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As Pandemic Soars to Deadly New Heights, 'Conservative Ideology Itself' Blamed for Disastrous US Response

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/03/pandemic-soars-deadly-new-heights-conservative-ideology-itself-blamed-disastrous-us

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We are witnessing the logical conclusion of of Ronald Reagan’s wet dream. His conservative sock puppet constituency no longer believes that government can or should do anything. And they are now howling at the moon like confederates after the first battle of Bull Run.
However, the real victory of America’s libertarians lies in the fact that they corrupted the Democratic Party as well. Most democratic voters no longer believe that their party is capable of changing anything.
The empire is dying. Ironic that it’s happening with the backdrop of out of control global warming. It seems we may go out with a bang, and a whimper.

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It is a combination of Louis Powell’s and William Casey’s wet dreams. Future Justice Powell laid out a plan for the corporate takeover of America for the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971, and Bill Casey, CIA Director, said “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

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“It’s Anti-Trust, stupid!” And, yah, once again it’s both parties involved in the corporate take over of this so called democracy.

Seeing how the Clintons and Obamas quoted and compared themselves to Ronnie Reagan more than they did with any of their predecessors, while pretending that mid-century Democratic Party POTUS and Carter never existed confirms that labeling GOP operatives “conservative” and Democrats “liberal” became obsolete at the end of the 20th century. Since the dawn of the 21st century it has been all about WHICH special interests the parties align themselves with.

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As far as this argument goes, I agree. Yes, this insane philosophy is the core reason why we not only are not dealing with COVID 19 well, it is also why we have an environmental crisis, the most deadly and inefficient healthcare system in the developed world, decades of worsening macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions, crumbling infrastructure, etc. It is a also a big factor why the state is so corrupt.

The problem is trying to say that Democrats winning in Georgia changes this much at all. Did everyone miss the last Democratic Party primary, where most of those on stage were right wing, well to the right of where that party’s base SAYS it is on policy? Did everyone miss the far right talking points everyone from racist police lapdog Pete to Biden himself lobbed against issues like single payer, and actually effective responses to the environmental crisis? Did everyone miss Pelosi pushing for her party to commit to pay go, paying tribute to Pete Peterson on the House floor and campaigning for far right Democrats like Lipinski and Cuellar? Or the DCCC and who it does or doesn’t back. Were the Democrats on stage not using a right wing framing to attack what are largely just social democratic policies? The truth is that this philosophy is very much dominant in the Democratic Party too. Yes, Biden MAY be less committed to austerity (which he himself has backed his whole career), but if that is so, it is only because this present context requires that. Ossoff is against the GND, single payer and other sane, rational, important policies. Does he not base his opposition at least in part on the ideas and worldview this article is critiquing? Of course, and this idea underpins NAFTA, the WTO, mass privatizations, financial deregulation, etc., all of which were pillars of Clinton’s and Obama’s administrations.

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We need antitrust legislation in the political system. These two rotten private interests (the two corrupt parties dominating our political system) should not be able to dominate the system and to create the rules their potential competition has to follow. That is exactly what anti-trust laws in the economy was supposed to stop. Don’t allow a company to dominate a market and don’t allow them to create the rules that their competition has to accept.

We need to support cooperative and public enterprises though. I don’t think breaking up internally authoritarian private companies is enough, and will be a problem as far as the environmental crisis.

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And from the article:


Linden and Aibinder argue that at the heart of the reactionary ideology is the view that “government itself tends to cause more problems than it solves, and that free markets—unencumbered by government intervention—are always best positioned to allocate resources and improve society.”


Call it conservative, libertarian, or neoliberal, this ideology indeed took over the Democratic Party via the Koch-funded DLC and the Clinton/Gore presidency. Gore led the “Reinventing Government” initiative, while Clinton crowed “The era of big government is over” and ended “welfare as we know it,” promoted NAFTA and the WTO, signed the abolition of Glass-Steagall, the merger of Travelers Group with CitiBank, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act abolishing regulation of derivatives markets, etc. etc. etc.

Democratic voters who see little hope in their own party are correct. Republican conservatives are more personally spiteful, mean-spirited, fascistic, overtly racist, anti-civil liberties, etc. But Democratic conservatives shared the ideological lie that “government itself tends to cause more problems than it solves, and… free markets… are always best positioned to allocate resources and improve society,” paving the way for the overt fascists to ascend with Trump.

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This digest of Johns Hopkins test-positivity numbers is meant to convey the state-by-state topology of USA’s outbreak. (Also see CDC’s splendid map of per-capita new-cases, displaying a visual version of much the same topology:)

~https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days

The worst category, on top, started out four weeks ago comprising only eight heartland states. Those states have all remained in the worst category, for the most part at the very top, as the number of states in bad trouble – among the worst infections in the world – expanded from 8 to 18. Our second-worst grouping also has 18 states today. Only four states remain in the lowest, relatively well-defended class.

