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July 10, 2020

5/26/2020 7:58:00 AM
Live and let die: Deciding to ignore the common good

Dear Editor:
Most of the political right, including in Wisconsin, have decided that we should go back to business as usual and accept the resulting death toll as the necessary cost in a free-enterprise economy. I profoundly disagree. The U.S. has the highest number of cases, and the highest death rate, per capita, of any notion in the world, and this is not the time to relax protective health measures.
Do none of these self-centered, "it's all about me" Wisconsinites, and Americans, including Mr. Trump, who is encouraging protests because an economic downturn severely endangers his reelection chances, comprehend that their protestor behavior is exacerbating the spread of the virus, which continues unabated? Simple common sense and solid scientific health data both indicate that while cases continue rising, which they are, the country and the wider economy must remain locked down, and premature reopening both increases the death rate and prolongs the economic consequences.
That the lockdown protestors, and their enabler-in-chief, don't understand that their own actions are both their own, and everyone else's, worst enemy reveals a truly frightening level of selfishness, ignorance and stupidity. Americans fighting each other is not a winning strategy for overcoming a world health pandemic that is the common enemy of us all.
No one likes the situation we find ourselves in and everybody wants it to end. However, achieving this goal requires common sense and respect for the common good - apparently foreign concepts to many Americans. By ignoring the common good in favor of his own, Trump's divisive, profoundly misguided, petty, and vindictive leadership is tearing America apart, one COVID-19 case at a time. So far, his "Make America Great Again" decisions in the face of this crisis have enabled the Corona virus to rip nearly two million holes in the tenuous fabric holding the country together. Never before has our nation failed so miserably nor been so pitifully inept.
The only way we can possibly survive to live another day, personally and economically, is for everyone to let go of their individual, ego-driven self-importance, accept that we are all in this together, and start acting like it. United we stand - divided we fall is not a difficult concept to grasp and national unity in the face of a deadly threat is not a fatal disease; it is the only thing that can save us.

Paula vW. Dáil, PhD
Emerita Research Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy.

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