Patterico's Pontifications

4/9/2020

New York Times Editorial: The America We Need Want

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:23 am



[guest post by Dana]

The editorial is here. Snippets here:

From some of its darkest hours, the United States has emerged stronger and more resilient.

We have that chance again.

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the incomplete nature of the American project — the great distance between the realities of life and death in the United States and the values enunciated in its founding documents.

Las Vegas painted rectangles on an asphalt parking lot to remind homeless residents to sleep six feet apart — an act that might as well have been a grim piece of performance art titled “The Least We Can Do.”

The magnitude of a crisis is determined not just by the impact of the precipitating events but also by the fragility of the system it attacks. We were vulnerable because so many Americans lack the essential liberty to protect their own lives and the lives of their families.

We need a broad and muscular conception of liberty: that government should provide all Americans with the freedom that comes from a stable and prosperous life.

Advocates of a minimalist conception of government claim they too are defenders of liberty. But theirs is a narrow and negative definition of freedom: the freedom from civic duty, from mutual obligation, from taxation….

This impoverished view of freedom has in practice protected wealth and privilege. It has perpetuated the nation’s defining racial inequalities and kept the poor trapped in poverty, and their children, and their children’s children.

The nation’s hierarchies are starkly visible during periods of crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated extraordinary sacrifices, but the distribution is profoundly unequal. Less affluent Americans will bear the brunt in health and wealth.

The crucible of a crisis provides the opportunity to forge a better society, but the crisis itself does not do the work. Crises expose problems, but they do not supply alternatives, let alone political will. Change requires ideas and leadership.

This moment demands a restoration of the national commitment to a richer conception of freedom: economic security and equality of opportunity.

To give Americans a fair chance in the race of life, the government must begin from birth. The U.S. must reclaim the core truth of the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Brown v. Board of Education: So long as Americans are segregated, their opportunities can never be equal.

Over the course of this project, we also will examine other ways to equalize opportunity early in life, and also to restore a healthier balance of power between employers and workers.

The United States has a chance to emerge from this latest crisis as a stronger nation, more just, more free and more resilient. We must seize the opportunity.

Sigh. Again we are reminded that there really is nothing new under the sun. The tedious belief of The New York Times that bigger government produces better results never changes. And clearly, their belief in goverment, and advocacy for even more government results in a belief that supporters of less government *must* have an impoverished view of freedom, and thus, they can only *claim* to be supporters of it. And obviously, obviously, individual liberty can’t possibly be the imptetus for civic duty because only the government can compel that, don’tcha know… And so it goes.

–Dana

93 Responses to “New York Times Editorial: The America We Need Want”

  1. Meh. Marginalizing those that believe otherwise…

    Dana (0feb77)

  2. The New York Times
    @nytimes
    ·
    Breaking News: The virus came to the New York area mainly from Europe, not Asia, genetic analysis shows, arriving weeks before the first confirmed case https://nyti.ms/2wtvFEo
    __ _

    Kate Hyde
    @KateHydeNY
    ·
    Turns out the milk in the fridge came from Walmart, not a cow
    __ _

    harkin (b64479)

  3. My complaint with this is different.

    The editorial is wrong because it takes an atypical situation, a pandemic, and assumes that systems necessary to combat a highly communicable and lethal disease are appropriate for other circumstances. It than reaches back to the segregationist south to imply that similar injustice is legally ingrained in our current structures. I’ll acknowledge that there are structural issues that impact American’s based on class, income and race. But because collective action is useful during a pandemic doesn’t mean its the best solution for them.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  4. One thing that has struck me during the pandemic has been realizing even more the utter importance of governance at the state level. Their ability of state governors to effectively work on behalf of their residents, often in spite of the federal government’s action/lack of action, has really been spotlighted during the crisis. And clearly some governors do it better than others. It’s a reminder of just how critical it is that we elect competent individuals as our governors. They must be able think quickly, see the bigger picture, understand how processes work, and how to navigate the channels that will benefit their states’ residents in the fastest time possible. During this crisis, a number of governors have outed themselves as anything but.

    Dana (0feb77)

  5. Time123,

    Good point. But then wouldn’t this speak to the “never let a crisis go to waste” mentality? They see an opening, and that’s all that matters. Whether it’s a temporal situation or not, use it to push and promote one’s viewpoitn as vital, not only during a pandemic, but during every other time. The pandemic provided a necessary open door.

