Power looks, to use a favorite Trump word, “nasty” when it’s arrogant.
The Mayo Clinic currently has a requirement that everyone who enters and works there or is a patient must wear a mask. Our Vice President decided he didn’t need to do that – the only person in all those photo ops not wearing a mask. That’s arrogance in living color.
Our President plays a medical expert on television, recommending bleach in lieu of a previously recommended malaria drug. From his podium, itself a symbol of power, he derides men, but mostly women, for doing their jobs. He has implied that shortages in PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment) are the result of medical staff reselling them. He brags about himself, while criticizing the governors he’s made engage in an expensive Hunger Wars variation for ventilators. He rates his Administration’s performance during the pandemic as a “Ten.” That’s arrogance.
Power in the streets can also be arrogant. What message are the Open Up Movement people, apparent descendants of the modern Tea Party, sending? It’s one of self-importance, of “what I want trumps what is best for the nation as a whole.” Yet, it’s not opinion they’re debating, it’s science. More people will get sick and more people will die if we try to start an economy in the midst of an epidemic. These people, many of them Right to Lifers (another phrase for “We Must Control Women’s Bodies”), have a curious notion of what living means.
Interviewed on television, mob members say they believe our President when he argues that the cure may be worse than the disease. They think the numbers infected and dead are inflated, the health experts are Deep State conspirators, and the mainstream press is, of course, fake news. Their scientific lodestars are Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, none of whom are scientists.
These Open ‘Er Uppers cloak their desire to mingle in the midst of a pandemic in liberty language, their anger in righteousness. But unlike the Tea Partiers, who focused their ire on members of minority populations (immigrants, both legal and undocumented; people of color; the working poor; experts), these folks are willing to sacrifice anyone who disagrees with them. And polling suggests the vast majority of Americans do disagree. Unfortunately, there are some wealthy people, who know better, willing to bankroll them and their ilk, because their activities sow discord, help their bottom lines, and distract from what is a truly horrible situation, thereby politically helping Trump World.
Their ears are closed to the reflections of frontline health workers; their hearts are shut to the well-being of their most fragile fellow citizens. Their minds long ago diverged from a fact-based reality into a twilight zone of misinformation, innuendo, and self-satisfied certainties. Their arrogance is palpable.
Ironically, some of them are also anti-vaxxers, when it is the discovery and widespread application of a COVID-19 specific vaccination that will get us out of our current predicament. Such is the state of what was once considered the greatest nation on earth.