You would think that taking basic medical precautions against infection would have nothing to do with partisan politics, but there is a curious dynamic at play here. Did you see how few people were wearing masks at the MAGA rally in Tulsa? It has become a sign of loyalty to party to see the pandemic as some sort of liberal hoax, and refusal to publicly take precautions as a declaration of patriotic fervor.
The Republican party sees a strong economy as being the key to a GOP election victory in November. Consequently, it is essential that people get back to work and start spending money as soon as possible. Any form of isolation or quarantine is not just a medical prophylaxis, it threatens Conservative power. Therefore, any action or policy which threatens the economy, however necessary, is seen as a direct political attack, and anyone who advocates such preventative measures a political enemy. The same can be said for any public information which underscores the severity of the pandemic, such as daily bulletins on infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
It is obvious that there are very compelling reasons to get the economy rolling again, as well as to undergo medical precautions, and the two often conflict. It is necessary to pursue a middle path, one led by the best available advice from health professionals. This does not mean a slavish ideological adherence to Federalist principles, but a coordinated and adaptive national policy which takes into full account local conditions and populations and consultation with local authorities, as well as communication between local, regional and central government. No doubt blunders will occur, as in fighting a war or dealing with a natural disaster. But with responsible and competent leadership, we will learn from our mistakes. But this requires leadership, organization and expertise, which our Federal government sadly lacks.
States and cities have done an outstanding job of allocating resources and setting policy, but without leadership from Washington, they are bound to fall short and engage at cross-purposes. This is especially the case when local authorities are trying to satisfy ideological imperatives from the President, directives that seem determined to reinstate economic growth at the expense of all else, for purely political reasons.
Its not so much that politicians don’t see the danger of ignoring health policy for economic reasons. Its just that they are willing to trade lives for votes, at least til after the election. In this mercenary political environment, its no surprise that wearing a mask or insisting on social distancing or restrictions on business be dismissed as mere political correctness or attacks on personal freedom, or Deep State interference in our private lives.
Yes, this is what its come to.
I recall that long ago a Zoner once remarked that the genius of the American system was that even if the President disappeared, or if Federal supremacy collapsed, the nation would continue to function without Washington. Well, it sounded reasonable, but now that I see it actually happening, I have to admit what utter nonsense it is.