Lessons in Consequences

Politics is war. War is politics.

Everything is a battle. Good versus evil. Black versus white. Democrat versus Republican. Force someone else to do something he doesn’t want to do. Or try to stop him from forcing you. The only goal is to win.

If life were that simple, perhaps even Washington Post reporters and members of Congress could understand it.

But it is not.

Blame game

We’ve spoken about the fact that the fight between Republicans and Democrats is a distraction. A fake out. A sideshow designed to keep Americans entertained by trivialities and diverted by non-sequiturs, while the real show — ripping off the public — goes unremarked.

We take up the theme again today…

If there is a flood in New Orleans, it’s because Republicans have blocked desperately-needed climate change mitigation measures. Fires in California? Ditto.

And were our proud warriors stabbed in the back in Afghanistan? Were our jobs stolen by the Chinese? Are we now facing an economic and fiscal cataclysm?

Hey, that must be the fault of the Democrats, no?

According to the popular narrative, everything is either the Democrats’ fault…or the Republicans’ fault — depending on which team you’re rooting for.

Red versus blue

Even the death toll from COVID-19?

Yes…at first, it looked like the Democrats had brought it on themselves, like the Genoese traders, who brought the Plague to Europe. Hardest hit were the ‘blue’ states, such as New York and California.

Here’s a Law & Liberty report from April 2020:

When controlling for the differences in population across states, the number of deaths from coronavirus is over three times higher in states with Democratic governors than in states with Republican governors. As of Sunday, April 26, states with Republican governors have experienced 57.53 coronavirus deaths per million of population, states with Democratic governors have 179.74 deaths per million of population. Even excluding the state of New York as an extreme outlier, states with Democratic governors have 138.58 deaths per million from coronavirus, still over twice as many coronavirus deaths per million as deaths in states with Republican governors.

Republicans sneered at their masked-up cousins in the blue states.

But the virus didn’t stop at the New York state line. It soon made its way to the red states.

Then it was widely reported that the Republicans were the ones who deserved to die.

Some commentators even went as far as to say that Republican governors of Texas and Florida were ‘killing’ their citizens by failing to enforce Dr Fauci’s latest recommendations. Here’s The National Memo of 11 July 2021:

The childish narcissism and prideful ignorance of the American right — as personified in its idol, former President Donald Trump — have transformed “conservatism” into a public health menace. Republicans in office and their media echoes are the principal obstacles to vaccinating enough Americans to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19, which would be awful even if their gullible audiences were the only potential victims.

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No party affiliation

Well, guess what? COVID-19 doesn’t really seem to care who you vote for. Look at the deaths per state. The results are all over the place.

Mississippi (Rep) and New Jersey (Dem), for example, have very little in common…except that they have the highest death rates in the country — over 300 per 100,000 of the population.

Likewise, Vermont (Dem), Hawaii (Dem), and Alaska (Rep) are hardly ideological soulmates…but they have needed the fewest caskets — below 100 per 100,000 of the population.

Texas — scarlet in colour — has a lower death toll than Massachusetts (Dem) or New York (Dem), despite Governor Abbott’s attempts at mass murder. Florida (Rep), too.

What probably happens is the obvious thing.

You can slow the movement of a virus by closing borders, social distancing, masking, etc — especially if you are relatively isolated, geographically, such as places like Hawaii and Alaska.

But then your population is virgin territory for the disease. Sooner or later, you have to open up…and in comes the lusty bug.

Lesson in consequences

The most remarkably revealing opinion appeared this week in Salon:

To be blunt, white privilege has long shielded many conservatives from the concept of facing consequences for their actions. We see this in a lot of obnoxious right-wing behavior lately, from tantrums over COVID-19 mitigation measures in public places to the attempted insurrection on January 6. Who can forget how many of the arrested Trump supporters expressed genuine shock that they might actually face a legal consequence for participating in a violent effort to overthrow democracy? This lack of familiarity with consequences is likely why there are so many holdouts, even in the face of vaccine mandates.

The Salon piece goes on to say that it’s not enough to watch the anti-vaxxers ‘pay with their lives’…not while the rest of us ‘are suffering because of Trumpist hubris.

And there’s no point in scaring them with the threat of death. Why? Because they’re not going to die! Here’s the quote:

The problem with highlighting COVID-19 deaths to scare the Trumpers straight, however, is that they can always tell themselves that they’re not going to be the ones who die since 98.4% of people in the U.S. do survive.

That’s right, they’re not going to die because the disease is only dangerous to a few people. According to figures in New York Magazine, an 85-year-old is 10,000 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than a 10-year-old.

We know who needs protection. We know too, that natural ‘herd immunity’ is much more effective than vaccine immunity. And we believe that a person who has submitted to the jab has little to fear from those who have not.

So…why the vaccine mandates? Salon explains it in their headine: ‘Trump fans are overdue for a lesson in consequences’.

Get it? The argument is no longer about how to keep people safe. It’s just politics.

It’s time to teach the bastards a lesson!


Bill Bonner,
For The Rum Rebellion

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Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries.

A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities.

Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally.

With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance.

Bill has been a weekly contributor to The Rum Rebellion.

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