Questions to Ponder as an American
Are we winning yet? You bet we are. Right now, America has the greatest number of cases of COVID-19 and the highest number of deaths than any country in the world. We have one of the highest death rates per population (in the top 5) from COVID-19 when compared to the rest of the world. That is not compared only to industrialized Western countries. That is compared to any and all countries, from the most sophisticated to those designated by Benedict Donald as “shit-hole countries.” You did it, Mr. President, we are winning. Oh, I hear my detractors scream, China and Russia are under reporting. OK, let us accept your premise. That still ranks the US among the top in the world, with the kleptocracy of Russia, and the quasi-police state of China out doing us. Does that make you feel any better? It sure as shit should not.
(COVID Deaths per Million Population)
Are we pulling together as a country? Oh, wow, let me count the ways. In Michigan, armed right-wing white supremacists got together as one and attempted to break a police line into the State Legislature in order to force them and the Democratic Governor to overturn her shelter-in-place order. In Ohio, other right-wing nuts (some armed) got together to protest the Republican Governor’s shelter-in-place order but created even more internal togetherness by also displaying antisemitic signs. (Proud Display)
The protesters also pulled together the anti-LBGTQ folks, anti-abortionists, anti-communists, and Christians threating doom if everyone doesn’t turn to Jesus. (All the Right-Wing Nuts) Now that’s a lot of pulling together. Is that the kind of “pulling together” we need? Well, Benedict Donald encouraged these protesters to “liberate” states led by Democratic governors with shelter-in-place orders. (Fine People) But for those of us who worry about our immuno-compromised family members, our aging parents or grandparents, or our friends trying to beat cancer, I would argue the only reason for these protesters to “get together” would be for them to do the rest of us a favor and disappear. Perhaps Darwin will do us a favor.
Are we setting a global example of how to demonstrate grace under pressure? Well, I must admit that it takes a lot of chutzpah and cojones to dress up as a nurse so that you can either steal packages off your neighbors’ porch (Porch Pirates) or to pretend that nurses are actually against the shelter-in-place orders. (Great GOP Ideas) But can we really describe this as grace? Not a fucking chance.
What percentage of those people advocating for allowing the old and health-compromised to die from COVID-19 in order to “open up the economy” do you think are a) also immensely dedicated to being anti-abortion? (Correlation might not be causality, but…., Consistency?) What percentage of those same people do you think support the death penalty? I do not know the answers to those two questions, but I am willing to bet big money that the answer is at least “a high number, closer to 100% than to 50%. So, if I am right (and of course I believe I am), how can those people call themselves “pro-life”? In the first case the best you could say is that they are pro-birth. In the second case, they must believe in all the ramifications of “original sin” because that is the only logic that would allow you to call abortion “murder” while calling the death penalty “justice.” But was it not Jesus who said, “let they who are without sin cast the first stone?” (John 8:7)
Pardon my confusion, but I thought that part of New Testament scripture was meant to tell us that we are all sinners, none of us without blame, and we should not kill each other or allow others to be killed. Maybe those folks only follow scripture when it is economically convenient? Or, maybe, just maybe, they only quote scripture when it fits their perspective? You bet your ass.
I think we are living in dangerous times. Unlike some past Presidents who faced crises and appealed to our best intentions and/or our strong inclination to do good (think Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy), this President appeals to the worst in our country – encouraging hate and divisiveness, bullying and belittling, and lying to all of us, even to his supporters.
We are better than this. We have to be. Any other choice is horrific.