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David Rothkopf+ Your Authors @djrothkopf Proud father of J & L, husband of C, CEO, TRG, host, Deep State Radio; next book-"Traitor: A History of American Betrayal from Benedict Arnold to Donald Trump." Mar. 26, 2020 3 min read + Your Authors

Sometime, tomorrow probably, the US will pass China to become the country w/the most reported cases of COVID-19. China has surely undercounted. But so have we. Our absence of tests means our real number is much much higher. This has become the US's pandemic, the American virus.

But whereas China is associated with the disease because it started there, we will be associated with the disease because our president's serial errors of judgement and policy allowed it to flourish here as nowhere else. Further, his lies and denial of responsibility...

...have triggered devastating economic consequences here which even the $2 trillion rescue package passed by the Senate will not offset. There will be more packages to come. Further Americans will continue to suffer and die because of our broken healthcare system.

Americans will struggle and succumb because we have the weakest social safety net of any developed country. These are not accidents. These are the long-standing deliberate policy choices made by the GOP & US corporate power-brokers to ensure even more benefits flow to the few.

For decades they have promoted the idea that government is the problem and that markets would take care of everything. Periodically, when markets turned bad, they would waive their vaunted "principles" and "values" to demand handouts that would help those who need help the least.

Sadly, despite some measures for average Americans, the current $2T grab-bag of rescue programs contains much that will benefit companies for whom the markets harsh justice really is the best outcome...and too little for the Americans who most need relief.

Nothing is being done about the systemic flaws that have made this crisis so devastating here. But someday, one hopes, a gov't that is more open to analysis based on facts, science & reality will conclude not only did Trump make devastating errors in his handling of this crisis..

..but that decades of wrong-priorities & flawed ideology (on the part of the right & also, if we are honest, thanks to compromises made by centrists) have left the US especially vulnerable to public health crises like this one & related acute associated economic & social pain.

We will realize this causes human suffering but it also weakens us immeasurably as a country. We have great resources. We have heroic healthcare workers. We have dedicated public servants. But we also have a system that allows politics to undermine all that.

So we have three challenges ahead: For the country to weather this crisis largely without the benefit of any effective federal leadership and despite serious federal misjudgment. For us to remove the leaders who turned this challenge into a debacle.

And then, importantly, to join the other developed nations of the world in promulgating programs that ensure our health and safety and our resilience in the face of the types of crises and challenges we are certain to face again in the future-be they in the areas of health,

climate-crisis related disaster relief, market shocks,cyber or biowarfare attack, etc. Horrifically bad as his leadership has been, this is not all about Trump. This is about a broken American system that is ill-positioned to provide the most basic forms of service to its people.

This crisis has revealed, as @EdwardGLuce says in his excellent column in today's Financial Times, the wrong kind of American exceptionalism. But absent these needed changes, it is the kind of costly exceptionalism, the kind that defines the outlier status of faltering nations...

that have lost step with progress, are out of touch with the moment or the needs of their citizens...the kind of dangerous devastating exceptionalism which will define us in years to come.
The choice is ours to make. It may not be available to us in just a few short years.

Here is a link to Ed's article: 

You can follow @djrothkopf.


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