The GOP stance that we must tolerate deaths, tens of thousands of deaths, is a manifestation of the grotesque form of economic and social Darwinism that lies at the heart of their worldview.
But we shouldn't underestimate how many people when asked to choose between having a roof over their head or letting others die will choose their own self-interest. The choice seems existential, us or them, & they are grateful their leaders are giving them cover for their views.
This doesn't justify it. Indeed, it's an indictment of the our society's values, of the misguided degree to which we place the individual before the community & of the degree to which too many of us fail to realize that economic recovery can't happen w/o defeating the virus.
Opening too early will, as we know, cause greater public health and economic devastation. But like all demagogues, Trump & the GOP are capitalizing on strong human impulses to drive their agenda--which is not about recovery but about winning re-election support.
Trump and the GOP want to say they fought for the economy but were deterred by Democrats. They want to make the death toll secondary, a cost of doing business. They think they can win that way, facts, science & morality be damned. Likely, they will not.
But as we confront them and work to beat them at the polls, it is worth trying to understand that which makes the unthinkable in their position acceptable to so many tens of millions of our neighbors. And then we must vigorously reject and soundly defeat them and their indecency.
You can follow @djrothkopf.
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