You can’t go a day watching TV or browsing the internet without seeing the new mantra of the coronavirus pandemic response: “We are all in this together.” Melodramatic commercials with somber music playing and a narrator uttering the catchphrase inundate us from all angles, trying to preach unity in this time of crisis.
To them, I say this: “No, we’re not in this together.”
Even a cursory view of daily newscasts lends credence to my negative reaction. Sorry to be a downer, but somebody had to say it. Since the pandemic began, state governors have acted like low-budget dictators, ignoring the large-scale demonstrations at the steps of their capitol buildings and implementing harsher and harsher restrictions as time goes on. Citizens simply want their freedoms back. They want to be able to go back to work and provide for their families without government threats warning them to stay home.
Governors and local leaders have deemed which jobs are “essential” and “nonessential.” That’s easy for them to say, but tell that to those who rely on their occupation to pay the bills and support their families. Their jobs are essential to them, even if government officials don’t recognize it as such.
Mike Rowe, former host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” told Fox News’ Dana Perino that “There’s something tricky with the language going on here, because with regard to an economy, I don’t think there is any such thing as a nonessential worker. This is basically a quilt…and if you start pulling on jobs and tugging on careers over here and over there, the whole thing will bunch up in a weird way.”
It’s simple: all workers are essential because all jobs are connected to one another. That’s how an economy works.
FEE president and economist Zilvinas Silenas wrote the following at Townhall:
“Allowing politicians to decide which businesses and products are ‘essential’ is an invitation for disaster,” Silenas observed. “If we continue to deny these businesses the ability to do the one essential thing they are best at—providing goods and services to millions of everyday Americans—we risk more than unemployment or recession of stock price plunge. We deprive ourselves of the best resource—our people—during the time of need.”
These sorts of labels only serve to further divide the country and pit us against each other. “Essentials” vs. “Nonessentials” can’t just become another social division.
The Democrats and their allies in the media are working to undermine President Trump’s efforts to protect the lives of the American people. Rather than addressing the major issues facing our country, they fixate on petty details that score them some cheap political points. When they should be worrying about getting people back to work, they instead focus on questions like “why didn’t the president wear a mask to a Honeywell plant in Arizona?” or “why didn’t Vice President Pence wear a mask when visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota?”
The media is fixated on Trump’s supposed “fiddling” at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in America. Speaker Nancy Pelosi went as far as to say that Trump was “fiddling while Americans were dying” and called for an investigation into his actions, possibly leading to another impeachment.
That is, of course, absolutely absurd. Trump has been working around-the-clock, seven days a week, since this pandemic started. Instead of trying to contribute to the solution, Pelosi is playing politics and has announced that they will be investigating Trump again, this time over his handling of the coronavirus response. This will further divide the country, and it does nothing to help people who are actually suffering.
The truth is that we are more divided than united right now. Many Americans—on both sides of the aisle—are ignoring the realities on the ground and are viewing the COVID-19 response through the lens of partisan politics.
That’s a shame, and it needs to change, but for the time being, it’s clear that we’re NOT in this together.