    Dana (0feb77)

  6. They’re mistaking the need. We need more competent government, not bigger. Michael Dukakis was 32 years ahead of his time.

    Paul Montagu (f57f23)

  7. Dana, you’re right that they’re doing that here. Although I might be willing to re-consider that if they focus on race/class disparities in the spread and deaths from CV-19. I don’t think they’ll do that, it would be too much work and the likely articles would be really long and boring.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  8. Also, Time123, my main objections are focused on the viewpoint that individual liberty can’t possibly be a motivator, or compel a responsibility to civic duty, helping our neighbors, participating in our communities to better them, etc, and that only the federal government can do that.

    Dana (0feb77)

  9. @ Paul Montagu,

    We need more competent government, not bigger.

    Unfortunately, they believe that government *is* competent, therefore we need more of it.

    Dana (0feb77)

  10. They sound just like Joe Biden who wants to use this pandemic to restructure the country and enforce the Socialist Green Deal.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  11. Also, Time123, my main objections are focused on the viewpoint that individual liberty can’t possibly be a motivator, or compel a responsibility to civic duty, helping our neighbors, participating in our communities to better them, etc, and that only the federal government can do that.

    Dana (0feb77) — 4/9/2020 @ 12:10 pm

    Agreed, one of the big mistakes liberal analysis makes is the impact of social values on outcomes. I sometimes get the sense that they’d expect people to start committing murder left and right if there was no law against it. If there’s a part that no one is destroying with overgrazing maybe we don’t need a rule banning animals in the park.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  12. Liberals will always place more value on good intentions than actual results.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  13. Advocates of a minimalist conception of government claim they too are defenders of liberty. But theirs is a narrow and negative definition of freedom: the freedom from civic duty, from mutual obligation, from taxation….

    They have it exactly wrong. It’s lazy progressives who would much rather have government take some of their tax money — or let’s face it, someone else’s tax money — and spend it on civic issues rather than getting their own hands dirty to help the needy. It’s been clear for years that conservatives are more likely to volunteer their time and donate their own money to charities than progressives are. The NYT editorial board has long been known for not reading news reports from their own paper, yet it would now appear that they don’t even read their own opinion columnists, even the left-leaning ones. And of course the standard-bearer of modern progressivism, Bernard Sanders, is on record saying that he doesn’t really believe in private charity, preferring an argument of paid government bureaucrats and functionaries to be set against all social ills rather than something as gauche and capitalistic as private initiative.

    Or is it just that to the New York Times editorial board — and to today’s progressives in general — “civic duty” and “taxes” are interchangeable terms?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  14. One of the things we really should be thinking about in a few months, once this crisis has passed, is this:

    This will *not* be the last pandemic.

    What can we do to make our system more resilient so that the next pandemic doesn’t result in a global economic catastrophe?

    aphrael (7962af)

  15. Aphrael, that’s a great point.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  16. To give Americans a fair chance in the race of life, the government must begin from birth. The U.S. must reclaim the core truth of the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Brown v. Board of Education: So long as Americans are segregated, their opportunities can never be equal.

    Americans are NOT segregated – involuntarily. There is volutntary segregation which is called FREEDOM. Of course, trying to relate a NYT Op-ed to reality is like finding the truth in a USSR Pravda editorial – difficult and rarely worth the effort.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  17. =sigh= Pandemics, climate change, etc., etc., etc.,

    There is an Office/Department of Planetary Management in America’s future.

    The young see it; the old don’t need it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. What can we do to make our system more resilient so that the next pandemic doesn’t result in a global economic catastrophe?

    One big thing, which pretty much everyone seems to be agreeing with, is that we have to ensure that we are not dependent upon any other nations for medical supplies. We need the capacity to manufacture our own masks, gowns, gloves, shields, respirators, surgical tools, drugs, and anything else that is consumable or needs to constantly be replaced. Or, at the very minimum, we need regional partnerships with countries like Canada and Mexico to make sure that anything we might need is close by and can quickly be shipped here.

