Amazingly, America has become a nation of socialists, asking in dismay: “Where’s the government?”
These are not born-again Bernie Sanders activists, but everyday people of all political stripes (including previously apolitical multitudes) who’re now clamoring for big government intervention in their lives. Nothing like a spreading coronavirus pandemic to bring home the need that all of us have – both as individuals and as a society – for an adequately-funded, fully-functioning, competent government capable of serving all. Instead, in our moment of critical national need, Trump’s government was a rickety medicine show run by a small-minded flimflammer peddling laissez-fairyland snake oil.
“We have it totally under control,” Trump pompously declared after the first US case was confirmed in January. For weeks, as the pandemic spread out of control, he did nothing – an increasingly anxious public found that they couldn’t even get reliable test kits from Trump’s hollowed-out government health agencies. Still, he shrugged off all concern and responsibility: “By April, you know, in theory,” he said, “when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” Not exactly a can-do Rooseveltian response to a national crisis!
By March the inconvenient fact of a rising death toll exposed this imposter of a president as incompetent, uncaring… and silly. That complete absence of White House leadership is why a deadly pathogen is now raging practically everywhere across our land, unknown millions of us are being infected, a “closed indefinitely” sign has literally been hung on the American economy, and even our people’s social and civic interactions – the essence of community life – have been halted.
Right-wing politico Grover Norquist once said he wanted a government so small “I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Trump has shown us what such a small-minded government looks like. And what it costs us.