David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
10 Ways COVID-19 Shows The U.S. Has The Wrong Values

April 15, 2020

Trying to avoid the obvious ones, such as rejection of science or conspiracy theories, or even just the obvious frustration with people refusing to shelter in place. Let's look a little deeper at the embodiment of what this country cares about -- which is not the sanctity of human life.

#1 -- Don't Poop Where You Eat: Cruise ships with sick and dying Americans cannot dock in the U.S. because while headquartered in the United States, they are foreign-operated industries employing foreign workers.  President Trump is unwilling to fund another country's economic problem.  I can't believe I would ever write this, but in this case, don't simply blame Donald Trump. Blame a system that encourages companies to register in another country to AVOID PAYING THE TAXES that are meant to maintain an essential society.  (Source here.)

#2 -- You Can Tug On Superman's Cape: Health Care officials risking their lives and limbs to take care of the sick and dying -- in record numbers because of any of the other 9 freaking reasons on this list -- are dealing with violence to themselves and their properties.  All because people in this country only care about themselves and hate that their community member taking care of the sick and dying might be spreading the virus. I bet these are the same jerks at Lowe's every day looking for 2x4's and petunias.  (Source here.)

#3 -- When Primary Colors Show: Wisconsin's primary. Really, enough said.  Don't bullsh*t me with arguments about the sanctity of the voting booth. It was an entirely political maneuver to ask thousands of citizens to risk their health to vote in person because there are concerns about absentee or mail-in ballots. This is at a time when the Supreme Court is now working remotely.  I call shenanigans.  (Source here.)

#4 -- You Can (Not) Count On Me President Trump now says he wants to delay the 2020 census to make sure it is done "accurately."  A "one-day" election in Wisconsin can be done accurately, but a mostly via mail several-month long census can't be done "accurately" is the epitome of how politics matter more in this country than the will of the people. (Source here.)

#5 -- The Show Must Go On Dinner Theater: We are even willing to sacrifice our food sources for capitalism.  South Dakota, one of 7 states to still not issue "stay-at-home" orders, ends up closing a pork processing plant because 238 of their workers have contracted COVID-19.  That's almost as many as the entire freaking state of Alaska, which is lucky enough to have natural 6 foot barriers (or more) between their citizens.  At a time when we all know how serious the virus is, openly allowing potential contamination of both the company's workers and the food product they produce is criminal. But nothing will happen because, God forbid, we don't keep our businesses open. (Source here.)

#6 -- Have No Fear, Florida Man Is Here: In the you can't make this crap up category, Florida's governor wants to declare the World Wrestling Federation an "essential business."  I am tempted to say ONLY IN FLORIDA, but these days that is not giving due (lack of) credit to many other states.  (Source here.)

#7 -- It's So Much More Attractive Inside The Moral Kiosk: We only care about the economy when it fits our narrow moral view.  Arkansas dentists can perform routine dental procedures, while the Governor has shut down the state's only Abortion clinic deemed "not immediately necessary to protect the life of the patient."  Note, for all of you pro-lifers ready to tar and feather me, I am not arguing for a pro-choice decision here. There are plenty of legal (as much as they can be) ways to make abortion illegal, but to hype the hypocrisy that any dental procedure is "immediately necessary to protect the life of the patient" shows that our commitment to capitalism is much more important than our commitment to a moral stance about life and death -- the death of people exposed to the virus. (Source here.)

#8 -- An Idea For A Benefit Concert: This one is too easy and almost didn't make the list.  All of these layoffs mean thousands, if not millions, more without health insurance now.  That is really going to be better for this country? Oh, that's right, we're not interested in what is better for the country, only for the wealthy insurance companies. (Source here.)

#9 --Un-Seeded: This one is almost the opposite of too easy. In Michigan, liquor, marijuana and lottery sales have been termed essential.  I'd be a hypocrite if I said that I was unhappy that liquor wasn't banned, so I won't go there. But since Michigan's governor also banned the sale of seeds, in essence, you can't grow your own marijuana but feel free to go buy it (costing you so much more than planting your own).  That's one that even the biggest stoner would scratch his head over. (Source here.)

#10 -- Comrade, good idea: Farmers are destroying perfectly good food because of the lack of demand for their product from restaurants.  Luckily there are some not-for-profits willing to step in to try and channel that food to food banks to help the needy. Why do we need a not-for-profit, volunteer group to do this?  What are we, Stalinist Russia, where we would rather let food go to waste than create a systematic way to get the food to people who can use it?  (Source here.)

Over and over, these examples show us putting capitalism before human concern, politics before kindness, protection of the wealthy before care of the poor. The crank has been raised a level since The 4 Horsemen Quartet.  Imagine how I might be come the dog days of August.