The Great Coronavirus Divide
Call it the Great Coronavirus Divide. If you’re on the political Right, you almost certainly believe that the government overreacted in closing down the American economy. If you’re on the Left, you believe we should keep America closed for the foreseeable future.
This is perfectly illustrated by a Michael Ramirez cartoon that shows Uncle Sam with two guns to his head. The gun on one side is labeled “LEFT” and is saying “CLOSE EVERYTHING.” The gun on the other side is labeled “RIGHT” and is saying “OPEN EVERYTHING.” The Ramirez cartoon says it all. There may be come crossover of opinion, but not much.
Folks, this is a VIRUS!
Are you hearing me? We can’t agree about a virus!
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised about this, but look at other issues. You can make a list. The Right supports life; the Left supports abortion on demand. The Right is suspicious of Climate Change; the Left is all-in. The Right typically believes that immigration should be tightly controlled; the Left is increasing intolerant of borders. It goes on and on like this. No wonder this country is splintered.
— Michael Ramirez (@Ramireztoons) April 28, 2020
Why would the political sides disagree about a virus?
Here’s what I think. If you notice, most things the Left is passionate about lead to more power for the Democratic Party and bigger government. The Left seems to like a strong central authority, and works to empower it. Climate Change is a great example of a so-called crisis that, if the Left gets its way, would make the federal government all-powerful. Unfettered immigration would lead to more votes for the Left, so that one makes sense if you’re buying my argument. Abortion is more nuanced. I think abortion-on-demand is simply a sacrament of radical feminism, and since that segment of the progressive movement is necessary for a leftist to get elected, all leftists must support it.
We call this “groupthink.”
It’s evident every night on CNN and MSNBC where virtually all guests are leftists and virtually all of them agree with the others. With the rise of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and the rest of “The Squad,” no dissent is allowed within Democratic ranks. This helped Bernie Sanders, and almost destroyed Joe Biden. But Biden is coming along. He’s already far more liberal than he was when he was vice president. Or than he was last week.
It follows that the “CLOSE EVERYTHING” crowd must believe that somehow this will defeat President Trump and put Biden office so that the central government can grow. Once you understand that, you can see where the sides are coming from.
There is an argument for a non-unified America.
One of our country’s smartest op-ed writers, Michael Barone, says that having a consensus has cost us dearly in the past. Barone points out that some of the Right and virtually everyone on the Left was behind the policy that led to the financial crash of 2008. The idea was to relax the rules for mortgages so that more people – including blacks and Hispanics who were hit hardest by the rules – could purchase houses.
So the rules were relaxed, and suddenly anyone could get a mortgage. It tuned out that the rules were not motivated by racial discrimination at all. People who got mortgages, but could not make the payments lost their houses and the United States was swept into a crisis. Blacks and Hispanics were seriously hit hardest.
In the current crisis, Barone says the consensus of opening up trade to China has bitten us in the rear – big time. Why is this obvious now, but was not obvious three months ago? Excellent question. Countries like Italy, Iran, and the United States got involved with China and became addicted to cheap consumer goods. This became such a good deal that we decided to make cellphones there and pretty much everything else. Apple and other Big Tech firms are entrenched there, and (as we recently learned) the National Basketball Association is in the tank for China. Look where this got us.
China lied and people died. Or if you’re on the Left, Trump lied and people died.
For the record, it was China that lied. We lost about 6 weeks of preparation because China put a lid on how dangerous the Wuhan Flu really is, and lied about every aspect of it. We can’t get too nasty with them because they make virtually all of our medicine. If they cut us off – we’re dead. Literally.
We’ve documented in this space how China has lied about this – and how CNN has joined forces with the NBA to kiss the butts of the communist tyrants. After all, to CNN, blasting Trump is what’s important, and to the NBA selling tickets and TV rights to a country of more than a billion people is all-important. We know because LeBron James got all upset when someone in the league told the truth about China and its crackdowns in Hong Kong.
There’s even a split on what to call the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) prefers COVID-19 for the disease and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) for the actual virus. Note that China and the American Left objects to calling it by a location name as we have done with other outbreaks such as Spanish Flu. Just try to call it the “Chinese Flu,” “the CCP virus,” or the “Wuhan Flu” and the Left will slap you down. To them, this is the “Trump Flu.”
The New York Times ran a headline (Sunday, April 19th), covering up for the Chi-Coms:
“GOP Aiming To Make China the Scapegoat”
The Mainstream media is siding with China. You will not get all the facts from these left-wing sources. But this headline does provide proof that the Left sees the novel coronavirus as a way to remove Trump from office. Otherwise, there is no explanation for such a headline. Thank God for FOX News’ Tucker Carlson, The Epoch Times, and other sources that are calling out China.
Perhaps Barone has a good point when he says two sides to an issue is a good thing.
We might have stopped the 2008 financial collapse had George W. Bush stood up to Barney Frank. But when issues are cast in racial terms, and nobody wants to be labeled racist, we get disasters such as the Sub-Prime meltdown.
Maybe more people should have asked – why is China in control of all our pharmaceuticals? Why are we allowing Chinese companies to buy American industries? Why is China in control of the new 5G technology? Why is China a most-favored-nation? Someone might have blown a whistle when President Obama failed to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile of masks, gowns, and ventilators following the swine flu epidemic.
Most political watchers have been grasshoppers and few have been ants.
It’s a good thing, then, that there are some differences of opinion – even on COVID-19. If the CNN/NYT model of “blame Trump” wins out, we’ll get Joe Biden and he will likely forgive China and we’ll be in deep doo-doo.
The Left seems to have concluded that a national lockdown is the best way to crash the economy completely by November 3rd. Perhaps, by then, the American people will have forgotten that Donald Trump presided over the best economy in the history of the United States. If so, they’ll install Joe Biden and we’ll be right back where we were with China, and where the economy was with Obama.
Remember, just one day after President Trump imposed travel restrictions on China, Biden accused him of “hysteria, xenophobia, and fearmongering.” Later on, Biden claimed to support the restrictions. Nancy Pelosi held a rally in San Francisco’s Chinatown on February 24 saying that America was “safe and sound.” At that time, it seemed more productive for progressives to disregard the coronavirus and accuse Trump of racism.
Now, it seems like the Left is embracing coronavirus and lockdowns as an even better way to get rid of Trump and elect Biden. Their inconsistency will be little noticed. It never is.
Meanwhile, many on the Right are protesting the lockdowns saying they are unconstitutional and are destroying businesses and jobs. Some states – mostly with Republican governors – are starting to open up. Who’s right? Both have a point. The virus is spread from person-to-person (something China lied about) and if you don’t want to catch it, you ought to shelter in place. If you believe that putting food on the table is also important – maybe even necessary to living – you may think the risk of reopening is worth it.
It would nice to think that our leaders could get together and find a happy medium. Let’s reopen and let young, healthy people get back to work and let’s get some herd immunity going. At the same time, let’s protect older people and those with underlying conditions. That’s logical. That makes sense. So don’t expect it to happen. What we’re seeing now is a crisis that some want to move past and that some want to use for political advantage. That’s why the Great Coronavirus Divide is split right down the middle.
Lynn Woolley is a Texas-based author, broadcaster, and songwriter.
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