COVID-19 becomes a political disease

Just as the coronavirus begins to wane, another dangerous pathogen is infecting America – COVID-19 politics.

In the early days of the pandemic, state governors walked in lockstep, ordering lockdowns to mitigate coronavirus infections and safeguard hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients.

Now that the number of new cases is flattening, politics are taking over, with states veering in different directions.  Science no longer appears to be in the driver’s seat.

Blue states are extending stay-at-home orders, while red states are opening for business.

Two playbooks are in motion. 

Red states are scrambling to revive the economy as quickly as possible, to get people back to work so they can feed their families.  They fear the country, already facing a recession, may spiral into a depression if too little is done, too late. 

Blue states say they are continuing quarantines to save lives, putting the nation’s economic recovery on the back burner.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said there’s “no cost that is too high to save any one precious life.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is locking down the nation’s second largest city for another three months and said it won’t fully reopen until a vaccine becomes available. 

The endgame for the red and blue states is the November election.

If the economy has stopped bleeding and unemployment numbers are improving, giving hope for a return to normal, the public will likely reward President Trump with a second term.

But if storm clouds remain on the horizon, with the economy sputtering or worse, offering little hope the crisis will soon end, the public may hold the president responsible and vote for new leadership to steer America to safety.

It’s not hard to believe that some Democrats are rooting for the worst.  It was just eight months ago that comedian Bill Maher said he hoped America would suffer a recession.  “I really do,” he enthused. “We have survived many recessions.  We can’t survive another Donald Trump term.”

Democrats had few cards to play regarding the economy prior to the pandemic. Unemployment was at a historic low for African Americans, women, and Hispanics.  The numbers have since flipped. Unemployment now is at a historic high, dealing the Democrats back into the game.  This November, it will be “It’s the economy, stupid” all over again.

Given the political advantages that accrue to the Democrats from a poorly performing economy, the question arises, “Are blue states extending lockdowns to purposely delay an economic recovery, as a means to unseat President Trump?

This may seem cruelly cynical, but far leftists once bankrupted New York City to try to enact their socialist agenda. The political strategy was crafted by socialist academics Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.  New York City, at the time, was providing very generous welfare benefits, but not everyone who was eligible to receive them was enrolled.  Cloward and Piven published an article explaining how this situation could be exploited to create a political crisis that “could lead to legislation for a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.”

Far left activists embraced the strategy.  Over the next several years, they boosted the number of single-parent households on welfare from 4.3 million to over 10.8 million.  New York City could not afford the additional cost and was forced into bankruptcy in 1975.

This sad incident offers an important teaching moment.  Far leftists are willing to do just about anything – including willfully destroying the economic wellbeing of the largest city in America – to advance their socialist policies.  Given this history, it’s not a stretch to think the blue states might implement a Cloward-Piven strategy to impair America to advance their political standing in the November election.

Of course, the blue states will never acknowledge such a diabolical scheme exists and will argue their decision to continue the quarantines is necessary to save lives.  

The political lines are already forming.  As the economy worsens, and it will, expect red states to place blame on blue states for waiting too long to reopen businesses, killing off jobs that otherwise would have been saved.  Blue states will fight back, condemning red states and President Trump for opening businesses too early, causing the death of thousands of Americans.

In the midst of the political furor that’s building, don’t be surprised if a wild card changes everything.  Some examples:

·         The Trump Administration is moving at “warp speed” to bring viable treatments and vaccines to market to counter the coronavirus.  Successfully doing so will allow America to return to normal and derail the Democrat playbook.

·         Some epidemiologists are predicting a second COVID-19 wave this fall.  If states are forced again to shutdown businesses, it will deepen the economic crisis and play into the hands of the blue states.

·         Obamagate.  In the 1974 election, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Republicans lost 49 seats in the House and four seats in the Senate.  It could happen again, with the tables turned.   Expect Democrats to utilize the “coronavirus defense” and claim the issue is a smokescreen to divert the public’s attention from the Trump Administration’s “mismanagement” of the coronavirus outbreak.

America, already overwhelmed by the Wuhan coronavirus and its destructive path, is sure to see its political temperature rise in the coming months due to the election, compounding the public’s maladies.  Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine to protect them from COVID-19 politics and sheltering-in-place will not forestall its transmission.

Image credit: Minh Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons

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