolution on its hands, as it well might have under dour, pragmatic Herbert Hoover. FDR also had many tools at his disposal that President Trump, like poor Hoover, does not. Roosevalt was a hypnotic speaker; he radiated confidence, indeed cockiness, amidst natural charisma. He had an actor’s voice and was a master of language. Best of all, most journalists wanted him to succeed. Nobody wrote op-eds saying, “Who is the President kidding? We have lots of things to fear. He’s a con artist.”
- Make no mistake, however. While it is true that this President lacks many of the skills and tools that FDR did—and what President since Roosevelt was his equal?—the fact that so many want Trump to fail, even now, when there are many things to fear, and are choosing to feed despair and panic rather than support the only figure we have who can mitigate them, is a damning indictment of our society and politics. We can only hope it isn’t fatal as well.
16 thoughts on “It Isn’t Easy Being FDR, And Other Early Morning Musings…”
• Depending on which side of the peak of the Laffer Curve you are, raising taxes rates can raise or lower revenue. Increasing revenues (paying for any government spending) does not automatically correlate to raising tax rates; lowering tax rates can just as easily raise revenue.
In addition, raising rates to raise revenues on some inelastic markets, where people have little choice but to purchase, makes sense. In elastic markets, like income, yachts, jets, etc. for the wealthiest among us, raising taxes will harm the average person working in industries and raise less revenue.
• Regarding FDR, in many ways President Reagan’s policies rescued America from two horrible, if slightly less certain, fates: 1) capitulating to the Soviet Union across the globe and, 2) accepting economic decline as inevitable. Reagan was not acting in an environment of utter urgency like FDR, but the results of 4 more years of Jimmy Carter would have likely been tragic at best. Under Carter much of Central America and Africa would have been under Soviet control, cornering us on vital resources. Our economy would also have been stuck in his government knows best quagmire.
Query: Is this virus stalking men with HIV/AIDS compromised immune systems? New York City and San Francisco are “epicenters.” Andrew Sullivan writes about how he’s feeling as he did during the onset of HIV/AIDS. Terrence McNally dies of “complications from COVID19” whatever that means, but they acknowledge he’d had lung cancer and suffered from COPD. Was he surviving from HIV/AIDS as well? Why are the conditions of the victims so closely guarded?
QUIT, OB! That’s enough of your diagnosable homophobia. I don’t know how far your poison has spread since you posted your latest muddle of sick sad lies but it really has to stop.
NO, “this virus” is NOT “stalking” anyone. News: Anyone with a compromised immune system is vulnerable . . . that includes anyone with cardiovascular or respiratory problems in particular. That’s why seniors are considered at risk, stupid.
NO. There is no compound HIV/AIDS. They are not the same thing. HIV is a virus. AIDS is a group of opportunistic diseases which, separately or together, appeared when the virus multiplied to the extent that it began to harm the immune system. The medications available today can control the virus to the extent that it is “undetectable” – in other words, not replicating, not infecting, not out in the bloodstream where it can multiply.
One can be HIV positive (without ever having AIDS) and live to be a ‘senior.’ And that is what is happening now, in San Francisco, in particular. Because that is where a lot of HIV+ people are – surprise! – most comfortable. The second most common living place for people with HIV is New York City. That’s where a gay man died. He was 81 years old. He had a major respiratory disease. And SURPRISE! he died of a novel coronavirus : COVID-19 that goes for people whose immune systems, particularly respiratory systems, are age-and-illness-worn and damaged.
Terrence McNally was a four-timeTony award-winning playwright, three dozen plays to his credit, as well as, according to his obit, “the books for 10 musicals, the librettos for four operas and a handful of screenplays for film and television”. He died at the ripe old age of 81. He had a respiratory disease known as COPD; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD has nothing to do with HIV, you moron, OB. It has nothing to do with being gay. It is a result of lung cancer which, in turn, both aggravated and was aggravated by his incessant cigarette smoking. He was a “high-functioning’ alcoholic” one of his doctor’s said. O’Malley never hid any part of his life, OB, you jerk. He was an open, proud gay man who had a whale of a life creating marvelous entertainment for people and seemed to enjoy the hell out of every moment of it, unlike people like you who breathe thick ugly smoke over men you know nothing about but whom you chose as victims for your viciousness.
