Coronavirus Conundrum: The Democrats Dilemma


In these uncertain, stressful and turbulent times caused by the tiny Coronavirus, we can be certain of two things: First, it is certain that this novel coronavirus will pass as all pandemics do. Second, almost certainly Donald Trump will win a second term as President and it will be the fault of the Democratic Party.

The Spanish flu in 1918,one of the deadliest epidemics in human history infected 500 million people and killed up to 50 million, but much of the severity was gone in a year. The Black Death or the Great Bubonic Plague was the most devastating pandemic recorded in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia in the 15th century. By most counts, counts, it lasted for 4 years in Europe from 1347 to 1351.

The novel coronavirus and the health impact COVID-19 will also end for certain, perhaps by Easter according to our President, but certainly by the end of the summer by all expert counts. But for certain, the remnants of the novel coronavirus will last for four and a half years with Trump winning re-election in November this year.

Just think about what we are doing to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19. We are giving people money, giving corporations money and loan guarantees, giving individual states money, all for the initial tune of $2.2 trillion. This bill will surely increase. And you know who is giving away this money and helping people and companies in dire straits? It is Donald Trump and the Republicans. No matter what the Democrats introduced into the bill to help ordinary people, it is Donald Trump’s rescue package. At least that is what Trump will run on.

The Democrats could have easily been in front of this but have not supported any true progressive idea since Bill Clinton and the Democratic right captured the leadership of the party and changed its soul. Let’s face it, Joe Biden is on the right wing of the Democratic Party, just look at his voting record over the years. If the Democratic Party had continued on their progressive history, don’t forget it was the Democratic-Labor Party in much of the mid-west, it would be in a different position right now.

Had the Democratic Party supported Medicare-for-All, then many people would have free healthcare and especially free medical testing, and would have volunteered to get tested for coronavirus immediately on the onset of symptoms. Similarly, if the Dems had fully supported extended sick leave for everyone, then the fear of losing money would not have kept people from self-quarantining when they became ill. These simple ideas would have changed the course of how we fight the coronavirus and we would be in less of a crisis now. I will not even bring up things like free Pre-K and public education, student loan forgiveness etc. which would have vastly reduced the emotional strain on the population right now.

Instead, the Democratic Party attacked progressive policies on universal healthcare including sick leave as being too expensive and unaffordable. The Democratic Party reps were cynical in not reading anything written by academics, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren on how these healthcare proposals would be paid for. Sanders has excruciating detail on how to pay for all of his progressive policies but the media did not highlight it and Biden’s campaign simply dismissed it by saying it was too expensive. Warren had Nobel Prize worthy Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman explaining how changes in the tax system can pay for Medicare for All, and the media and the Dems thought they knew better. What are they saying to the new $2.2 trillion package?

Of course, the Democratic Party and the liberal media was also condescending towards the proposal of Andrew Yang regarding Universal Basic Income. My calculations show that giving every 18+ adult $1000/month (some of which would be clawed back via the current tax code) would cost around $1.85 trillion and this could be paid for by having a 15-18% value added tax (VAT) which most European countries have. An added benefit is that it would be so easy to administer, no welfare police, no bureaucrats keeping track of eligibility and the like. And in times like the pandemic we are facing, the level of economic and emotional crisis would be greatly minimized to know that there is enough income to eat and pay your rent. And if people continued spending, even at a lower level, most companies will also not need to be “rescued”.

The Democratic Party was in such a tizzy that the progressive candidates Sanders or Warren might win that they first encouraged Michael Bloomberg to join, even changing their rules to allow him to be on the debate stage (what a disaster!), and then orchestrating the unprecedented capitulation of Buttigieg and Klobuchar the day before Super Tuesday. They also used scare tactics on the voters, by red baiting progressives with the help of the media. How many times was the question asked of Sanders and others whether the country was ready for a “socialist” when the progressive proposals in the U.S. did not go even as far as that of any of the western European countries like the U.K. and Germany, neither would ever be called “socialist”.

Had the Democratic Party adopted progressive measures and passed it in the House by now, all they had to tell the voters was that their plans saved them economically and in terms of their families health. Instead, they have given the leadership to Trump and the Republican Party who will undoubtedly triumph at the polls in November in spite of the media and Nancy Pelosi trying to focus on the initial missteps by the administration.

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