With the specter of the coronavirus pandemic looming, we are getting to experience some of the pitfalls of having extremely high population densities in our major urban areas. While we can’t boast some of the high populations of cities in China (Shanghai and Beijing have populations of 23.4 million and 18.8 million, respectively), our major cities do rival those in terms of population density.
For one thing, we’re seeing that it’s a whole lot easier for pathogens like COVID-19 to spread like wildfire in such locations. It’s simply a lot more difficult to maintain distance from other people when you’re packed like sardines into subways, buses, tunnels and other public venues. We can also see how the stress and practical concerns attendant to living in these teeming seas of humanity actually militate against individuals taking the precautions necessary to avoid infection – and this is before we factor in people who are too marginalized to care.
Finally, we can see how having dramatically lowered the bar with regard to our standards for elected officials has become a marked liability.
Take New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example. I’m not going to take issue with his leftist blathering relative to the pandemic – such as Cuomo floating the idea that COVID-19 presents a great opportunity to nationalize our hospitals. We’re hearing this sort of thing from Democratic governors who are doing a lot better job of handling the pandemi, and who are being far more cooperative with President Trump’s agenda in this area.
What I mean here is that Cuomo is well out of his depth, and he’s too ignorant to even know it.
One of the New York governor’s most noteworthy bungles had to do with his resistance to the use of the antiviral medication hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. A close second would be his resistance to securing an adequate number of ventilators for his state (as he was advised to do prior to the outbreak), then being faced with a desperate shortage of the devices and becoming mired in a controversy over mobilizing the National Guard to scour the state and seize “available” ventilators. It’s the sheer volume of Cuomo’s gaffes, however, that speak to his glaring incompetence.
In a recent interview on CNN, Cuomo was asked what he thought about President Trump’s statements on the possibility of restricting travel in and out of New York to contain further spread of the virus. His replies bordered on incoherence and contradicted statements he previously made.
According to Cuomo, if his state was quarantined, “we would be Wuhan, China, and that doesn’t make any sense.”
First off, geographically confining people in hard-hit areas during a pandemic actually makes a great deal of sense. Second, it’s more than a bit incongruous that Cuomo would hold up China’s actions as an example of what not to do, considering the fact that he and other Democrats lauded the actions of the Chinese government attendant to the outbreak and excoriated our president as a racist for imposing a travel ban to and from China early on.
Cuomo went on to say that a quarantine of New York would “paralyze the financial sector” since New York is the financial hub of the nation. This may have been true 100 years ago, which begs the question of whether Cuomo is at all familiar with digital technology.
Last Friday, during Cuomo’s daily coronavirus press conference, the governor expressed frustration that there were still shortages of personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical staff in his state. “It is unbelievable to me that in New York state, in the United States of America, we cannot make these materials, and that we are all shopping China to try get these materials, and we are competing against each other,” Cuomo said.
This statement speaks to a level of disconnection more befitting a grade-school dropout with a traumatic brain injury than a sitting governor. The average news consumer can readily tell how we’ve become over-reliant on foreign manufacturers for many of the products we use. If Cuomo can’t do that simple math, he definitely shouldn’t be running an entire state.
Americans have always tended to evaluate our candidates for office very superficially, and that goes double for those seeking high office; the only exception in recent memory has been when we elected Donald Trump as our president in 2016. In recent years, this phenomenon has become far worse. Instead of looking to the qualities in a candidate that might speak to sound governance, we look to their ethnicity, their sexual orientation or simply the cult of personality. We have candidates who are out-and-out communists, candidates who are demonstrably racist, candidates whose stated goals are to advance foreign, anti-American agendas and initiatives that are tantamount to economic suicide – and they’re getting elected in increasing numbers.
In the end, there’s no earthly reason why the son or daughter of a capable officeholder should be expected to perform as well as his or her parent in the political realm simply by virtue of genetics or exposure. Political dynasties – whether Kennedys or Cuomos – are simply a form of nepotism the American political machine can do without.
Mario Cuomo – who was governor of New York from 1983 to 1994 – was a reasonably decent governor for a Democrat of his day. Sadly, like the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra’s offspring, the talent seems to have skipped at least one generation.
Article posted with permission from Erik Rush
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