NO, nobody is “guarding” any conditions of any “victims,” you paranoid fool. And “fools” to you who read that nasty piece of trash and didn’t recognize it for what it was.
Here’s what is happening — “Andrew Sullivan writes about how he’s feeling as he did during the onset of HIV/AIDS.” Me. Too. So is anyone who has been exposed to Other Bill’s confused hate fantasies even if they weren’t alive at the time of AIDS or not old enough to know better. We have heard them all before. They are sickening, as are the monsters that make them up and spread them around. That’s what that feeling is.
This has been a work night for me and it has a few more hours to go. I wrote this in between crisis calls one of which came from Texas (we are a national line) from a teen who wasn’t complaining about having to stay inside or not be with his friends or missing anything. He just didn’t want to grow old and die like his grandpa. Turned out grandpa hadn’t quite died. Everyone was just talking as if he already had, caught the virus and “coughed up his stomach” (he’d heard one of his aunt’s say, and visualized it literally), and how he wasn’t to be touched, “not by anybody at all, not ever”. When he got to talking about his specific suicide plans, it turned out they were very simple: he was going to sneak in his grandpa’s back door and hug him … and try not to look at the mess (his stomach) on the floor. Then he’d sneak back home and lock himself in the attic where no one could find him. And stay there until he died. After about twenty minutes more of Q&A, he was ready to ask “Why do people make up mean stuff like that?” While I answered the question (with a question, of course) I was thinking of Other Bill and wondering how many people he has fed his wrong-headed, hate-mongering bilge to in his lifetime, and if any one would want to hug him if he had the virus.
Tangential, but I’ve been looking for places to write about Terrence McNally. Despite his amazing body of work for the stage, he was not a well-known figure among the general public; I always thought he was relatively under-appreciated outside of the theater world.
But what a career! He was a four-time Tony Award winner, recipient of the 2019 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater, and a 1994 Pulitzer Prize nominee. His books for musicals included collaborations with Kander and Ebb: The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Visit.
McNally’s best known works included Anastasia (2017), Mothers and Sons (2014), It’s Only A Play (2014), Catch Me If You Can (2011), Master Class (2011, 1995), Ragtime (2009, 1998), The Ritz (2007, 1983, 1975), The Stuff of Dreams (2005), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (2002), The Full Monty (2000), Corpus Christi (1997) Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995), Lips Together, Teeth Apart (1991), and The Lisbon Traviata (1989). Things That Go Bump in the Night (1965) was not well known, but it was provocative, and
I’m proud to be able to say that The American Century Theater produced this far the darkest, least popular and most challenging and problematical of his works, about society being reduced to living in terror, locked in their homes, of a nameless think that lurked outside, ready to kill. My great uncle, Mercury Theater vet George Coulouris, played the dying mob boss who kicked off the craziness in the film version of “The Ritz.”
McNally was the most versatile US playwright of his generation, arguably the best. He’ll be recognized more widely as time goes on, I hope. He was also by all accounts, just a great guy, something great writers usually are not, especially playwrights. (Miller, O’Neill, Williams, Albee, Beckett—these are troubled, often angry people. Not Terrence.)
McNally has major and lasting cultural significance, all good, for bringing gay relationships into the mainstream. He wrote about hetero and same sex relationships with equal ease, compassion and respect, and took the whole area out of the “shocking!” category into the “just people, like you, and you can identify with them whoever you are!” realm. McNally made it look easy, but it really wasn’t, not at the time he was writing them.
Not to state the obvious, but I assume HIPPA laws are the primary issue.
