Original source: http://gunshowcomic.com/648
To us, it seems outrageous to listen to an entire body of scientific experts, but then still turn around and privilege economy over what will probably be six or seven figures worth of lives. We can't even image allowing millions of needless deaths so our economy will get back up and running (which it won’t do anyway if there are millions of needless deaths).
But the NORTH star––the main guiding principle––of conservative ideology in this country is "Fuck Liberals." If science has some questions about creationism and grave concerns about global warming that might require some regulations, "fuck science." If the truth keeps being inconvenient, and the media insists on reporting it, "fuck the media."
And Republican leadership, to their eternal shame, have chosen to exploit this instead of build a cohesive ideology that can incorporate facts. They encouraged Fox news to be basically the propaganda arm of the Republican party instead of a news network, and enjoyed the political expediency of assuming science was wrong.
And it worked!
It worked SO well that it became their most distinguishing feature. Out of a field of twenty, they picked as their avatar and leader the pathological liar who doesn't so much make any cogent or salient point as talk about how smart and great he is and slavishly attack everyone around him who hurts his fee-fees. The guy who literally bragged about his LACK of integrity on the campaign trail when he wasn't putting his bigotry front and center.
Because "fuck liberals."
And sure enough, his huge-yet-diaphanous ego and contempt for the media and science became the holy trinity on display as he wasted precious times. Because sadly this is like driving an old car without power steering and power brakes and power everything––the result is delayed from the action. Where we are RIGHT NOW is a result of what we were doing about three weeks ago.
Which, of course, every epidemiologist already knew. And told us. And jumped up and down. And screamed. And were kind enough to explain exactly what we needed (like widespread testing and numbers beginning to dip) to lift the restrictions.
Cheerfully ignored because "fuck liberals." And like every person or institution who says something Trump doesn't want to hear (regardless of its demonstrable veracity), he attacked the WHO for pointing out that we aren't anywhere CLOSE to ready.
So Republicans lasted pretty much almost exactly the three weeks it would take to see progress from the efforts we made in March.
And proceeded to ignore the body of medical experts who said exactly that and that we were not out of the woods. (Because fuck liberals.)
ALREADY they want to reopen everything––it's all better, right?
They think the scientists and media are overblowing the threat (to attack Trump). They think shelter in place is just some overcautious bullshit that only liberals and liberal scientists and liberal media want (because we all enjoy wondering how we're going to pay rent, I guess). So now the progress we have eked out in flattening the curve BECAUSE we were social distancing and Sh.I.P.-ing is about to be lost––because like everything else in the environment Republicans created, Covid-19 (and particularly its response) was insta-politicized.
Sadly Republicans have the power in a lot of situations. And where Trump lacks the “absolute authority” of two days ago, he is now writing tweets of stochastic terrorism that the people in swing states with Democratic governors should be “liberated”— liberated from their democratically elected governments I guess. Republicans have the authority in MANY places to lift restrictions, and even folks who are aware of the danger and who think that sacrificing millions on the altar of the Dow Jones Industrial Average can get bent are going to have to decide if they're going to go back to work or get fired.
Perhaps the worst part is that we won't be able to see the "hotspot" consequences of what they are doing until about three weeks from now. Long after it will be too late for the measures that can still work early (like Sh.I.P.) to be effective.
Because instead of a paradigm that could handle facts and work within the margins of what is demonstrably true, Republican leadership found it politically expedient to make the defining characteristic of conservatism "fuck liberals."