STATE COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

Ranking is based on Johns Hopkins’ test-positivity factored with “per-capita newcases” & “immediate mortality” – the ratio of totals on hand for deaths and cases.

>                        JH       per-capita     immed
>                    positivity    newcases    mortality
>                        %            %            %
>  1. South Dakota      46.1        123.5         1.74
>  2. Iowa              44.0        101.5         0.82
>  3. Kansas            42.0         82.3         0.91
>  4. Idaho             46.3         71.3         0.97
>  5. Utah              20.7         86.7         0.35
>  6. North Dakota      11.9        137.5         1.32
>  7. Montana           17.8         90.7         1.09
>  8. Nebraska          13.4        104.4         0.87
>  9. Wisconsin         14.9         94.9         0.81
> 10. Wyoming           11.3        112.3         0.71
> 11. Alabama           29.6         43.4         1.17
> 12. Minnesota         12.0        101.6         0.72
> 13. Pennsylvania      27.2         44.6         1.17
> 14. Missouri          18.6         63.4         0.91
> 15. New Mexico        12.8         84.7         1.17
> 16. Indiana           12.4         82.0         1.01
> 17. Oklahoma          15.5         65.0         0.62
> 18. Mississippi       22.1         42.9         1.29
> --- ---------------------- ------------ ------------
> 19. Arizona           20.9         45.7         0.79
> 20. Illinois          11.0         81.5         1.12
> 21. Nevada            15.1         61.1         0.79
> 22. Ohio              14.2         62.7         0.64
> 23. Michigan          12.5         67.4         1.12
> 24. Tennessee         13.9         61.3         0.97
> 25. Arkansas          15.0         53.0         1.07
> 26. Colorado          10.2         74.9         0.74
> 27. Oregon            29.1         26.8         0.83
> 28. Kentucky          11.9         59.1         0.57
> 29. Rhode Island       7.0         80.6         0.75
> 30. Texas             11.2         36.2         1.21
> 31. West Virginia      7.2         47.5         1.27
> 32. Georgia            9.7         36.5         1.28
> 33. New Jersey         8.3         40.6         0.78
> 34. Alaska             4.7         73.7         0.22
> 35. Louisiana          7.4         40.1         1.04
> 36. Delaware           7.0         41.9         0.58
> --- ---------------------- ------------ ------------
> 37. Florida            8.1         33.0         0.94
> 38. North Carolina     8.0         30.6         1.01
> 39. Connecticut        5.0         45.4         1.05
> 40. Virginia          10.2         23.8         0.75
> 41. South Carolina     7.5         27.2         1.21
> 42. Maryland           5.8         32.0         1.06
> 43. Washington         6.9         27.5         0.80
> 44. California         6.6         29.3         0.50
> 45. New Hampshire      6.5         29.0         0.53
> 46. Massachusetts      3.8         36.3         1.09
> 47. New York           3.6         28.3         0.63
> --- ---------------------- ------------ ------------
> 48. D.C.               2.6         21.9         0.98
> 49. Maine              2.2         13.3         1.49
> 50. Vermont            1.6         12.5         0.90
> 51. Hawaii             1.8          6.6         0.98

This is the statistical launching pad of USA’s outbreak – just before our Thanksgiving bacchanals start to seriously bite. I’ve yet to see any state get into less trouble, even though all the factors here are entirely dynamic. Theoretically, effective measures which reduce cases and deaths will have to eventually bring all these numbers down. Not until after New Years’ parties and other death-cult festivities, though.

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I agree with you, similar to what I said. But, I think it is important to note this philosophy (spread more than anything because of a very rich right wing network, corrupt politicians in both parties, corrupt party infrastructures, and corporate ownership of the media) has been so effective that it has driven out of the heads of people that don’t share that worldview to be scared of ideas, policies and institutions that veer too far from the status quo. With some people, you could have a logical, factual argument, you can prove the present system simply doesn’t work, it harms them, it ultimately isn’t sustainable (all true things), and they will still not deviate too much with the present because they have trained that doing so is dangerous and actual alternatives cannot be realized.

I think that change can happen, but it will be hard until the poor, and working class, which tend to vote in low numbers and are not generally organized and politically engaged, are wrapped back into electoral politics on a mass level. Trying to reach worthless, right wing normie suburban Democrats is a dead end. They are as vacuous as the people they vote into office and are too distant from struggle and the impact of policy to really reach.

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That Trumper in the above picture looks exactly like one of my relatives!!

Thanks for updating us on these numbers on a regular basis, Aleph_Null. I, for one, really appreciate it, and have learned a great deal. Thanks again.

