The U.S. government is certainly in the running for worst handling of coronavirus on earth. Where did this grotesque incompetence and indifference to human lives come from so suddenly?
What if it was always there?
What if it’s to be found in long-standing U.S. policies on environment, energy, labor, healthcare, education, and retirement?
What if U.S. policy on climate collapse is just as catastrophic as on coronavirus, but the clown car simply hasn’t yet reached the edge of the cliff it’s been barreling toward?
What if the scientists who are screaming that the Doomsday Clock is nearer midnight than ever before, that the earth is more likely than ever to experience nuclear apocalypse, don’t view U.S. nuclear policy as somehow wiser than U.S. coronavirus policy? What if we’re still here at all principally because of outrageously great luck that cannot possibly hold out much longer?
What if all the killing and destruction and all the restrictions on privacy and self-governance and activism and journalism established in the name of “fighting terrorism” have been part of a decades-long “war on terrorism” that has predictably (and it was predicted) increased terrorism?
What if the Russian and Chinese and North Korean and Cuban and Iranian and Venezuelan menaces haven’t been held off but rather propped-up, provoked, and puffed into purely fictional monsters by the same fascistic nitwits who are stumbling their way toward an earthly paradise for deadly viruses?
What if the idea that the nation that, in relation to its wealth and resources, performs far-and-away worst in the world in terms of life expectancy, health, happiness, equality, sustainability, and education has somehow fallen off the rails of perfection and professionalism is a delusional idea?
What if coronavirus denial is of a piece with climate denial, socialism denial, nonviolence denial, and nuclear denial?
What if returning to normal isn’t a stupid idea because normal was disastrous but because we have never left it?
What if bloody bumbling Joe Biden is not an important topic of debate so much as a distraction?
What if we need a revolution of values that takes crises seriously based on their seriousness rather than their immediacy?
What if we need tremendous outrage over the reckless discarding of lives based on the number of lives, not the date on which they are lost or the location in which they are lost or their demographics or details?
What if people who do not yet get it are the biggest hurdle standing in our way?
What if Zoom needs a shake-this-person-by-the-lapels button?
What is it going to take?