What Will “Back to Normal” Look Like?

I’m trying to picture what an opening up of the USA will look like.

I can picture President Trump endorsing and leading it. It won’t be before May 1, and probably won’t be before May 15. But it probably will happen.

But what about the mayors and Governors — most of them Democratic and hard left-wing? Will they jump on board? Can you really picture the Governor of California, an avowed socialist, telling citizens of his state: “OK, Californians. The business of California is business. Get back to work.” I just don’t see it. Especially if President Trump is pushing it. And most of the country’s Democratic Governors tend to follow his lead.

And then there are the anti-Trump people in your and my communities. They still suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. I see it locally and personally, all of the time. They are full of hatred. When I say hatred, I mean hatred like advocates of Jim Crow laws in the old American South who hated blacks … or like anti-Semitic German Nazis. It’s shocking and disturbing. It’s not all of them, but it’s most of them, in my experience. That’s truly the kind of hatred I see, toward Trump supporters and Republicans as well as toward the President himself. Most of them want things like government-run medicine, the Green New Deal and a guaranteed minimum income. Under the current crisis, we already have those. We are getting what they want. Most of these Democrats are either rich (not that there’s anything wrong with that, when honestly earned), or government employees/retirees. They have more leeway to ride out a calamity in the economy, and I truly think it’s worth it to a lot of them in order to get rid of Trump (they assume).

But let’s put all this aside. Let’s assume California’s and New York’s Governors join President Trump in the call for a return to normalcy. Let’s assume Democrats get on board, even though they didn’t get on board with treatment for coronavirus the moment it got endorsed by President Trump. Let’s assume their Trump Derangement Syndrome goes into remission.

The fact remains: We have a new precedent. The new precedent is that the government may (and will) shut everything down the moment you see an increase in coronavirus cases. There’s unlikely to be a cure or vaccine for this virus any time soon, if ever. That’s not being negative — that’s just being realistic. So until a cure or vaccine develops, if it does, we’re subject at any time (particularly in the months September-May, i.e., most of the year) to be shut down by our state and even federal governments. In fact, most people will want them to do so. Even if governments don’t shut us down, the media will frighten 90 percent of the population into staying home for another 4-8 weeks, just like this time. So even when it’s over, will it really be over? And even if a forced shutdown never happens again — unlikely, for the reasons I said — then won’t the reasonable PERCEPTION of such a shutdown occurring potentially affect everyone’s behavior — from Wall Street to the guy on the street?

I would like to reschedule my cancelled trip. But does it make sense to do so, for November? How do we know that there won’t be another lockdown, in the perfectly plausible event that the virus resurfaces in the next cold/flu season? Will there NOT be a lockdown next time? If not, does that mean we overreacted THIS time? That the quarantines didn’t really flatten the curve? That perhaps they would have flattened anyway? At present, I know of almost NOBODY willing to admit that. Not even most Republicans or Trump supporters.

I don’t mean to be negative. But I think it’s naive to assume that once the President “reopens the economy” (something the President doesn’t have the power to do), it’s not going to be as easy as you think. There are numerous political as well as individual psychological factors in play here. There are also economic ones. Republicans will be under tremendous pressure to keep the new government programs — “unemployment on steroids”, grants to businesses — in existence into 2021 and beyond. Let’s face it: Forever. This will create incentives for individuals and companies to do less work than ever before. It means we won’t go back to our booming economy. We’d be lucky to have an Obama economy. And that means good news for Democrats, who will blame the economic recession/depression on Trump and the Republicans, and promise $10 trillion dollar stimulus packages ($2500 a month, not $1200) into the indefinite future. Plus Medicare for All. Plus the Green New Deal, etc.

An optimistic scenario would be most people being angered, a little embarrassed and fed up by the overreaction on the part of their governments. But nothing about the response of most people in this crisis leads me to think that people have that kind of rational, angry spirit in them. Most, so far, have revealed themselves to be sheep. They rolled over for whatever the government wants them to roll over for, with barely a whimper (other than from the NRA, God bless them).

I want to be positive. I don’t think this has to be a permanent catastrophe. But these are facts I don’t know how to avoid or evade. Can anyone convince me of what I’m missing — and that in a short month or two, assuming we reopen then, it will be as if nothing ever happened? I’m all ears.

If you want reality to improve, you first have to face it. The curve will NOT flatten for Trump Derangement Syndrome. All the available facts tell us that Trump Derangement Syndrome, and all the things connected to it — Communism, socialism, irrational ideas about controlling human behavior, the climate’s temperature, and everything else — remain firmly in place. If “normal” means free, then rationality and simple common sense have to come first. In the last few weeks, we have seen less rationality in evidence than perhaps ever before in our nation’s history. THAT has got to change.



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