Everyone is up in arms against the Biden administration because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Focusing solely on the administration only obscures what the real exacerbating issues are.
First, and maybe most importantly, Omicron is a game changer. It evades the immunity conferred by vaccination so it is spreading to many, many more people than any previous iteration of Covid. There is literally nothing that the Biden administration could have done to prevent its existence.
Second, the lazy mainstream media, which is still collectively angry at Biden for leaving Afghanistan, fetishisizes the stupidest shit, like home rapid tests, which are USELESS UNLESS YOU ARE SYMPTOMATIC. So now we are going to get a bunch of home tests, a huge waste of money because most people don’t understand that they are only useful if you are visibly sick. And then the media will bash Biden for that too. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Third, there has not been a concerted effort across the government urging vaccination, masking, and social distancing. That is because one party, the GOP, is a death cult with a finely-tuned propaganda machine. For every exhortation from the anti-Covid crowd, there are 30 from the death cult. The end result is that a big chunk of people then is always primed to do the thing that harms the US. And because it’s now an ingrained, knee-jerk response on their part there’s no way to reach them.
You can’t reach those people because they can’t think critically. That’s why the GOP has been hellbent for a few decades now on killing public education. Deliberately underfunding schools means that teachers have to spend more time on simple academic survival, and that erases time spent teaching kids how to think critically.
And that’s also why the GOP is so intent on banning books—if you can’t read a book that might make you think, then crisis averted. But without critical thinking skills citizens become passive recipients of the propaganda meant to make them angry at the people who are actually trying to help them, for example it’s Joe Biden’s fault that his legislative agenda has stalled when in reality there is nothing a president can do to force a lawmaker to change their position on an issue. So instead of putting pressure on recalcitrant lawmakers, people just blame Biden and move on.
Lack of critical thinking also makes people cynical, and cynical people don’t vote. The media keeps setting up unrealistic expectations that the Biden administration can’t meet, so when the expectations aren’t met they become another presidential disappointment. For example, the media has been abuzz these last few days about the possibility of filibuster reform and the passage of strong voting rights protection, no one ever just tells the truth: it’s dead in the water because the Democrats don’t have enough votes for it and the Republicans only do things that hurt the US.
The lack of critical thinking extends to liberals, too. Think back to some of the reactions to the House commemoration of the Dipshit Insurrection. So-called liberal twitter was more upset about Nancy Pelosi playing a clip from Hamilton than what actually fucking happened a year ago. This is part of a larger movement where random liberals are attacked for saying something cheesy for corny, even if what they say has nothing to do with how the government is run.
See, being corny or cheesy is off limits to the cynics because it’s important to ridicule people who express hope. Because if you extinguish everyone’s hope then the world remains mired In your miserable worldview and you don’t have to acknowledge the anger you feel over what the GOP is doing. And if you don’t have to feel that anger, you don’t channel that energy into political action.
This cynicism push is led by the newest incarnation of GOP shit stirrers. They used to be Bernie Bros who mysteriously became Trumpers after the Democratic Primaries were over. This time they are faux progressives. It’s widespread and it hurts the Democratic Party, and I don’t know what to do about it.
But my husband and I are on our first vacation in 9 years, so I’ll think about that tomorrow. Or next week when we’re back home. Greetings from Key West and joy be with you all.