It’s been a long week of chaos, lying and incompetence from the Trump regime. As coronavirus cases topped 1,000,000 and the death toll reached 63,000 the message from the White House was “success.” Yes, Trump’s inept son-in-law said Wednesday:
“…the government, federal government, rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story.”
As others noted last night, if this is what success looks like, I’d hate to see failure.
But we are seeing failure on a massive scale. We don’t have widespread testing and contact tracing even though many states are jumping at the bit to open back up. Some are categorizing certain businesses as essential or removing them from quarantine status to force them to re-open, blocking their ability to collect further relief money and forcing their employees from the unemployment rolls–rolls that increased by a whopping 3.84 million people yesterday to reach the horrifying 30 million mark. The “re-open” chorus is a con to sacrifice the lives of workers so that wealthy taxpayers and the politicians they own won’t have to pay their fair share. And the “re-open” chorus is backed by the usual radical right-wing greed monsters like the Kochs and the DeVos family, amplified by Murdoch’s Fox network. The plutocrats take advantage of fear and despair that so many out-of-work citizens suffer by accusing the pandemic of being a liberal hoax and stoking resentment by blaming the shut-down on evil Democrats. A small group of these aggrieved conservatives tried to enter the Michigan State House yesterday while openly carrying weapons, including assault rifles, and were held at bay by the State House police. Truth is, the protesters were angry at the wrong people.
The national narrative about the shut-down and possible reopening has thus far given us a simple binary choice of outcomes. Which of these is the lesser of two evils?
1. Stay at home while your business folds or your job ends and your money runs out and you become destitute and starve.
2. Re-open the economy, try to resume working, and try to get back to “normal” while risking your life and the lives of those around you.
But there’s a third possibility that our politicians and news networks don’t want to talk about.
3. Stay at home and receive enough money from the government to survive until the economy can allow you to get back to a job.
Keeping people afloat as long as it takes to beat the virus is what many other countries are doing–and it’s what any sane and thoughtful and compassionate and decent country would do. But not us. We worship and fetishize capitalism (even though we haven’t had pure capitalism in the United States for at least eighty years) to such an extent that we’ve allowed greedy billionaires like the Murdochs to use their propaganda network to equate our social safety net with CORRUPT, EVIL, SATANIC COMMUNISM!! And we’ve now arrived at a place where any movement to take care of our citizens and put lives over greed has become a sign to conservatives that their way of life, their freedoms, and their liberties are mortally threatened. Twenty years of fearmongering, hatred and lies in service of generating ad revenue on cable news for the Murdoch family has been quite successful. When you hear people screaming that we have to get back to work, it’s because the concept of the government stepping in and keeping us all afloat during a historic epidemic is simply not tolerable to many conservatives, even though it would save their asses. Keeping huge corporations afloat and keeping wealthy CEOs and billionaires from losing their fortunes is entirely acceptable, however, which is why Republicans in Congress are always so quick to toss them trillions of dollars. This has been our America for a while, but it’s reached an extreme new level under Trump. Whenever you hear people screaming about getting back to work, remember that our government has the power to offer a third option, but it won’t.
There is some good news, however. Trump’s insistence on doing daily pressers has produced a steady stream of lies, distortions, gaffes and stumbles, and these have driven his poll numbers to their lowest point–perhaps since he took office. Joe Biden is beating him in many swing states by a wide margin, and even beating Trump by a point in Texas! We have a long way to go, but if we keep working to help local candidates, we will also help to rid the White House of the worst president ever.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
REMINDER: Rep Delgado is holding his seventh tele-town-hall TODAY, Friday May 1st, at 4:30pm on the coronavirus. You can join by calling this number: 855-905-3295
Have a safe and restful weekend.