When you demand that businesses reopen immediately and the stay-at-home order ends, and when you are saying the “cure is worse than the disease,” you are basically saying that our country doesn’t work anymore and can’t work anymore.
You are saying that the country that defeated Hitler; that went to the moon; that has created extraordinary technology and vibrant art; and that has tried to created a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, pluralistic society that, however much it fails to live up to its ideals, is still widely respected in the world for the attempt, is no longer capable of dealing with a crisis in a way that protects our lives AND restores our economy in a way that is fair to all of us.
There are countries in the world that cannot protect their citizens’ lives and economic future (and if we could help ourselves we could, and should, help them.) But the United States is so wealthy and has so much productive capacity that we can easily borrow enough money to ensure that everyone gets through this crisis whole; that our economy is rebuilt in a fair and inclusive way; that once the rate of increase in the disease has been drastically reduced we can identify and trace the contacts of everyone who gets it thus reducing the necessity of further business closures; and that we can marshall the resource to find treatments and a vaccine in record speed.
We are doing very little of that. And rather than joining those of us who are demanding an effective response to the COVID-19 epidemic, those who say we should reopen the economy immediately to protect their so-called “rights,” are simply willing to give up. They don’t think we have the capacity to protect people from getting the disease or dying from it. They don’t care if tens of thousands of people die unnecessarily from the disease itself or from an overwhelmed health care system. They don’t care about the frontline workers who are putting themselves at risk and deserve protection.
And when they say only the old or the sick or those with preexisting conditions get the disease or die they are proclaiming that the lives and well-being of the members of this political community mean nothing to them; that they are both unwilling to make some sacrifice to protect them or to work together to lift our whole community up.
They wave the American flag. But they don’t believe in this county and our ideals. They profess to be Christians but they have rejected the basic teachings of their faith. They claim to be patriots but fail to understand that this country was built through the common effort of all not selfishness and greed.
They are losers who have no faith in this Republic or its ideals or its people.
And if we fail to stand up to them, it truly will be the end of all those things.