Your self-fulfilling prophesy of the day: ‘Face masks don’t work’

Pandemic

Just what you wanted: Something else to thank Donald Trump for. By downplaying the virus in the U.S., Trump and Trumpsters have likely given the novel coronavirus an opportunity to develop a mutation, D614G,[1] previously reported,[2] and now found in 99.9 percent of cases. The mutation is suspected of making it easier for the virus to bypass precautions such as mask wearing and hand washing.[3]

It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. That vegan restaurant owner in North Strabane, a distant suburb of Pittsburgh, and my passenger in Greensburg, another distant suburb of Pittsburgh, both protested that “masks don’t work,” as the former refused to wear one and made me pull mine down, and the latter covered her mouth but not her nose while her friend refused to wear one at all. Well, now they work less well.[4] Thanks, assholes.

This latest study has not yet been peer reviewed.[5] But if there was ever an excuse for shooting people on sight, this would have to be it.

Josie Ensor, “New coronavirus mutation could be evolving to get around mask-wearing and hand-washing,” Telegraph, September 24, 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/24/new-coronavirus-mutation-could-evolving-get-around-mask-wearing/


The neoliberal party

A Raw Story article cites a number of ways that the Democrats aren’t really resisting the Republicans,[6] a point I have also made.[7] It did not, so far as I could find, refer specifically to Elizabeth Warren. It does mention the other senator from Massachusetts, Ed Markey.[8] That said,

When you hear the word comity, especially in reference to the U.S. Senate, think of this privileged, legalistic view.

The absence of an actual stake is a serious barrier to Congressional action on problems affecting the poor and working class.[9] It also means we have further reason to expect that the neoliberal party to acquiesce to Donald Trump’s attempt to steal the election.[10]

Sophia Tesfaye, “Democrats’ actions this week suggest they have no real intention to save our democracy,” Raw Story, September 25, 2020, https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/democrats-actions-this-week-suggest-they-have-no-real-intention-to-pull-them-out-to-save-our-democracy/


Polarization

I am remembering a passage from Kim Messick in Salon that I quoted in my dissertation:

In two earlier articles (here and here), I argued that the Republican Party’s extremism can be traced to its increased dependence on an electorate that is largely rural, Southern and white. These voters, who figure prominently in the Tea Party, often decline to interpret political conflict as a struggle among interest groups or a good-faith clash of opinion. Instead, they tend to identify the country as a whole with an idealized version of themselves, and to equate any dissent from their values with disloyalty by alien, “un-American” forces. This paranoid vision of politics, I argued, makes them seek out opportunities for dramatic conflict and to shun negotiation and compromise.[11]

It’s crucial to understanding our dilemma because what it means is that Trumpsters do not even recognize their views as partisan. They equate, not merely conflate or confound, but equate being not merely conservative but, as we now see,[12] white supremacist with being Amerikkkan.

We thus can see, even more than before, how referring to the United States as ‘America’ is incorrect: ‘America’ refers broadly to a hemisphere, composed of numerous countries. But the U.S. is Amerikkka, white supremacist in its history and to the core, enabled by those who call themselves ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ and imagine they think better. Even more than Israel, because of its sheer size and might, this is a country that should dissolve.


  1. [1]Ralph Vartabedian, “Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original
  2. [2]Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “Researchers hypothesize that a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus is spreading, but other experts remain skeptical,” Washington Post, May 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/researchers-hypothesize-that-a-highly-contagious-strain-of-the-coronavirus-is-spreading-but-other-experts-remain-skeptical/2020/05/05/db90d790-8ee7-11ea-9e23-6914ee410a5f_story.html; Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, “This coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why,” Washington Post, June 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/06/29/coronavirus-mutation-science/; Ralph Vartabedian, “Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious,” Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original
  3. [3]Josie Ensor, “New coronavirus mutation could be evolving to get around mask-wearing and hand-washing,” Telegraph, September 24, 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/24/new-coronavirus-mutation-could-evolving-get-around-mask-wearing/
  4. [4]Josie Ensor, “New coronavirus mutation could be evolving to get around mask-wearing and hand-washing,” Telegraph, September 24, 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/24/new-coronavirus-mutation-could-evolving-get-around-mask-wearing/
  5. [5]Josie Ensor, “New coronavirus mutation could be evolving to get around mask-wearing and hand-washing,” Telegraph, September 24, 2020, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/24/new-coronavirus-mutation-could-evolving-get-around-mask-wearing/
  6. [6]Sophia Tesfaye, “Democrats’ actions this week suggest they have no real intention to save our democracy,” Raw Story, September 25, 2020, https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/democrats-actions-this-week-suggest-they-have-no-real-intention-to-pull-them-out-to-save-our-democracy/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Voting for complicity,” Not Housebroken, September 22, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/20/voting-for-complicity/
  8. [8]Sophia Tesfaye, “Democrats’ actions this week suggest they have no real intention to save our democracy,” Raw Story, September 25, 2020, https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/democrats-actions-this-week-suggest-they-have-no-real-intention-to-pull-them-out-to-save-our-democracy/
  9. [9]David Benfell, “The mysterious expectation that elites give a damn,” Not Housebroken, August 1, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/01/the-mysterious-expectation-that-elites-give-a-damn/
  10. [10]David Benfell, “The very scary way to four more years,” Not Housebroken, September 25, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/25/the-very-scary-way-to-four-more-years/
  11. [11]Kim Messick, “Modern GOP is still the party of Dixie,” Salon, October 12, 2013, https://www.salon.com/2013/10/12/modern_gop_is_still_the_party_of_dixie/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “Donald Trump’s ‘brown shirts,’” Not Housebroken, September 12, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/30/donald-trumps-brown-shirts/

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