The Other Pandemic - Moral Decay.

I spotted this on social media the other day:

"Fascinated by how the behaviour of people who took 3 slices of pizza at the pizza party because they thought it would run out and the behaviour of people who took 1 slice for the exact same reason is such a perfect encapsulation of American beliefs about community."

I'm sure it's a gag, a jest, but is it? Could it be real, another example of how we're losing social cohesion at the very moment we need it most?

Greed is normal. Beggar thy neighbour could have been an apt description of Trump's trade policy. These ideas flourish in a one-dimensional, black and white mind where critical thinking is dismissed as burdensome. It fuels moral decline.

The election was stolen. With the ouster of Liz Cheney, the Big Lie has become the official mantra of the Republican Party. No matter that Trump strolls bare-assed across the stage. They will all swoon over the exquisite cut of his regal garments.  

No matter that the Department of Justice, long harnessed into the service of Donald J. Trump, scrutinized the voting and found the election free and fair. No matter that Trump's hand-picked and obsequious attorney general said his Master's claims were bunk. No matter that some 60 law suits to derail the election were dismissed for absolute want of evidence. No matter that state election officials recounted the ballots and found no irregularities.  Those are facts and no mountain of facts can prevail over the insane ramblings of a pathological liar, the sociopath who still holds the reins of power over the GOP.

Congressional Republicans and the GOP hierarchy aren't mad, not most of them anyway. Their failure is one of moral decay. It infects the party on Capitol Hill and in state houses across America. It has become their modus operandi, their stock in trade. They have weaponized it and deployed it to great effect against their very own, Trump's base, the Gullibillies.

Not only are they dishing out horseshit but they're convincing their supporters that it's tasty.  They choose to follow the Grifter-in-Chief's lead.

Lincoln warned that a house divided against itself cannot stand. When half the house stands on a foundation of sandy belief and the other on rock-solid fact, isn't it but a matter of time and circumstance before it falls?

The current scientific consensus is that the current decade, the 2020s, will be very difficult. Less so for the latitudinally blessed in the temperate zones. Hellishly worse for those in tropical/equatorial regions. In a world in which everything, even the climate emergency, is so politicized, this could be nightmarish. In a world in which even the affluent nations are divided into warring camps, tribes, we will be without the agility and resolve to effectively respond. I'm sure the ancient Greeks would have made a lovely tragedy out of this. Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.

This regression into tribal camps transfers political power up, from the many to the few. In the Republican Party that is one man, perhaps the worst man to entrust with such power. Yet is a similar process not taking hold elsewhere, even here?

For most of us, Covid-19 has been the most dislocative event of our lifetimes. We've all given up a great deal over the past 15 months. We have made sacrifices, our governments have raided the treasuries, but no one really knows what the aftermath will look like. I've yet found a convincing argument that we're going back to normalcy as we knew it on New Years Eve 2020. Rarer still are suggestions that we will emerge stronger rather than diminished.

Unlike a major war, we're not coming out of this catastrophe, more united or with a renewed moral purpose. Maybe we should start thinking about that.

Comments

  1. Well then, let's get started.
    All we grateful Canadians should unite in our thanks to the federal gov't on the vaccine file. And kudos to the provinces that are getting the jabs in our arms.

    Yesterday, the proportion of Canadians (1st-shot) vaccinated, exceeded the proportion of the Americans with their 1st shot. Despite their head-start, the vaccine hesitant social climate in the USA could sabotage their recovery.

    Our Feds had no domestic vaccine development or production capacity (lots of blame to go around on that as we know). So they over-paid and sourced multiple vaccines. Now with he AZ controversy (and I'll gladly get my 2nd AZ anytime) this strategy is hindsight-vindicated. (Capitalist consumers want CHOICE, don't ya know!)

    This time last year we thought the 1st wave was the worst and the vaccine was years away.
    Thank you to medical science & our Canadian Gov'ts for getting the country vaccinated less than 18 months after the emergence of a novel, deadly, highly infectious disease.

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    Replies
    1. Well, NPoV, you set the bar about as low as it can go. Once you're down there everything looks like blue sky.

      Delete
  2. The Republicans have confirmed that voters who make up their base have crossed the line into a fantasy of the blindest followership, wherein they believe that they are part of the team. In the case of the trashing of Liz Cheney, the party has sent forth its apologists with instructions to offer publicly the explanation that, though Cheney may be correct in her assessment of the destruction being wrought by Trump, it's important that she be ignored for the sake of party unity. It's so important that nothing else matters.

    That this strategic back-room stuff is being broadcast in a forum of the commons would stink of desperation in a conventional situation. Sixty, or maybe as little as forty, years ago, the people they're appealing to wouldn't even bother to vote. But now they're among the most zealous in ensuring they do. They think they're on the team. The party has them, regardless of what it says or does, as long as it can keep the wires in their heads tied up in knots. Trump's current contribution is key to that. Spiro Agnew probably didn't know how right he was.

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    Replies
    1. "Sixty, or maybe as little as forty, years ago, the people they're appealing to wouldn't even bother to vote. But now they're among the most zealous in ensuring they do."

      E Pluribus Unum is finis, having been superseded by tribalism. Yes, they turn out to the polls but it's to advance/bolster white privilege, trying to hold back the demographic shift.

      Decadces ago Lyndon Johnson put it this way: “If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.”

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