    I know of a start-up company that wants to start manufacturing N95 masks here in the U.S. and naturally was hoping to get up-and-running rather quickly. They found that the real problem was getting the N95 filters, which are largely made in China. They were being told that the Chinese plants had tremendous backorders, that shipping from China was problematic because of all of the restrictions, and that they were low on materials, etc., so this start-up company is now trying to manufacture their own filters which is of course delaying their ability to make fully-functional masks. But this is exactly the kind of thing that we need in the future: U.S. (or North American at the very least) companies making the necessary supplies for use here.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  19. 14. Good question. There may not be much left of our economy to kill next time.

    Gryph (08c844)

  20. @18. It’s more a matter of priorities; what you choose to invest in ‘stockpiling’– nukes, or N95 masks.

    With now nearly 10 billion people clinging to this rock, a global management office/department is inevitable as issues of worldwide consequence rise and surface with increased rapidity an consequences. Who leads the establishment of this will be key– but it won’t be frightened, pucker-butted-wall-building populists.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. DCSCA —

    You think your dream departments are protected from regulatory capture, iron triangles, and all the artifacts of a democracy where a democratic government has a lot of power to throw around? Anyway, the WHO ought to be one of those idealistic agencies protecting the globe. Instead, they played lapdog to China.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  22. Any thoughts on Gavin Newsom declaring California a nation state that will trade independently of the federal government?

    NJRob (639b01)

  23. Excellent point, JVW @ 18. So what do you think government needs to do in order for manufacturers to be able to produce the needed medical supplies and equipment that we’ve seen shortages of during the pandemic?

    Dana (0feb77)

  24. NJRob, at 22: as a Californian, I cheer him. As an American, I’m appalled.

    aphrael (7962af)

  25. Also, what do we do if it turns out that an essential component is a rare mineral which is not obtainable within the territorial expanse of the US?

    aphrael (7962af)

  26. The magnitude of a crisis is determined not just by the impact of the precipitating events but also by the fragility of the system it attacks. We were vulnerable because so many Americans lack the essential liberty to protect their own lives and the lives of their families.

    We need a broad and muscular conception of liberty: that government should provide all Americans with the freedom that comes from a stable and prosperous life.

    Advocates of a minimalist conception of government claim they too are defenders of liberty. But theirs is a narrow and negative definition of freedom: the freedom from civic duty, from mutual obligation, from taxation….

    Welp, that is a very good summation of the difference between what conservatives believe about government and what Collectivists believe.

    I don’t know a soul in the conservative camp who wants or expects to be “free from civic duty, from mutual obligation, [or] from taxation”.

    The issue has never been what that straw man contention suggests. We all recognize the needs. The question has always been, “What is the best tool to apply?”.

    Of course, there is the old, old conflation where liberty is purposely bastardized with “wants”, and “freedom” becomes any set of seeming “goods” the Collective can divine.

    There’s no way in reality where we can “…provide all Americans with the freedom that comes from a stable and prosperous life”. This emergency we are living is…or should be…an object lesson in that truth. This NYT piece is magic thinking on a monumental scale.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  27. Dana: So what do you think government needs to do in order for manufacturers to be able to produce the needed medical supplies and equipment that we’ve seen shortages of during the pandemic?

    aphrael: Also, what do we do if it turns out that an essential component is a rare mineral which is not obtainable within the territorial expanse of the US?

    We already have regulations regarding defense equipment that must by law be manufactured in the U.S. We can start by applying those rules and regulations to medical equipment as well. To the degree that there might be some necessary items that are otherwise unavailable domestically, we handle that the same way we do in defense procurement. Ideally this could be done by encouraging private U.S.-based companies to bid on contracts for masks, gloves, gowns, testing kits, etc. Any company that wins a contract would not only manufacture the supplies that we need in normal day-to-day usage, but they would also have to be able to ramp up production during national and international emergencies.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  28. We need a cash for clunkers program: take 2

    mg (8cbc69)

  29. I read dairy farms are once again dumping milk in the ditches. We better get back to work.

    mg (8cbc69)

  30. As to our strategic response to medical essentials like masks, garments, and equipment, the question is one dealt with a few threads back.

