Around the world right now, right-wing politicians have risen to power, in places like the USA, UK, and Brazil. Russia could also be called right-wing, but it doesn’t appear to be a full democracy. But look at these numbers of cases:
Brazil and USA lead the world in number of cases, with the UK in the top 5. What do they have in common? Right wing governments are in power, and they continually talk about how the coronavirus is fake, or that it’s not fake but their political enemies are using it to harm them, or whatever other nonsense billows from their angry nostrils.
And on a state-by-state level in the United States, a predictable pattern emerged: Republican-led states, in lockstep with Republican leadership in the White House and the Senate, refused to acknowledge the reality and severity of the situation, refusing to mandate mask-wearing, and rushing the re-opening of the economy without meeting the guidelines necessary to slow the spread. To be fair, some Democratic-led states like California tended to rush back too quickly, but likely under intense pressure from the business community. And, these red states are trying to spin the latest frightening figures, with Governor Ron DeSantis saying the spike is caused by “young people” or “hispanics”, as if those somehow weren’t citizens or constituents.
But it also highlights a feature that has been obvious for a long time, but could be hidden behind political statements until now…the inherent cruelty of the Republican Party. There is one King in the GOP, and that is money. If anything comes in the way of money, health and life for example, they are pushed aside so that people can make money. It shows every time they try to kill any type of health care reform. It shows when they refuse to raise the minimum wage. It shows when they fight civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights. It shows in the treatment of prisoners. It shows in the brutality of the police. It shows when meat processing plants are forced to stay open even during a massive outbreak. It’s baked in to everything. And now that once again, they have denied science and government suggestions on how to re-open safely, they are reaping the fruits of this cruelty. The US is now very close to 130,000 lives lost since March. The only war the US has ever fought with more casualties was the Civil War, and it looks like those numbers will be surpassed. How can citizens remain in power? It is important to tie the millstone of these deaths around their necks. They must always be burdened with the fact that they didnt’ do all they could to save lives. And they must never be allowed to lead again. A new political movement needs to spring up from what surely are the ashes of what passes for right-wing conservatism, and that movement can still be conservative, but it must value life and health and liberty above money.