I think the HIPAA regulations play a significant role in limiting information that is released but I believe there is also a large cultural issue with not wanting to “stigmatize” the victim even though that may put others at risk. Compare this with South Korea’s response where the general culture is to favor the greater good over individual rights. According to Nature.com, “When a person tests positive, their city or district might send out an alert to people living nearby about their movements before being diagnosed. A typical alert can contain the infected person’s age and gender, and a detailed log of their movements down to the minute — in some cases traced using closed-circuit television and credit-card transactions, with the time and names of businesses they visited. In some districts, public information includes which rooms of a building the person was in, when they visited a toilet and whether or not they wore a mask. Even overnight stays at ‘love motels’ have been noted.”
For a very long time, I’ve suspected HIPPA was driven by the LGBT lobby, the G in particular. I think their success on that front emboldened them to push for gay marriage. Of course, these “other health issues” are to be hidden.
“We’re all in this together.” Nope.
CBS, and a large number of other media companies, repeatedly mis-characterize what Trump says, and if they can squeeze that mis-characterization into a headline, so much the better. Why? Exactly for the same reason Les Moonves uttered when talking about the coverage of Trump during the election campaign: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
That once respected media (though not as respectable as they appeared to be) have adopted this rationale is both obvious and disheartening.
Trying to find out through a Google search exactly what that Arizona couple took produced dozens of headlines implying Trump encouraged people to self-medicate when he did no such thing. So, why would so many of the media outlets be so dishonest? The only answer is the “Moonves Motivation.” They expect to garner more click-throughs, and thereby ad exposure, and thereby a healthier bottom line.
The sad part is that it works. Those mis-characterizations will spread throughout social media with a viral rate that would impress even Covid-19. There are millions of people who take things such as this as evidence that Trump is stupid, or evil, or both, and proof that they are far better than him (even though only four of them, at most, have ever been elected president). We may preach that we don’t elevate ourselves by putting someone else down, but when it comes to Trump, many of us don’t practice what we preach.
That it is wide-spread, that it works, and that it goes directly against the golden rule does not portend well for our country.
This assumes the news media, in the main, over the last 40 years cared about the country as most of us would define it. I remember my Dad laughing at me for calling Dan Rather ‘Comrade Dan’ in the early 1980s as he announced the Reagan index (you know, that actor interloper guy ruining Democrat Jimmy Carter’s great policies) on the news when referring to inflation plus unemployment. And when the Reagan index started looking good and not bad, poof, it disappeared. These people have hated anything like an America we’d recognize or want for a very long time. Well before Comrade Dan was on CBS.
From Simon Black, the Sovereign Man,
March 24, 2020
One day back in the late 1990s when I was a wide-eyed 20-year-old cadet at West Point, we were told that a distinguished visitor was coming to speak, and to be seated in the auditorium by 1pm sharp.
This was pretty routine; one of the great things about attending West Point was the seemingly endless line of world leaders, athletes, scientists, and even celebrities who would address the Corps of Cadets.
During my time at the academy we heard from people like Colin Powell, Oliver Stone, Bill Clinton, and countless more.
On that particular day, the speaker was Vice Admiral James Stockdale.
Stockdale isn’t a household name, but as I would come to learn, he was one of the most impressive and toughest human beings who ever lived.
He was in the twilight of his life when he came to speak to us, just a few years before his death. But even at his advanced age, he had the presence of a giant.
Stockdale had been a US Navy fighter pilot. His full name was James Bond Stockdale, so his call sign became “007”. Perfect.
Stockdale’s life changed in September 1965 while flying a mission over North Vietnam. He was shot down, captured, and spent the next 7 Â½ years as a Prisoner of War in the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’.
As a POW, Stockdale was tortured regularly, beaten savagely, and exiled to solitary confinement.
But he never broke.
At one point during his captivity when he found out that he was to be paraded out in public in Vietnam, he beat his own face to a pulp with a wooden stool, and slashed his scalp with a razorblade, so that he couldn’t be used as a propaganda tool.
He also slit his own wrists once, demonstrating to his captors that he would rather give up his own life than capitulate.
Stockdale was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary leadership and personal sacrifice.
Years later in an interview with author Jim Collins, Stockdale was asked about his captivity in Vietnam-how on earth did he deal with such harsh circumstances and uncertainty?
“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”
When Collins asked, “Who didn’t make it out [of the POW camp],” Stockdale replied,
“Oh that’s easy. The optimists. They were the ones who said, ‘we’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And then Christmas would come, and Christmas would go.
And then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And then Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving. And then it would be Christmas again.
And they died of a broken heart.
“This is a very important lesson,” Stockdale continued. “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end-which you can never afford to lose– with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
This is the situation that each of us is facing right now.
We want to be optimists. We want to believe that this pandemic is going to magically vanish tomorrow morning and that we’ll all be able to go on with our lives as if nothing has changed.
But that’s not going to happen.
The brutal facts of our reality are that this pandemic continues to spread rapidly, and it has the potential to kill millions of people.
Reducing that projection requires shutting down the entire global economy… resulting in a wide range of catastrophic consequences, including tens of trillions of dollars of prosperity wiped out, countless jobs lost, millions of bankruptcies and defaults, entire governments going broke, and more.
Saving the economy condemns millions to die. But saving millions from dying condemns hundreds of millions to suffer.
These are the facts. And they are brutal.
To make matters even more difficult, we’re also dealing with a tremendous uncertainty.
There’s no telling what’s going to happen next. Or when. We could see martial law. Supply chain disruptions. National defaults. Looting. Bank failures. Even hyperinflation.
EVERY scenario is on the table… even ones that seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Anyone who says, “There’s no way that could happen,” clearly doesn’t grasp what’s happening.
And frankly we haven’t even seen the real problems yet.
Just wait until the healthcare system is totally overwhelmed, the unemployment rate soars, and major companies start declaring bankruptcy.
I mean… there are still millions of people around the world right now (including countless shit-faced university students on spring break) who aren’t taking this pandemic seriously yet.
We’re clearly still in the opening phase of this crisis. So things could become much worse before they improve.
But amid such harsh circumstances and uncertainty, we should also recognize, as Stockdale did, that the world is not coming to an end.
We cannot afford to be misguided, ignorant optimists who irrationally believe that everything will go back to normal tomorrow morning without any consequences.
Everyone needs to confront the most brutal facts of our current reality-both the challenges and opportunities.
But we should never lose faith that we will prevail in the end and may look back on this pandemic as the most formative and defining event of our lives.
To your freedom,
Apparently this is getting passed around, lest any of us start to have faith that there might be an end in sight to this crisis. First of all, Stockdale was well-known at the time of this speech, having run for Vice-President on the Ross Perot protest ticket that played at least some part in sinking George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign, if this was in the late 90s, as he says. The Stockdale Paradox, as this set of ideas is called, has in fact been around since James Collins wrote the business management book “Good to Great” in 2001.
I haven’t read it, since I’m a lawyer, not a manager, but a quick look at the summary reveals that the Stockdale Paradox is only one of seven chapters, and it’s aimed at facing up to the facts of a situation while maintaining faith in a business setting that also includes picking the right leaders, discipline, and other basic principles. The book isn’t without it’s critics, noting that several of the companies cited as great therein have since run into major problems (Circuit City, Fannie Mae), that it is backward looking, not innovative, and that a lot of it is generic.
The thing is, it’s a book about business management, not crisis management, and the Stockdale Paradox assumes a binary nature of things, which is precisely what Black assumes here. Either hundreds of millions must suffer, OR millions must die, there is no in between, and if we want to save those millions we all have to just shut down and accept that the world we knew is going to fall to crap, and get really bad, so we’ll all just have to learn to be satisfied with less. Thinking otherwise will just render us vulnerable to disappointment and death of a broken heart, whatever that is.
Basically it sounds like Sam’s speech at the end of the Two Towers:
” It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. ”
Mmhmm, sounds pretty good from a comfortable theater seat, especially when you know it’s a fantasy story, and it wasn’t written by George R.R. Martin, so the ending will probably be at least reasonably satisfying. Stockdale’s comment sounds just as good, spoken by someone for whom the crisis was long over. Just keep working away, have faith, accept now that things are going to suck, and one day you’ll get through it
FDR wasn’t telling a story, and Trump isn’t interviewing for a book long after the crisis. He’s right in the thick of this, the same as FDR and Churchill and GWB were. His job is not to treat anything as a binary situation that doesn’t have to be. His job is also to mitigate the effect of a disaster like this the best he can, not just tell everyone that it sucks, and it’s going to suck a whole lot more, and probably a lot of you are going to lose everything and be reduced to bankruptcy, everything you built and worked for is going to be taken from you, but it’s that or millions die. First of all “millions” aren’t going to die. Thousands died in China, where this seems to have mostly run its course. Thousands died in the mess that Italy has become, where the problem has been very poorly managed (Garibaldi and Cavour are probably shaking their heads), but not millions, and millions haven’t died here. It’s not looking like that will ever be the case.
No one is talking about major companies filing bankruptcy, or the healthcare net being overwhelmed, or declaring martial law. If the news comes on and says Bank of America has collapsed, or the hospital network in New York can take no more patients and is choosing not to treat those over 60, or the National Guard and the military are going into Chicago to restore order, THEN those things will be happening. Putting them out there as possibilities, leave alone almost certainties, is irresponsible and counterproductive. It’s, as you pointed out, feeding fear and worry, rather than trying to calm them. There are times urgency is appropriate, but not feeding the fear that worse stuff is around the corner and there’s no end in sight.
Even Churchill, at the height of the Battle of Britain, may have said there was “blood, toil, sweat and tears” ahead, but he didn’t start talking about how greater destruction was imminent and the UK might collapse altogether. Eventually even he could say it wasn’t the beginning of the end, but it might be the end of the beginning.
I can’t write this without a parting shot at the media, who appear determined to parlay this into a doomsday scenario or collapse that will get the President kicked out of office Election Day, no matter what the cost. You already pointed out that a headline “No Mr. President, We Actually Have A LOT To Fear,” would have sounded ridiculous. What about these:
“Pearl Harbor Preventable? What Did The President Know And When Did He Know It?”
“Disaster At Kasserine Pass, Is It Time To Cut Our Losses?”
“Saipan, Graveyard Of The Marines. Did It Have To Happen?”
“Failure At Arnhem. Peace at the Rhine?”
“A Look Into Hell: The Doomsday Weapon at Las Alamos”
“We Came For Work, Not Prison – Racist Treatment of The Issei”
Or later the press complaining that Truman “muzzled” MacArthur or even that Reagan was a warmonger after Rekjavik? How about calling for hearings regarding Grenada or Panama?
The press hostility is unprecedented and dangerous.
Steve-O said,”Apparently this is getting passed around, lest any of us start to have faith that there might be an end in sight to this crisis.”
Great comment! When I read missives like the one from Simon Black, I can’t help but detecting a note of wishful thinking that maybe the whole thing will burn down and provide an opportunity for people (the “right” people, that is) to rebuild society in a more suitable form. I get flashbacks to the “survivalist” subculture of the late 1970s, when I got the same vibe from a number of those people I got to know.
As for me, I will “keep the faith,” maintaining a state of clear-eyed optimism unless there are definite indications that things are taking an irreversible turn for the worse. Then the contingency plans kick in.
There is no destruction quite like self-destruction. The media is just demonstrating that for the non-believers out there.
When we lose the ability to trust the information provided by our Fourth Estate, especially when the full context of the subject is so widely available, one has to wonder if the media is really worth saving anymore. Oh, some of it is, for sure, but so much of it has become diseased, infected with a virulent malady of the mind so severe that there seems to be no way to cure it but resection. Perhaps the disease will wind up, in a way, being a cure.
In a tragic and contrarian way, the virus may also do more to save the country from itself than anything else. Fear of death and chaos has a wonderful way of focusing the mind, and in the worst anti-Trump cesspits of society whose denizens have reveled in mocking “flyover country,” the virus is thriving and people are piling up in hospitals by the score. This is certainly tragic and to be tirelessly fought with every resource at our disposal, but it is also an inevitable consequence of “blue” policies that seek to stack people like cord-wood, all while those same people ignore the very government they purport to revere.
