Monday, June 22, 2020

Un Together Now

So this collage was shared as evidence that leadership in the United States (At least from the White House) was failing to rally the nation to put an end to the COVID-19 epidemic. Which is fair enough, I suppose, but for me, that assessment relies on the idea that all other things are equal, which I don't really suspect they are.

A strong nationwide response to something like the SARS-2 Coronavirus requires a very high level of social trust. While some 60% to 70% of Americans report that they wear masks and take other precautions when out and around, that still leaves tens of millions of people who aren't. But even getting the level of cooperation into the 60s is quite a feat. Pushing it higher is going to be remarkably difficult.

And I don't know that it's realistic to expect a President who was elected through working the divisions that have grown up between Americans for at least the past 30+ years to suddenly turn around and have everyone pulling in the same direction over the course of a couple of months. Even if he were inclined to operate in that way, and there's little evidence that he is, it would be a nearly impossible task. Leadership is all find and good, but people have to want to follow.

No comments: