FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Top 10 Reasons the U.S. Government Is Blowing This

10. Recognizing that a problem that has grown severe in other countries could grow severe in the United States would require thinking of the United States as existing in the same world, susceptible to the same forces, as everyone else. A willingness to recognize that would have led to earlier action and wiser action more coordinated with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the United States is supposed to be exceptional.

9. Recognizing that there are crises that can’t be addressed by shooting or bombing anyone would have led to different preparations and different emergency responses. Newt Gingrich, who took the lead in preventing demilitarization after the supposed end of the cold war, thinks now is the time to invest in human needs. David Frum, who helped launch the past 19 years of wars, agrees. But CNBC has published an op-ed proposing that NATO declare war on coronavirus. It’s too late boys, the military madness has taken hold. This is a country where people shoot guns at hurricanes. Trump fired the team of people that was supposed to deal with pandemics, and claims he doesn’t even know he did it – and probably he doesn’t. The U.S. government has been reduced to an appendage of a military, so that even the remaining officials who are supposed to be dealing with coronavirus publicly rely on studies from rightwing think tanks to know what it is that they themselves have supposedly done.

8. There is widespread belief across the political and ideological spectrum in the United States that one can invent reality, that one can pick which channels to watch, which social media to block out, which experts to believe, etc. — and create a reality that’s actually real, that actually exists outside of one’s head. So, if you’d rather not stay home for two weeks, no problem! Just read something that says you don’t have to!

7. The United States is alone among wealthy nations in lacking basic health coverage as a human right for all. This prevents proper planning and prevention, and leaves people without a doctor to call, and without the ability to afford healthcare if they could get it.

6. The United States is a similar outlier when it comes to lacking paid sick leave and financial security. Millions of people cannot afford to stay home; if they do they’ll soon have no home to stay home to. Others already have no home to stay home to. The U.S. reality reinforces the ideology that established it, which holds that we’re not all in this together.

5. The U.S. government is so corrupted that it can dump money on banks but not on human beings. Any crisis is an opportunity to attack what’s left of the safety net, not an occasion to make use of it. What’s needed is a guaranteed income, paid leave, expanded Social Security, and forgiveness of debt. But all that comes oozing out of the swamp are banker bailouts, threats to Social Security, and excuses.

4. A lot of people have gone to a lot of trouble to try to stop Bernie Sanders’ campaign, which promises a platform including enhanced Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and taxation of the wealthy and corporations and financial transactions. How would it look to have to enact some of these policies as emergency measures right in the middle of trying to destroy Bernie’s campaign, right in this moment when he himself is on the edge of joining in the pretense that he’s already lost? That would be a real shame.

3. Through a majorly corrupt election system, the United States has put into an office holding beyond-royal levels of power, an absolute imbecile with zero interest in the public good. Were Donald Trump to try to help, he’d only make things worse. And he has very little motivation to try. The so-called opposition in Congress has refused to even try to impeach him for dozens of serious offenses, and granted him virtual immunity by impeaching and acquitting him with a far weaker charge. He knows he won’t be impeached now.

2. Failing to take the biggest problems seriously is a well-established habit. Coronavirus seems different to some people. By shifting a bit of pocket change from billionaires to people who need to stay home from work, millions of lives could be protected from risk. Such a calculation is unfamiliar to ethics classes in U.S. academia, where the question is always whether one should save lives by murdering a smaller number of lives. But it’s also unfamiliar to the U.S. public, media, and government. Failing to invest in a Green New Deal puts billions of lives at risk. Failure to rein in the nuclear weapon profiteers does too. The lack of a decent healthcare system is a long-established killer. Poverty and homelessness and mass-incarceration are long-accepted horrors, made virtually invisible by their normalization, deadly and devastating though they are. What’s surprising is the extent to which anyone is taking coronavirus seriously, not the failure to take it seriously enough.

1. The United States has been suffering under a prolonged and severe shortage of democracy, self-governance, civic engagement, and activism. Beyond the overworked, over-drugged population watching too much television, we’re dealing with a system of “news” and communications that educates people against activism, that sells disempowerment in between every pair of ads for cars and beers. If people won’t take mass collective action in response to any of the other abuse they’ve been dealt in recent decades, they certainly won’t figure out how to do so when gathering in large groups is itself the problem that needs to be addressed.

More articles by:

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.orgSwanson‘s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation. Longer bio and photos and videos here. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook, and sign up for:

Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail