COVID-19: Make America Gracious Again

This is the third post in a row I’ve done on the United States, and fourth in five days. If I seem obsessed, it’s because it’s a big issue. It’s not every day that the world’s reigning superpower suffers an existential crisis.

What’s happening now is a wake-up call for the whole world. And we need to heed it! But it’s especially a wake-up call for the U.S. And for the sake of everyone else on the planet Americans need to heed it.

To put it simply, the U.S. has to join the 21st century. Step one is implementing universal healthcare and ensuring its citizens have a decent social safety net. It’s not charity, it’s just good public policy, so that in moments of crisis, like this one, people have the capacity to work together to keep their communities safe.

For that to happen, the U.S. has to jettison its fanatic 40-year adherence to a Neoliberal ideology that has taken the principle of a market economy and extended it to create a market society where every aspect of human well-being is subject to market forces.

“Trim the fat”, “downsize”, “privatize”, “out-source” are some of the commonly used buzzwords. And that heartless profit-driven ideology has left the U.S. horribly exposed to the growing ravages of this pandemic.

Already, conservative politicians such as Alberta premier Jason Kenney are warning of austerity measures that will need to be implemented to bring government finances back in balance. But instead of yet more “lean-style” initiatives, we need to invest in our public infrastructure to better prepare for future problems of this nature. And that means taxes.

Right now, the U.S. puts unfair tax pressure on other countries around the world through its refusal to make the type of public investments needed to safeguard its citizenry and function in the 21st century.

That needs to change. So does Trump and the Republican Party’s bullshit denial of climate change. Again, the world can’t afford to have a nation as wealthy and powerful as the U.S. go rogue in the global battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep Earth a liveable planet for everyone.

That would the require the U.S. to ditch the MAGA rhetoric of the last few years and recognize that it actually exists in a global community.

Under the current administration, that seems highly unlikely. Not with Trump and his Republican sycophants, desperate to cover-up their bungling on the COVID-19 file, confiscating medical equipment destined for other countries and even trying to bully an American company to break an existing contract with Canada for medical supplies.

Here’s hoping that Americans take the lesson they’re being taught these days to heart. Because the rest of the world can’t afford for them not to.