    We should have a stockpile of such things that will carry us until new supplies can be made to meet the need. This would be some readily computed amount, times X as a safety margin. We are getting data daily as to what the base amount should be, and that can be adjusted as our population warrants. We have ample space in which that stock can be stored, and most of it is not all that bulky.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  31. > I don’t know a soul in the conservative camp who wants or expects to be “free from civic duty, from mutual obligation, [or] from taxation”.

    the people who are insisting on holding thousand person gatherings right now because the government has no right to tell them not to certainly *appear* to have no belief in civic duty or mutual obligation.

    aphrael (7962af)

  32. @4 and @6 Yes.

    @22 It’s what Trump told the governors to do.

    @24 Pretty much this, yes.

    @27 Not a bad idea at all.

    Nic (896fdf)

  33. 31. Are those what you’d call conservatives?

    There are a lot of nutters with rightest leanings. But I still can’t think of a conservative who is so careless.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  34. Any thoughts on Gavin Newsom declaring California a nation state that will trade independently of the federal government?

    It’s rhetoric; anti-Trump chest-thumping rhetoric. Trump already said that he’s not a shipping clerk.

    Paul Montagu (f57f23)

  35. Ragspierre, they call themselves conservatives. I’m not competent to judge who is or isn’t a “true” conservative.

    aphrael (7962af)

  36. Newsom isn’t the only one creating tension between the states and the federal government. It’s one thing for FEMA to appropriate testing kits that are sitting in a warehouse, but it’s something else when they confiscate kits destined for Whatcom County (243 confirmed cases, 22 dead people) and send them back east.

    Paul Montagu (f57f23)

  37. @21. =yawn= We’ll be dead; it won’t matter to you or me. It will to the kids of AOC:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/21/science/earthrise-moon-apollo-nasa.html

    “Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.” – Butch Cassidy [Paul Newman] ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ 1969

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. Any thoughts on Gavin Newsom declaring California a nation state that will trade independently of the federal government?

    Woe unto us if there are long-lasting hurt feelings with respects to China’s handling of this crisis. Should Trump win this fall, we might be less likely to engage in trade with China, and that would have a very profound effect on our ports in California, especially Long Beach/Los Angeles and Oakland/San Francisco. On the other hand, should Biden win, it would be interesting to see if he tries to mend fences with China or if the Sanders/AOC wing of the party pushes him in an anti-free trade direction.

    I’m thinking of doing a full post on this matter. I’ve always considered myself a free trader, but I’m beginning to doubt that further expansion of trade with China will have the effect of liberalizing their totalitarian regime to any significant degree. I’m wondering if at this point we shouldn’t wind-down our economic agreements with them rather than try to promote them further.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  39. I’m wondering if at this point we shouldn’t wind-down our economic agreements with them rather than try to promote them further.

    We don’t trade with them for their benefit, we trade with them for our benefit.

    Dave (1bb933)

  40. as a Californian, I cheer him. As an American, I’m appalled.

    aphrael (7962af) — 4/9/2020 @ 1:41 pm

    I respect both thoughts. You sound like the Texans I know and how I used to feel as a teen in NYC when it wasn’t voting for open communists.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  41. JVW,

    I have a feeling that I’m going to be looking forward to that post on China and our trade agreements with them. It should be food for thought.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  42. @27. ‘We already have regulations regarding defense equipment that must by law be manufactured in the U.S.’

    From a steel plaque along ‘poop ally’ swiped from Hyde Park, circa, 1970: “Please Do Not Permit Your Dog To Foul The Footpath.” – City of London. There are statutes against jaywalking, too…

    Some U.S. military parts imported from China – CBS News

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/some-us-military-parts-imported-from-china

    But the propellant that fires the missile must be imported from China. It’s not the only area where the Pentagon military depends on imports. The glass in U.S.-made night vision goggles requires a soft white-colored metal called lanthanum, 90 percent of which comes from China.

    US put China-made parts in F-35 fighter program

    https://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/03/us-put-china-made-parts-in-f-35-fighter-program.html

    In a document approving use of Chinese magnets on the batch of 32 F-35 fighter planes now being built, Kendall said neither Lockheed nor Northrop knowingly allowed the parts to be used. In his waiver, Kendall wrote that Northrop’s initial mistake, involving magnets built in Japan,…

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. Any thoughts on Gavin Newsom declaring California a nation state that will trade independently of the federal government?

    Wait, so putting the federal government in charge and relying on them to provide for us is good now?

    Didn’t Trump tell the governors (in effect) “look out for yourselves”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  44. I’m not competent to judge who is or isn’t a “true” conservative.

    No true Scotsman. . . .

    JVW (54fd0b)

  45. We don’t trade with them for their benefit, we trade with them for our benefit.

    We trade with them because it’s mutually beneficial. But, as with anything, we are giving up something to get something. In China’s case we have been mostly turning a blind eye as they steal our intellectual property and place spies in our university system. You don’t have to address this issue, Dave, because I don’t want to get you in trouble with your department, but I hear stories all of the time about Chinese students who arrive at U.S. universities and it is readily apparent that they have cheated on their TOEFL test and in some case, they have submitted phony transcripts. At this point, I am wondering if free trade with China is worth all of the indignities we have to put up with from them, and maybe they are wondering the same. I don’t mind if China continues to make cheap geegaws and doodads to be sold at low cost at our Wal-Marts and Targets, but I think we should seriously consider moving high-tech manufacturing and other important items out of that country.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  46. I’m not competent to judge who is or isn’t a “true” conservative.

    I think it’s one of those “by their fruits…” kinda thangs. From my POV, a conservative is someone who loves people, and wants the best for them. Who thinks beyond tribal BS, and makes a real study of what the Enlightenment means, since we are its guardians.

    That’s a good basis on which to be going. Seems to me….

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  47. JVW, there’s that, too, but since i’m not a conservative i can’t even play that game. All I can say is, these guys claim to be conservatives, and either I take them at their word on it or I dispute it, but I have no basis for disputing it.

    aphrael (7962af)

  48. “ I’m beginning to doubt that further expansion of trade with China will have the effect of liberalizing their totalitarian regime to any significant degree. I’m wondering if at this point we shouldn’t wind-down our economic agreements with them rather than try to promote them further.”

    JVW

    Sometimes what a country needs is a change in leadership.

    Leviticus (c68ea0)

  49. Sometimes what a country needs is a change in leadership.

    Yes. Indeed…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  50. I’m beginning to doubt that further expansion of trade with China will have the effect of liberalizing their totalitarian regime to any significant degree.

    ROFLMAO.

    They. Have. A. Plan.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  51. Always remember there are two strands to conservatism here in the US. For most of the last few decades, they bound themselves together in the GOP, but now under Trump that has started to come apart.

    Kishnevi (3cee37)

  52. Where did the NYT editors write this? The Hamptons or Palm Beach? What you always gotta remember with these professional tree-killers is that they have to publish something, anything, by a certain time every day, and not to take their ink smears on paper any more seriously than it suits your mood. Me, I mourn the trees.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. They. Have. A. Plan.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 4/9/2020 @ 4:55 pm

    Since you always seem to quote hollywood: Battlestar Galactica?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  54. Always remember there are two strands to conservatism here in the US. For most of the last few decades, they bound themselves together in the GOP, but now under Trump that has started to come apart.

    It seems like the “Conservative” tent, which we should probably more accurately call the “Republican” tent, consists of a whole lot of subgroups:
    – Traditionalists (social and religious conservatives)
    – Nationalists
    – Free-marketers and corporatists
    – Economic libertarians (who differ from free-marketers and corporatists by not trusting corporate power)
    – Anti-elite populists (who distrust the media, academia, and government institutions)

    Are there any groups I am missing? And, of course, lots of us are mixtures of these various groups.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  55. When the Nazis* bombed Pearl Harbor, Americans didn’t try to force their way into the Armed Forces, or fly an unapproved flag; they simply went home and waited for their directions from the government agent in charge of their family decisions. It says so right here in “A People’s History of the United States, 17th Edition” with the big Blue Eagle of patriotic approval.

    *Saying anything else is BadThink.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. Meh. Marginalizing those that believe otherwise…

    Good thing we have such a bulwark as Trump defending us against these awful people.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  57. JVW, anecdotal, but when I was going to Stanford Grad school the Chinese students would always sit together (nothing wrong with that), even during exams. But, they would always be talking in chinese to each other during the exam. Lord only knows what they were talking about, but the proctors never did anything about it.

    Colliente (05736f)

  58. Liberals will always place more value on good intentions than actual results.

    The press conference IS the results.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. It seems like the “Conservative” tent, which we should probably more accurately call the “Republican” tent

    That has NEVER been true. In fact, some of history’s worst Progressives were GOPers. Look up La Follette.

    Then go to TR and FDR. Next, check out Nixon.

    Conservatives have had a loose transactional alliance with the GOP over time.

    Many of us haven’t even had that for decades.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  60. What can we do to make our system more resilient so that the next pandemic doesn’t result in a global economic catastrophe?

    There are devices in hospitals that can be reset to test for any pathogen. They just need the right test pack from the manufacturer.

    The real problem, though is that it takes the FDA to sign off on things before those test packs can be sent out. Maybe that’s necessary, but if so the FDA, CDC and HHS need to have the kind of crisis mode that NASA was famed for. I bet they are still working 35-hour weeks.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  61. Then go to TR and FDR. Next, check out Nixon.

    Well, FDR was a Democrat, but the rest of your point is spot on. The GOP has never been a Conservative Party. It is generally right-of-the-center-at-the-time, but that’s a fairly broad range. Nixon was to the right of the nation in 1969, but that’s not saying much.

    At best the GOP has a Conservative wing — which has been in ascendancy since 1980 — but the Main Street boys are running things now. Think car dealers and mall owners and you can get some idea of what they thing of “conservative principles.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. Any thoughts on Gavin Newsom declaring California a nation state that will trade independently of the federal government?

    Considering that this is expressly banned, in several respects, by Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution, he should be impeached for violating his oath of office, and if not impeached charged with federal crimes:

    Section 10

    1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

    3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. Michael Dukakis was 32 years ahead of his time.

    Still is.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. @ Ragspierre, #47:

    From my POV, a conservative is someone who loves people, and wants the best for them.

    Is this meant to be a serious definition? Because if so, yikes. Saying “my side” is good by definition has always worked out so well throughout history…

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  65. It seems like the “Conservative” tent, which we should probably more accurately call the “Republican” tent, consists of a whole lot of subgroups:
    – Traditionalists (social and religious conservatives)
    – Nationalists
    – Free-marketers and corporatists
    – Economic libertarians (who differ from free-marketers and corporatists by not trusting corporate power)
    – Anti-elite populists (who distrust the media, academia, and government institutions)

    I would agree with this list, and also that there are any number of crossovers, too.

    I really don’t know what the average conservative looks like today, and can’t iagine if Trump gets re-elected, what it will look like after his second term is over with.

    Dana (0feb77)

  66. There are devices in hospitals that can be reset to test for any pathogen. They just need the right test pack from the manufacturer.

    Well, there is a cart/horse issue there. Good as that technology a novel virus is going to need some R&D before the thing can work.

    On the larger issue, how do we harden against another world-wide catastrophe, even provided we are prepared. I figure there are ways, but efforts to this point have been disappointing.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  67. Also, what do we do if it turns out that an essential component is a rare mineral which is not obtainable within the territorial expanse of the US?

    We are dependent on China for some rare earths largely because mining and refining them is hard to do under current US law. We HAVE some of those deposits, and it’s not that refining them is some Dickensian horror. We just cannot utilize them at a price comparable to what a country can charge when they don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment.

    https://www.wyomingmining.org/minerals/rare-earths/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. Good as that technology a novel virus is going to need some R&D before the thing can work.

    Well, sure. I dare you to find a way to test that does NOT require some R&D. But you don’t have to build the machine, or vet the testing method. That saves a lot of time.

    It also helps a LOT if we find out about it before it’s on our doorstep (and if we have the wit to get cracking when that happens). If we had been in the loop as the Chinese were finding things out, we could have saved a month and been pushing the first tests out in February. Which would have allowed a test/track/quarantine strategy before TSHTF as it actually did. Ant that would have allowed a more, um, economical approach to containment than “everyone run and hide.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. the “Republican” tent, consists of a whole lot of subgroups:

    Two groups of businessmen: Main Street and Wall Street, with rather different purposes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  70. We don’t trade with them for their benefit, we trade with them for our benefit.