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“…Moscowabunga Mitch…”
So, sensible as you appear at first glance, you really aren’t. Just another promoter of the dangerous, Cold War esque Russiagate nonsense which the Democrats came up with to distravt attention from the true reason for Clinton’s 2016 defeat: neo-liberal, i8mperialist, anti working class politics.
It is Russiagaters like you who license the DNC to repeat their mistakes. It was Russiagaters who ensured that Biden would be the nominee and that the platform would be-incredibly in the middle of a pandemic- opposed to medicare for all and other long overdue reforms.
All the “Russian interference” in the world would not have defeated Bernie Sanders. And it didn’t take any to defeat Hillary- she did it to herself.

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“… that necessitates coordinated state action to control the spread of the virus, which has now killed more than 273,000 people in the U.S.—the highest Covid-19 death toll in the world.”

I just came from my doctor’s office. Across the street is the county health office. There were about 6 - 8 Covidiots out front with posters saying “Open up the County”, “@uck the Governor”, etc. Having this mentality while Covid-19 is surging like wildfire is just astounding to me. I just don’t understand these people or their ideals.

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Finally. This is what I’ve been saying about Conservatism for too long now!

And this negative, deadly aspect of Conservatism is nothing anyone of us will ever hear said by main stream media pundits, journalists or politicians.

Conservatism kills. It’s all about that ‘evil’ term “socialism” but NOT in the way corporation-owned msm refer to it.

Conservatism is all about socialism, meaning OUR TAXPAYER $$$, for the greedy corporations and their businesses, while the struggling working poor, and just plain old poor Americans (ie, seniors, disabled) are suppose to pick themselves up “by their own bootstraps” bullcrap.

CONSERVATISM=DEATH & SUFFERING if you aren’t financially secure AND! you are being forced to have to pay the way for greedy sociopathic/narcissistic rich via tax laws and other major giveaways.

I always just shake my head and swear to myself how incredibly blind and disgustingly stupid anybody who calls themselves a “conservative”
are as it’s as though they are proud of themselves and just like a dog that wants a pat on the head because they brought you a ball, these stupid aholes want to be complimented. And I don’t hear any progressive commentors ever fighting them on it.

Instead of us fighting to support the term “socialism”, we all need to stop that and fight the term “conservatism”.

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I hope people realize that we were trapped into endorsing this ideology in this election and much more of the same is ahead.

They did this because the Washington Consensus" decades ago had already agreed on an extremist market based everything ideology and locked it in via international contracts, that does not admit there are any market failures here (as opposed to Europe which does admit that there have to be services of general interest (SGEI) which are allowed to be subsidized considerably more than the bare minimum for a indefinite amount of time, like healthcare or education for the poor, or even primary education (for children 1-6 grades) but I am not sure about water…

But we don’t, it seems, or we would prefer not to, as far as our trade policy (which post GATS also controls our domestic policy) it often seems as if we’re behind closed doors wedded to a lie that our system is perfect, so if you’re perfect you don’t need any reforms.

Just like God.

The only other countries that I can think of that act like this are totalitarian ones.

I hope people can see how this is a huge disaster waiting to happen.

How would it happen? Look at the huge famines in the Briish Empire and how avoidable they are (In Ireland, which Irish Americans know of as a brutal avoidable tragedy where the British allowed millions of Irish to starve to death while continuing to export food. A huge number of Irish emigrated to US on coffin ships as they were called. many of the starving didn’t make it. Some were also rejected and sent back because they were visibly ill.

Similar avoidable tragedies happened several times in British India. The UK even passed laws forbidding charity to be given to the starving.

This was the era of Social Darwinism, a kind of pseudoscience that was the predecessor of Naziism ideologically, It declares that some people survive and some die because of better genetics, not deprivation of food.

Totalitarian regimes have a pathological refusal to admit their own shortcomings, without accepting that its a dysfunctional nation because of this neoliberal cult, the Washington Consensus, which is both parties, is a good example of this pathological projection. )

“Methinks she doth protest too much”

Anyway, these situations often end up in huge disasters that kill millions of people. Something to think about.

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Trump did not bungle COVID-19. He played it exactly right, for his purposes. Chaos is coming, chaos that will allow him opportunity. Beware.

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It was likely for that very vote she was raised to SCOTUS. She was placed there as a true believer that would break the final seals holding back the chaos. The four horsemen ride. Hell and heaven will now fight their last battle, or something like that. A very useful tool for the likes of Trump and Pence.

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So, to get Moscowabunga Mitch’s attention, the stock market needs to feel the pain also. Actually, progressives have the power to do that. And technically it’s an easy task, just takes resolve.

Trumpists - yes, those hidden deplorables - don’t own stocks. Only educated professionals own stocks. The same educated people who’ve been mortified for the past 4 years. The same educated people who voted for Biden. The same educated people who’ll complain when nothing changes.

If everyone called their broker and told them to “sell”, the DOW would crash down below 10,000 in a few days. We could likely drop it closer to zero if we all just decided that saving the country - indeed the planet - was worth some personal sacrifice.

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“Conservative ideology” itself is a reflection of the culture of individualism which is functional for sucess within capitalist competition…

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