Literally. The original meaning of “apocalypse” was not a catastrophe but an event that shows the truth of the world. Hence the Christian apocalypse being the book of Revelation. And what our current apocalypse reveals is increasingly ugly.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has declared “there are more important things than living,” so we have to end stay-in-place. I will bet good money that Patrick is a chickenhawk on this: if he ever catches COVID-19 he’ll be using his power and whatever money he has to make damn sure he gets first-rate treatment, screw whoever else suffers. Even if he and the other “greater good” types are sincere, I think they’re wrong. The government could pass a stimulus bill that would actually help people and small business, which would make much more sense. But AAAAAH SOCIALISM! is the freak-out response. Better people die.
Then there’s Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who’s all for reopening. Which former Georgia reporter George Clidi finds revealing too: “If there’s no state order calling for businesses to be closed, the people who are unemployed can no longer claim that their unemployment is involuntary, even if it would be utter idiocy for them to return to work. A hair dresser or a massage therapist cannot maintain social distance. But they can certainly file for relief … unless the law says they can work. Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists. Not banks. Not software firms. Not factories. Not schools. It is no coincidence that the businesses on this list are staffed by relatively poor people. Because that’s who he wants off the unemployment rolls. And if they die … well, they’re mostly black people, or Asian, and poor, and an acceptable political loss for a Republican governor.”
Lying about Trump Virus denialism is also revealing (Richard Epstein predicted 500 deaths in the U.S., max. Now he’s pretending he didn’t). So is a wealthy enclave getting thoroughly tested while other areas do without. A University of Miami official (the school’s health system provided the testing) admits this”may have created the impression that certain communities would receive preferential treatment.” You think?
And then there’s my friends. Living in the South, and particularly in the Florida Panhandle, I have lots of friends who are conservative Republicans. Which I’ve always been able to live with. Now I’m seeing them supporting Trump, parroting bullshit claims: he’s doing a good job. Hey, why don’t we ban cars, which kill more people? Lifting restrictions is about FREEDOM! Stay-in-place is Nazism (Oh, yeah? So is advocating the deaths of millions for the good of the country)! The death toll has been exaggerated (just like Sandy hook was a false flag operation, I guess)! I could sort-of understand supporting Trump in 2016, but even now, despite his manifest incompetence and his willingness to let millions die, they’re still backing him.
I didn’t discuss race much with my friends, though there were a few arguments about feminism (it was much more acceptable to publicly sexist than publicly racist). And I don’t like thinking of my friends as racist. But I have to admit, looking at their blind, unwavering support for Trump, I wonder how much of it is because of racism? Trump’s brand is reassuring white people that despite Obama, they’re still at the top of the hierarchy (men too); for some people, that matters more than anything. Not for everyone, but even non-racist, non-male supremacist supporters are willing to live with racism if they get whatever it is they want from him (prayer in schools, end of abortion, etc.).
These are ugly things to think about my friends, but I can’t see any way they’re not true.