We can do better
Updated: May 11, 2020
Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I’m starting to feel like we have lost our moral compass.
A loan program designed to keep small businesses afloat when they were forced to close for several weeks, overwhelmingly benefited large, multi-national corporations and political donors (and the schools of politicians’ kids). The Lieutenant Governor of Texas suggested that grandparents sacrifice themselves to the Coronavirus for the sake of their grandkids’ economic futures. A barber in California is opening his shops against government orders and science-based recommendations. He says he doesn’t care if he gets infected with the Coronavirus, or if he infects his customers. In his rationale, he’s not forcing customers to come to his store, so he has no culpability for anything that happens there. And besides, he has an investment to protect.
It just feels wrong. We’re asking our parents (or grandparents) to just go off and die so we can maintain our 401K value. We apparently feel no obligation to keep our friends, neighbors, and customers from getting sick if the lockdown is inconvenient for us, or requires “too much” sacrifice. And of course, harkening back to the days of eugenics, the U.S. president suggested we poison ourselves by injecting disinfectant to cure Coronavirus. And now (again), armed protesters are occupying the Michigan statehouse demanding the end of the one thing that is keeping the pandemic somewhat at bay.
I thought we were better than this.
In my version of American society, we don’t promise to support those who need it while actually only further benefiting those who do not. We don’t kill off those we perceive as weak (and to whom we are indebted) in order to preserve the status quo for those in power. And we try to maintain a semblance of dignity and compassion in times of crisis. I hope it’s not too late for us to return to our moral compass and the quintessential values that used to characterize America. Even if it was only lip service at times, we did claim to have compassion, support those in need, and show gratitude for all we have and those who made it possible. A lot has to happen before American can be great again. We can start by returning to what made us good in the first place.
How will America begin its next 2nd Story?