The following graph shows the percentages of people who prefer “the government respect civil liberties, even if that means accepting some risk to public safety”. Residuals show the percentages who prefer “the government ensure public safety, even if that means limiting some civil liberties”:
Most Americans don’t want a shot at liberty if it comes with a chance of death. Between 1775 and 2020, liberty’s stock price crashed through the floor while security’s went to the moon.
Parenthetically, liberals want security and order, conservatives want liberty?! Our political nomenclature is hopeless.
America’s tepid response at the federal level has left states with a lot of discretion over how to proceed from here. That means the old “laboratory of the states” idea is getting another shot. Governor Brian Kemp is planning on firing things back up on Friday, just a couple of days out from this posting. Georgia has been hit relatively hard by coronavirus, though the state’s death rate is still barely half the national rate (the national rate having been driven up substantially by New York’s numbers).
Ostensibly the primary reason for shelter-in-place orders going into effect weeks ago was to prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed by flattening the curve. Fortunately, hitting capacity hasn’t come close to happening anywhere, so the only people who will be at risk from returning to normal in a week are those voluntarily choosing to do so. There is nothing preventing people worried the reopening is happening too soon from remaining sheltered in place.
If we need a test case–to the extent we don’t already have one in South Dakota–we are fortunate it will be comprised of volunteers eager to run the test.
Yet more parenthetically still, recall how after all the other ties that used to bind the country together have been broken, the one remaining bond is under the greater stress it has ever been under:
Increasingly the only argument in favor of holding the nation together is a mix of complacency and economic expediency.
The international credit system is unwinding. Every municipality, every pension fund, every unemployment program, every state insurance program in the country is financially insolvent. Blocs of states are forming up to deal with the pandemic at a distance from the federal government. Let’s hope they like their partners, because they’re going to be locking arms for longer than most anticipate. The economic seas are going to be a lot rougher than even the epidemiological seas have been.