So how do we start fighting the good fight this week? We start by calling our Reps and Senators (using the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page, or the bottom of this page, if you're on a cellphone) and telling them that job one for them in these times is containing the damn coronavirus pandemic. Seriously, if they can't stop pandemics from killing us, then why are they even there? More specifically, we should demand that this Administration make tests widely available to all Americans now -- not six weeks from now because things like that are hard to do, but now because now is what we need. Then we demand that this Administration help our health care system withstand the onslaught of cases we expect it's going to get; if our government can't help build enough ventilators to help coronavirus victims breathe, then, again, why is it even there? Then we demand (and this is important) that our government assist people with their purported "stimulus" bill, not corporations -- as currently constructed, the McConnell "stimulus" plan is little more than a bailout bill. Sen. Sanders's proposal of paying $2,000 per household per month during the crisis would be a much better starting point for negotiations than the McConnell bailout bill -- people, as you know, will spend money to keep ur economy going, while corporations will just hoard whatever they get.
A lot of folks on both the left and right think the coronavirus pandemic means the end of this Presidency. But I wouldn't lay money on that if I were you. It's true that, as many have said, our President can't just insult the coronavirus into submission on Twitter, but we should consider a few other things about this situation -- that our President thrives on chaos, that our "social distancing" response to the pandemic threatens to harden into an America divided physically as well as politically, and that our President's likely opponent this November is a man the punditry have dubbed "electable" apparently because he's been deeply complicit in virtually all the things Our Glorious Elites have done wrong over the last half-century. For Our Glorious Elites, as you know, every crisis is an opportunity -- not an opportunity to make a better world out of the shell of the old, of course, but merely an opportunity to further entrench themselves in power. They want you to think you can't count on anyone but them to get us through tough times. And if we're not careful, they might actually succeed in convincing us of that this time.
So, in the face of a pandemic like most of us have never experienced, and the almost certain economic Armageddon that'll result, what has our President done in the last week? Well, he's lied about all the stupid things he said and did to put us in this position, plus he's told Congress to "go big" on the "stimulus" bill about to emerge, and what do you know? His poll numbers have dramatically improved -- per a ABC News/Ipsos poll, well over half of Americans now think he's doing a good job managing the crisis, up some 10 points from the previous week. Also, our President has been pumping the old Nobody Could Have Predicted meme from Tha Bush Mobb years, and since the man lies so much that his lies (and the truth) become that much harder to track, we could go into an election not only with our economy in a recession, but a recession people don't blame him for causing. As a politician, how could you do better than that -- to have people pulling for you to get us all through the catastrophe you created? And to think George W. Bush and Scott Walker thought they had that act down!
Of course, in times like these, we would turn to each other for sustenance and strength. But what is the message we're hearing from everyone, even folks we trust? That we should be apart from each other in these times so we don't kill each other! I don't think Our Glorious Elites planned it this way -- too many folks would need to keep quiet about a conspiracy that big -- but it sure works this way. Now I don't mean to assert that you should ignore the six-feet rule or go shake 10,000 hands in a puerile act of defiance. But note well that over a dozen states have already postponed their Democratic Presidential primaries; why wouldn't our government try to postpone the national election, particularly if our President thinks he might lose? And it goes beyond voting -- folks won't be able to take to the streets in protest of some egregious action by our government, out of fear of dying, or fear of transgressing a local government edict. Even as we speak, our Justice Department is trying to back-door its way into getting indefinite detention powers using the fact that courts won't be open (or open as much). When we can't take to the streets, that's when we should fear our government the most.
But then, perhaps you are hoping we can all get through this thing and then just elect a Democrat President in November. I have repeatedly cautioned against hopes such as these, and not merely because they'd be beside the point in a properly-functioning democracy, but it looks like our President's opponent will be former Vice President Joe Biden, who has nothing to recommend him other than an occasionally coarse way of speaking that has fooled many folks into thinking he's a straight-talker. In properly assessing his role in screwing our world up, we don't have to go back as far as his sucking up to segregationists in the '70s or his tough-on-crime posturing all through the following decades -- we need only remember that as Vice President he signed on to giving our economy back to the banksters after the banksters nearly destroyed it, and that as President he's already spelled out his made-up reasons for not signing a Medicare-for-All bill if it should pass. Many folks would tell you our President won in 2016 because he blew his opponent's faults way out of proportion. But how can such a stratagem even succeed in the first place? Only when said opponent gives you no reason to vote for them other than the hope that they'll be less of an ogre. And that's going to be Joe Biden's pitch just as it was Hillary Clinton's pitch, and in a country where too many Americans can't make their bills every month, where surprise medical bills and ballooning college costs cripple our future for no damn good reason, where nearly half of us can't even cough up $400 in an emergency, why should that pitch work this time?
Right about now I feel compelled to say that I hope I'm wrong about most of what I've said in the previous four paragraphs, and that I don't say these things to demoralize you, but so you'll be ready for all the future battles we'll have to fight. And we need to be able to imagine a world where this President's still here a year from now -- but, more importantly, we need to be able to imagine a world where that doesn't matter. If we speak out today about how our government should handle this pandemic, in more or less the manner I prescribed in the first paragraph, we'll be that much closer to being able to imagine a world in which we matter more than Our Glorious Elites do. If we can imagine that world, we can make that world -- but if we let Our Glorious Elites divide us, and if we let ourselves caught up in the drama and the horserace, then we can't even imagine that world, let alone make a new one.
Good luck, and God bless.