The Coronavirus Reveals the Need for a Strong Federal Government

Since Ronald Reagan drooled and gibbered his way into the hearts and souls of idiot America, it's been an article of faith among the right and among too many in the center that the government that governs best, governs least. It was always bullshit meant to distract the rubes as Reagan and Bush amped up military spending (the Defense Department being a part of the, you know, government) and anxiously passed restrictions on abortion and LGBT rights. But, still, Republicans stuck to the weird idea that shrinking the federal government was the project of government. And how did that work out under W. Bush?

It wasn't until the Obama administration that it became possible to speak again about the necessity of a strong federal government in protecting the life, liberty, and property of Americans so we might be able to pursue some motherfuckin' happiness. And while Obama didn't and couldn't go further than he did, he at least reintroduced the notion that government can do good beyond the military, the polar opposite of Reagan's self-hating doctrine of "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" God, the 1980s were just such garbage for so many reasons.

In addition to racism, you could make a case that one reason Republicans reacted to savagely to Barack Obama was that he was making people trust the government again, that he was making things safe for expanded government programs. The shit-themselves panic they went into over the Affordable Care Act wasn't because of fear of a commie takeover of health care. It was because they knew it would likely work: they knew that if they didn't try to tear it apart, it would prove that federal government programs can make life better, and, holy fuckballs, that would shred a generation of conservative arguments.

The backlash against Obama and (most of) the Democrats dragged us through the Republican fuckery during both of his terms and, of course, to the election of Donald Trump, a man who has a hatred of government except in how it can enrich him. In other words, a typical capitalist dogfucker.

But, like Katrina and the financial crisis, it takes a catastrophe or the possibility of a catastrophe to reveal how pathetically empty the conservative approach to the federal government is. And, with President Whiner McRageface in charge, the gutting of the federal government has gotten to a point that has put us in this utterly precarious, outright dangerous position with the rise of this strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

We don't know yet how bad it's gonna get with coronavirus. It might be fucking awful, with millions infected and tens of thousands (or more) dying. It might fade as more and more measures are put into place to deal with it. Or not. We don't fuckin' know. We know it kills more people than the regular flu. And, right now, we know that the Trump administration has fucked it up something awful.

For instance, we knew that the virus was spreading quickly in China in late January, and we knew that Americans had traveled there and returned, along with whatever visitors came to the United States from there. But the federal government didn't really kick into gear until a little over a week ago. Yep, we could have been doing shit to get ready for this for weeks before we did, but Trump didn't want anyone to think a virus would be able to get across the border while he's president or some fucking thing, so we waited and now we're scrambling to get to where South Korea and the EU are now. (By the way, the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is an awesome resource.)

As the number of cases and the number of deaths rise, as Trump displays his brand of breathtakingly confident stupidity, the nation is getting a simple lesson: We need a fucking strong federal government precisely for shit like this instead of the toxic soup of incompetence, cruelty, and narcissism that's running things now.

And there's a related lesson: this is why you have health care freely available to everyone. Every-fucking-one. Otherwise, you have a bunch of sick people in your country who aren't getting treated because they can't afford it or are afraid some depraved fuck is going to have them deported. And a country might get away with that cruelty when it's just regular ol' flu. But when shit gets real and you don't have that infrastructure even close to in place? You might just get fucked by some new disease.

Now that they're scared, even some Republicans are saying, "Well, fuck me. Okay, fine, on this the government needs to step up and pay for shit or we're all fucked." Except guess who's been helping the president take a wrecking ball to the CDC and other agencies? Look in the mirror, fuckos.

Yes, back in 2009 and 2010, Democrats didn't get the job done on health care. But fuckin' Republicans stood as a bloc in the way. They are more to blame than just a couple of Democratic senators (although fuck them, too). The Republicans need to pay for an ideology that has actually led to more death and suffering in the United States, and if this virus gets really bad, that check is gonna be high.