    Well, some of “our” benefit. A lot of former manufacturing workers would question who benefited. And it’s not just jobs we are exporting, it’s the right to make things without any environmental concern. Can’t do that here, but they can there. Even in things that are built by machine, like iPads, and there is no labor savings to speak of.

    It’s not a great surprise to me that we get Frankenvirus every now and them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


  71. Binyamin Appelbaum – NYTimes
    @BCAppelbaum
    ·
    We need a broad and muscular conception of liberty: that government should provide all Americans with the freedom that comes from a stable and prosperous life.
    __ _

    Stephen L. Miller
    @redsteeze
    ·
    Government doesn’t provide those things. Do you constitution?

    _

    harkin (b64479)

  72. Typhoid mary was a libertarian conservative minimalist!

    rota (0711be)

  73. No, poor Mary would have looked at you and just blinked if you said that to her.

    What she was was a poor single woman with one skill she could use to make a living and no understanding of how typhoid works. She also appears to have not given much of a damn.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  74. Police in Greenville, Miss., issued $500 tickets to Christians who gathered in a church parking lot to worship together in the safety of their cars on Wednesday. The Christians at Temple Baptist Church intended to honor coronavirus social distancing restrictions while gathering to worship God, but the police cracked down, regardless.

    Like other stories of this kind, the editors of this rag let the writers lie openly.

    Police don’t fine people. People around the country who have been cited will have due process. I suspect that many will have their matters dismissed by the prosecutors. If not, they’ll have a chance to take the matter to trial. Only IF they are found guilty will they be fined.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  75. Ragspierre -@30

    As to our strategic response to medical essentials like masks, garments, and equipment, the question is one dealt with a few threads back.

    We should have a stockpile of such things that will carry us until new supplies can be made to meet the need. This would be some readily computed amount, times X as a safety margin. We are getting data daily as to what the base amount should be, and that can be adjusted as our population warrants. We have ample space in which that stock can be stored, and most of it is not all that bulky

    We have one already. It’s called the Strategic National Stockpile. Oh wait, it’s been commandeered by Trump.

    RipMurdock (1d97e4)

  76. Rip, one thing it is hard for good planners to project is the terrible cost of having an idiot screw the pooch. Who could have foreseen the awful price we’d pay for our nominating system breaking as it did?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  77. I really don’t know what the average conservative looks like today, and can’t iagine if Trump gets re-elected, what it will look like after his second term is over with.

    Trump currently has a 96% Republican approval rating. That’s why the Never-Trumpers and people like Goldberg, will, and French are getting ready to jump the traces and support Biden. As for the big business globalists, they’re the tail that wags the Republican dog. They seem to be sticking with Trump – but I wouldn’t be surprised if some globalist like Romney or Bush II repeats their behavior in 2016 and refuses to endorse Trump. These people are “rule or Ruin” types and can’t be trusted.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  78. Republicans/conservatives, or more accurately AVERAGE republican.conservatives, have never understood the what a “Big Tent” is supposed to mean. Its does NOT mean you invite everyone into the Tent, and give them the leadership because they agree with 30-60% of the platform. It means you don’t drive people out because they don’t agree with you 100% of the time. But if they agree with you 30-60% they can help us out, if they wish, but we’re not listening to them, and we’re not giving them positions of responsibility.

    The Free marketeers, aka Losertarians, for example, never shut up and always want to dominate. They need to get off the stage, shut up and go to the back of the room. You want to vote R, fine. you don’t want to, that’s OK too. Go vote D.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  79. @ rcocean, #79:

    Trump currently has a 96% Republican approval rating.

    Cite your source. Neither Gallup nor Fox News have him that high.

    But hey, in the unlikely event you’re right, happy to be one of the 4%!

    That’s why the Never-Trumpers and people like Goldberg, will, and French are getting ready to jump the traces and support Biden.

    I’m actually going to vote for the Libertarian (assuming he or she is even halfway sane) or skip voting altogether (if the LP lets me down).So you’re certainly wrong about this Never-Trumper. But you overgeneralize to your heart’s content.