Our smug sophisticates are squarely in the crosshairs of disaster, much more so than “flyover country.” Karma, as they say, is a bitch. I wonder when, if ever, the media will be self-aware enough to notice?
Am I alone in finding it suspicious that the couple that consumed the fish tank cleaner is presumed to have done exactly what the wife is claiming? The husband is dead in bizarre circumstances, poison in fact. The wife also took the poison, but not enough to kill herself. Assuming close to average intelligence on the part of both, (and they both somehow survived into their 60’s), I wonder if this was self-medication by the couple or self-help by the wife. The “Trump told us to do it!” nonsense is just too perfect a narrative for the corrupt media, they can’t help but use it.
Calling Columbo! J.B. Fletcher! I’d write that script before someone steals it.
Trump unfortunately doesn’t have the likability factor that FDR had or even Ronald Reagan. Although FDR’s ambitious governmental programs did little to ameliorate the depression, the common folks loved him and even someone with the charisma of Wendell Wilkie couldn’t beat him. Trump is an iconoclast although his approval rating seems to be rising, the attacks on his handling of the Wuhan virus will continue, merited or not.
This whole thing is just annoying me to no end.
I think the think that really chafes me is that we have become so privileged that we do not even know what a champagne problem we really have here. It wasn’t all that long ago that diseases like this just killed whoever they killed, we buried the dead, and the living moved on. It’s only in the last 100 years or so that we’ve had ANY protections against viruses, and only about 200 since we’ve had any real protection from bacterial infections.
Can you imagine bringing someone like Laura Ingalls Wilder back from the dead to see this? I can hear her now, “My whole family and I nearly died of malaria as a child, my sister went blind from something we call scarlet fever, my infant brother and my infant son died for unknown medical reasons, diptheria severely weakened my husband for his whole life, and probably eliminated my ability to have further children. Now, you’re telling me you nincompoops are shutting down your entire economy for a disease that is almost exclusively killing old people? Old people are supposed to die, you jackholes! Now, get back to work, you ridiculous whiners. And while you’re at it, take a second to realize how good you actually have it, that a disease like this has you idiots running for the hills!”
That’s not to say I oppose some common sense measures. Sure, I can do work from home (I’m a social security disability lawyer), and I am happy to do so. (I’ve actually had to pull double duty as my ex-wife IS extremely ill, so she is not watching my son out of an abundance of caution- and I don’t mind that either.) I also don’t mind us doing social distancing where as many people as possible stay home for a REASONABLE amount of time. We simply cannot do it forever. People have to work- people need a paycheck. The economy needs to run.
I really think our leaders need to unequivocally set a date- which I personally think should be no later than June 1, 2020, and simply tell us, we have to go back to work then, and this virus may kill some of us when we do that. That’s part of life. I have zero problem with sending people back to work earlier, and if Trump can do it, I have no issue with it being Easter.
As for the reporter who asked Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are scared?” I would have said, “Tell them to grow a pair.”
We are not, nor will we ever be, the masters of death.
The sooner we accept that, the better off we will all be.
I also want to note that we all would have been better off, from the jump, if all of medical supplies were manufactured in America. Another thing Trump was right about, if I’m not mistaken. (I’ve never been so pleasantly surprised by a President as I have been with Trump-I expected a disaster, and he’s been much better than average, in my humble opinion- but I digress).
Now a personal anecdote:
I recall getting nervous once when a storm was rolling in when I was working with my grandfather when he was still alive. “I wouldn’t worry about it,” he said to me, “if God sends the lighting down to get you, he ain’t going to miss.”
That’s about how I view this virus too. If God sends it to get me, he probably ain’t going to miss.
[I posted this same comment on your newest post- but there seems to be a wordpress error where it’s not posting- and as it’s related to coronavirus generally- it can really fit on any post about the virus. I apologize if you end up with like 15 of these to delete- not really sure why the error is happening.]