Daniel McCarthy writes in Spectator USA:
COVID-19, the Wuhan virus, is an epidemiological scourge — but it’s also a clarifying catalyst for American politics. The virus’s relevance for globalization has been widely noted: this disease of Chinese origin has exposed how incapable the de-industrialized West has become of providing its own masks, drugs, and ventilators.
It has highlighted the class divide that globalization produces within countries such as America as well. The highly educated professional classes can work from home, and their jobs are relatively secure; the service class, on the other hand—the waiters and cooks and hotel maids and retail clerks and others — are out of their jobs and shit out of luck. Not to worry: the professional class will write all of them checks for $1,200.
Neoconservative foreign policy unites Democrats like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton with Republicans like George W. Bush and John McCain — all of whom backed the Iraq war in 2003. As Bush made clear in his second inaugural address the following year, the neoconservatives and other liberals expected the war to bear sweet fruit ‘because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind … the longing of the soul.’ Destroying Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical regime would therefore almost inevitably lead to liberal democracy.
Yet what COVID-19 has uncovered is a longing for something very different from freedom among the very people who make a habit out of claiming that freedom is a universal human aspiration. Progressive Americans and NeverTrump Republicans have been united in calling for strict lockdown measures, including against churches. When it comes to their reaction to COVID, these anti-Trump Republicans and Biden Democrats prefer policies much closer to those of authoritarian China than to those of democratic Sweden.