    Demosthenes (f6ab17)

  80. Put up some links (HA!!!) supporting what you just lied about…er…said.

    I don’t even know which Goldberg you just mischaracterized. You are NOT a conservative, and never were, based on your cult worship of Mr. “Only I can fix it”. Conservatives spit on that kind of thug.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  81. Also, I should have responded to this choice phrase from rcocean:

    jump the traces

    For those not familiar with the origin of the phrase, it refers to a horse stepping over its harness straps, slowing or stopping the progress of its team. Perhaps rcocean believes this is how voters in a free society should be regarded…as animals meant to be steered in the proper direction by their Dear Leader? To quote said leader, SAD!

    Demosthenes (f6ab17)

  82. Who could have foreseen the awful price we’d pay for our nominating system breaking as it did?

    As much as I abhored both candidates in 2016 (and will likely abhor both candidates this time), I don’t think it was a failure of the nominating system.

    It was both a failure of judgment by several of his opponents (failing to unify on an alternative — something the Democrats did not do this time) and a desire by many people, Republicans and blue-collar Democrats to rip the system a new assh0le, and Trump seemed the man to do it. That the Democrats nominated a corrupt stay-the-course mouthpiece for all the trough-feeders (instead for the “bold reformer” the partisans wanted), everything tilted towards Trump.

    Populism is not the antithesis of democracy. Rather it is a blunt instrument that the masses reach for when their desires for change have been completely ignored. And Trump is as blunt as instruments come. And stupider than a bag of hammers, but nobody really cared.

    Both parties failed to address growing problems that were harming many citizens. The Democrats actually didn’t much care about “citizens”, and they and the GOP were both enamored of rising stock prices, the workforce be damned. Great if you are an upper-middle class investor — like both party’s contributors were, but not so good if you’ve been underemployed for a decade.

    Once the parties got together to crush the Tea Party, the other shoe was bound to drop.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  83. Not that you are wrong about having a nitwit in charge.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  84. Police don’t fine people. People around the country who have been cited will have due process. I suspect that many will have their matters dismissed by the prosecutors. If not, they’ll have a chance to take the matter to trial. Only IF they are found guilty will they be fined.

    They were cited, and to fight the citation and avoid a certain fine they will have to hire representation, which will cost more than the statutory fine. Their choice is to submit and pay the fine, or submit to a wholly unnecessary process that amounts to a worse punishment.

    But either way, they submit.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. The Free marketeers, aka Losertarians

    Said the man talking about the Big Tent.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  86. You want to vote R, fine. you don’t want to, that’s OK too. Go vote D.

    I want to vote for the party that succeeds the dying GOP. Maybe we can call it “Federalist.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  87. They were cited, and to fight the citation and avoid a certain fine they will have to hire representation, which will cost more than the statutory fine. Their choice is to submit and pay the fine, or submit to a wholly unnecessary process that amounts to a worse punishment.

    Um…I’m the lawyer here. People representing themselves fight citations millions of times a week all over America. Many times those are dropped by the prosecutor. Many times merely later showing up on trial day means you go home scot free because the court hasn’t a chance in hell of reaching your case that day.

    Their choice is to listen to BS or educate themselves and make the process work.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  88. NJRob at 75: while i’m all in favor of fining the idiots who attend 500 person indoor church services, I can’t for the life of me figure out what the problem with a drive in service would be.

    aphrael (7962af)

  89. 90. Nor can anyone with a working brain. But we DO have “zero tolerance” this and that which are designed to remove any thinking or judgment from whole swaths of American life.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  90. Um…I’m the lawyer here.

    You are. And I’m the non-lawyer (like all those other people) who views a ticket as a fine, dreads almost any contact with courts, and usually doesn’t say the magic words that lawyers know to say and gets the fine assessed if they try to fight it themselves.

    Sure some people are practiced. Most of us just pay the fine. It’s much easier. Which again means citation=fine in our mind. So your point is on a technicality that does not matter to many.

    My one night in jail (age 20) was because I naively thought that the fine for the fix-it ticket was the amount I might have to pay. In fact, with “assessments” the amount (cash only) was FIVE TIMES that. Which I did not have. It colors your attitudes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  91. So your point is on a technicality that does not matter to many.

    I could not disagree more strongly. It IS ‘easier” to pay the fine. Its also lousy citizenship if the citation was wrongly issued. Jury duty is a pain in the ass, and dodging it is ‘easier’. Being a citizen was never supposed to be easy. Often it’s downright hard.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)


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