Great article by John Alexander.
“If there is one crisis that shows national populism and race realism were needed, this should have been it.
The coronavirus emerged from strange, disgusting foreign folkways. (Even Bill Maher is with me on wet markets.) Economic globalization allowed the virus’s spread. American intelligence is seriously investigating whether the virus started in a Chinese lab and not a wet market. I’m unsure which possibility is worse. There are also good reasons to believe China has not “defeated” the virus and there are secondary infections and new hotspots.
A multi-racial, multicultural, self-hating society is incapable of grappling with a pandemic or other national challenge. Pursuing a “common good,” even survival, is impossible when we can’t agree on who to trust or even who constitutes “we.” Many Americans know they are being lied to. They know they are being oppressed. They know there is a hostile governing class. However, they don’t agree on who is oppressing, ruling, and lying to them. Without agreement on basic principles, no collective action is possible.
Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic didn’t reveal the futility of globalism. It exposed the futility of American nationalism. There is no American nation anymore, just squabbling tribes. I’d like to think President Trump could have reforged our identity with strong action, including America First trade policies, an immigration moratorium, and stringent social distancing policies. He’d still have faced opposition, but it would have been marginalized. But he didn’t do this. Instead, he obeyed the braindead neoliberalist dogma of the so-called conservative movement.”
The COVID-19 pandemic was bungled and transformed into just another culture war shitshow by the liberal Right. Americans can no longer agree on even the most basic facts even about natural phenomena like pandemics. We’ve experienced one of the greatest losses of life in American history and even that hasn’t been enough to temporarily break us out of our national malaise.
Suppose that Trump had managed to overcome his own massive defects as a leader and had reacted like Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Australia:
“There are, there are no blues teams or red teams or, there are no more unions or bosses. There are just Australians now, that’s all that matters. An Australian national interest and all Australians working together. And I thank all of those that are coming together in that spirit. …
But we now need to make the changes that have been made, work. That is so important. There is a new normal here in Australia and it is one that we now need to get used to and settle into for that haul over the next 6 months. That is something that will go against the grain for so many, but we adapt. We can change the way we live, but it doesn’t change who we are and what I have seen from Australians in so many cases is exactly that sort of attitude.”
The borders were closed.
The lockdown was done early.
102 people died in Australia from COVID-19.
Scott Morrison now has a record 66% approval rating.
All he had to do was to be the nationalist he pretended to be in 2016 for one month in his presidency and he would be coasting to reelection after consolidating “National Populism.”