Coronavirus is Good for You

Photograph Source: John Woodruff – CC BY 2.0

My, my, how reality can turn on a dime, even if perception lags behind.

March 1st Bernie had the Democratic nomination in the bag, and anyone truly concerned about the coronavirus pandemic was a bit deluded or selling surgical masks.

Today America is waking up to a deadly epidemic that will claim tens of thousands of lives in the months ahead, flood and overwhelm hospital rooms, and sicken millions leaving them economically worse off in an economy sinking into recession faster than you can say “Iceberg ahead!”

First, the political Titanic:  You didn’t really think that the super rich who own and control the Democrats and the corporate media were going to let Bernie win the nomination, did you?  Every imaginable smear and fear has been unleashed against him in an epic counterattack that resembles the ending of Bonnie and Clyde.  Sorry kids, but its worse than 2016 all over again.  Bernie will be urging his movement to Vote Blue No Matter Who They Screw, along with all the rest of the liberal and left pantheon of Blue cheerleaders.  Gotta dump Trump!

Bernie fans are furiously trying to expose Crazy Joe for the evil and apparently demented beast he is, a true loser to Trump.  But that doesn’t really seem to be working.

The Democrats and their scared, propagandized centrist voters are in a first things first mood, and agenda item one is stopping this democratic socialist threat in their midst whose wild in the streets throngs would force the Party to stand for all those rhetorical niceties it always betrays, like real health care for all.

Real health care for all will become much more popular in the months ahead as the coronavirus hits hard and suddenly.  But it won’t get a debate at the convention because there won’t be a convention.  Like Comicon in Seattle and SXSW in Austin, the Democratic Convention such as it will be, will exist on telephone lines, websites, YouTube, but not in a sweaty crowded convention hall in Milwaukee.   Any week now the DNC will happily cancel it due to #CoronaVirusUSA

We have entered a period of fast collapse.  The Bernie tale has a moral which is this:  don’t tie movements to leader worship, especially when the leader is a politician beholden to one of the two Parties owned by the Oligarchy.  Movements need to be accountable to themselves and decentralized, organizing for radical changes that benefit the majority, not begging them from the oligarchy’s mandarins.

Regarding the coronavirus, the seemingly draconian measures being used to slow it down really are necessary.  It is now a tidal wave, about to swamp an American medical and public health system that is not equipped for it.  It can’t be stopped, it can only be mitigated, and yes it will cause a global economic recession.

If there is a silver lining it might be that more people will learn that America needs a health care system which is paid for with public money and available to everyone, like all the other so-called developed countries.

Americans are deeply divided and will remain so, but maybe the agony ahead will help build a movement for Medicare for All or something better, even as the one candidate most committed to it is taken down by the super rich, their Party and Media.

John Stauber is an independent writer, activist and author.  His books include Toxic Sludge Is Good for YouMad Cow USA and Weapons of Mass Deception.  In 1993 he founded the Center for Media and Democracy to exposed corporate, political and media propaganda campaigns.  He retired from the Center in 2008.