The best way for me to get enraged enough about a topic to dedicate an entire post to it is by watching the news. I feel that I’m not alone in thinking “how did we get here”, every time I watch the news or read about how this administration is letting people die while they politicize everything. We all know politics, especially in the current state of America, can be extremely polarizing. The fact that we have allowed or that political leaders have encouraged the politicization of everything should scare us. It scares me, especially since it has led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people. And now, with the coronavirus as the “fight for science”, we have only seen the government politicizing exacerbated. What does this mean for the future of America? Why is this dangerous and worthy of examination? In what ways should we be politicizing the coronavirus?
what is politicization? Politicization is the term used when something is being made political or is turning political in nature. In this post specifically, it’s significance intersects with how we view politics. As everything around us is politicized, we can see our society become divisive and insensible. Rather than think about this rationally, we are forced to keep our political and partisan lenses on 24/7. So now people think that everything is a matter of politics and parties and they make decisions based on that belief.
medical information. I don’t think anyone is surprised at this one, that leaders that should be focused on finding the best way to keep people safe, has politicized medical information. For the United States, this isn’t new as global warming and basic science has been politicized to the point where it’s not based on facts, but “beliefs”. Rather than have one clear medical expert talk to the public in an organized and credible manner, politicians have undermined the science while focusing the political optics of being “the greatest” and “most powerful” individual. This doesn’t happen in other countries. In New Zealand (my favorite), leaders urged the public to listen to a central expert figure, and used their power not to control the public, but to guide them to the credible information The flow of information is extremely important during a pandemic, especially when this medical information could save lives. We know this administration has had an issue with factual information and organization, but during the pandemic, that results in deaths. Dr. Fauci could only do so much in that building.
masks. Wearing a mask has no longer becoming a discussion of science and necessary precaution. Conservatives have turned it into a political conversation consisting of regulating their bodies and freedoms (which is even more hypocritical and crazy considering their anti-choice views). Additionally, behavior and response to mask mandates now depend on politics, gender, race, party, etc. The best evidence to the politicization of masks is recent polling that shows statistics of mask-wearing along partisan lines. While almost all democrats are inclined to wear a mask, the opposite is true for Republicans, although your political party doesn’t affect the danger of that the coronavirus poses. This article has a lot of statistics and information about this “mask divide”, that I recommend reading.
is the politicization of the coronavirus ever okay? I’m going to be honest when I sat down to write this post this wasn’t something that I even thought about. However, while researching and reading more about this topic, I found a lot of information about this point of view that actually makes a lot of sense. It’s important to recognize when politicization is necessary and actually contributive to the country. This idea of beneficial politicization points out that the handling of the pandemic should cause us to think about the politics of it and what we want our government to look like. We should essentially be able to realize the political aspects of the pandemic that have been inevitable and whether or not those are politics that we believe in. Going further, our views and political beliefs should and definitely will alter because of the intersection of politics and the coronavirus, which would only help the country progress.
the death cost. Politicization has always been a big issue, and it has had detrimental effects before, even death. However, its current cost, that Americans are paying, is far more widespread and fatal. As I mentioned before, the distribution of medical information has been at the center of the failure of the government’s pandemic response. The confusion and falsity of political leaders taking the role of medical experts and undermining the institutions specifically built for a situation like this. The constant idiocy of the administration has been the reason why no matter how many commercials urge you to wash your hands, people have a political basis (loyalty to and trust in their elected leaders) to continue unhealthy practices that result in death.
the future of the country. The future of the country and of American politics relies heavily on how we act in response to the current administration coronavirus policies. Not only do we have to vote and voice our discontent in the current state of politics, but we need to make sure that we have safeguards and systems in place for the next inevitable pandemic.
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