When asked her view of the Coronavirus crisis, one centenarian, isolated at an eldercare facility in the Midwest, explained, “I was a nurse in World War II, and we knew exactly what we were doing and why. What makes this so different is the constant uncertainty.”
“It’s nice to know the wisdom of age still lives,” notes Daniel Henninger in the WSJ.
In a video that ran with this column a few weeks ago, a survivor of the 1918 flu pandemic (he died in 2007) said life didn’t become normal for several years.
And then the Roaring Twenties happened.
The Polarization of Politics
No matter that the coronavirus is like a sci-fi alien invasion across America become reality, there’s no way to turn off the daily artillery barrages of political war, from the nation’s leadership to citizens intensely pounding bile and mockery into websites and social-media platforms.
This is the virus that won’t stop killing the country.
President Trump, amid details of the virus-response plan, said, “I don’t like” the governor of Washington, while Nancy Pelosi likened the president to Nero and promised a “review,” a k a, impeachment.
So be it. If this is the hard reality, then it is not too soon to focus on the terms of battle in the coming post-coronavirus war for control of the country’s long-term direction.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, economist Stephanie Kelton argues that the coronavirus rescue suggests other policies are possible – for example, the cancellation of medical debt.
In other words, the Pelosi-Schumer delay of the rescue package over non-germane demands was about clearing a path to a larger ideological argument, and victory, once this crisis is over.
The administration is proposing to take equity stakes in air carriers, but some on the left are suggesting that the logical next step is simply to nationalize them.
Restructuring to Fit Democratic Socialism
A federally led policy is appropriate in a national crisis like this. But once it passes, the issue will be whether to revert to the freest private economy we had in a generation or whether deeper, explicit social direction and economic protections by the national government are justified.
That implies a modified but persistent path toward democratic socialism.