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.
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“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.