Guest post: An end point to bad decisions going back decades

Originally a comment by Bruce Gorton on Worst ever.

Recently I heard a rant by Ben Shapiro. I generally avoid Shapiro, because I don’t like disingenuous little shits who think being captain of the debate club equals having an education, but still, I heard it.

Shapiro was going on about how workers who went on strike were just as bad as price gougers right now, and it struck me.

For years the US has had the most expensive medicine in the world. It has gotten so bad that prior to the lockdown, Americans were going to Mexico to buy diabetes medication.

So when it was not a pandemic, and people will die from lack of medication, Shapiro was absolutely fine with corporations doing the same thing he condemns workers for doing now.

And America has always been kind of stupid when it comes to healthcare. It has always treated healthcare as if it is a privilege, not a social necessity.

One of the things I watched as my country went into lockdown was Pandemic on Netflix, and part of what it went into was efforts to vaccinate migrants.

In December the New York Times reported that several doctors had been arrested during a protest – after they had been refused permission to vaccinate migrants.

In other words, Americans hate the idea of “illegals” benefiting from their tax dollars so much, they’re willing to compromise their own herd immunity over it. Hell, another character highlighted by the documentary was an awful anti-vaxer, who seemed to be a complete narcissistic idiot so focused on her bullshit idea of personal autonomy that she couldn’t fathom the idea of individuals having responsibilities to their communities.

For most of the series, it followed another woman working a 72 hour shift in a rural hospital where she was the only doctor on call. It struck me, they also showed doctors fighting Ebola in the Congo – and there was more than one doctor on duty over there.

American healthcare has been badly neglected for years, so I’m not sure that we can say that an outbreak like Covid-19 wasn’t inevitable. While prior presidents have put together response teams, those rural hospitals kept closing.

Having a response team sounds good and all, but they can’t magic up more hospitals on the spot. The basic infrastructure has been allowed to collapse.

Donald Trump is not only a bad president in and of himself, but an end point to bad decisions going back decades. Decisions driven by the constant need to try and cut taxes, as inflation meant that the stuff government needed to be doing became more expensive.

Everything where the impact wouldn’t be felt immediately, has been neglected and that is something I think somebody is going to have to address. In a lot of ways Donald Trump is everything wrong with American politics on steroids, including the tendency to ignore consequences in favour of short term electoral gains.

Trump is the mudslide at the end of years of erosion, when he leaves office, whether it is after this election or the next one, he is going to be leaving behind a mess. Whether Trump goes down as the worst president in US history is going to depend heavily on whether the next president is willing to go to the expense cleaning that mess up is going to entail.

The longer Trump remains, the worse it is going to be, and the more extreme the action required to fix it is going to be. Can the Democratic Party provide the radical course correction required? And can such a course correction win at the ballot box?

Comments are closed.