The media’s excoriation of George W. Bush for his administration’s botched response to hurricane Katrina in 2005 was unfair, because it ignored important context: Louisiana helped elect Bush, and Bush ran on a platform of limited government, promising to “downsize this mess.” Implementation of that policy position meant cuts to federal agencies, including FEMA, and shifting their responsibilities to the states (or privatizing them). Bush was doing exactly what he was elected to do when he dismantled FEMA.
The media failed Americans by not telling them, “this is what you voted for. Bodies floating in the streets are the result of the policies you picked.”
We’re now doing the same thing all over again as the Coronavirus crisis becomes a global pandemic. The Trump administration’s staggeringly incompetent response is not actually Donald Trump’s fault. It is the fault of GOP voters who chose staggering incompetence at the ballot box and put a manifestly unqualified huckster at the helm of one of the most complex societies ever created by humans.
The mandate they gave this huckster was exactly this: Dismantle the government. Get rid of the elite “experts.” Attack the loyal civil servants who actually run the place as “deep state.” Sow chaos.
We need to be as clear as we possibly can. This is not a mistake. This is not mere incompetence. This is the predictable result of electing a moron on a platform of dismantling government. This what they voted for.
The ability of the GOP to run on abstract principles of “limited government” and low taxes while avoiding responsibility for the consequences – crumbling infrastructure, gutted public services, massive inequality – has to stop. We cannot survive if we keep allowing our fellow citizens to smash the systems we build to keep us safe.