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We have reached a weird and quiet and moment in politics. In 2008 and 2016, the political summer was hot AF. This was due to the fact that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama/Bernie Sanders were still trading licks deep into June and were basically playing a seven game series to win the Democratic Presidential Primary.
What is happening in 2020? Nothing. People are re-painting their toenails and creating TikTok accounts. So in the absence of a compelling narrative to base this cover letter on, I am going to double-down on some of the bad metaphors I’ve been making these past few weeks as we try to explain the so-called “war” on coronavirus.
If this is still a war…
Is it now a trench war? By that I mean, people seem to have adapted to an extremely sh*tty situation and have just accepted that anyone or anything that pops its head above ground is going to get the coronavirus. Also, small businesses, pizza shops, and state/local government budgets are getting absolutely mowed-down in the no-man’s land where government policy (lockdowns) and consumer fright (avoiding human contact) have turned the economy into an absolute killing field.
Speaking of which, we are also in the “Mission Creep” stage of war. All wars begin because people think they’ll be inexpensive and easy to win, and then they just blow people’s minds with their true cost in money and human life. Anyway, around the time that the real cost of wars set in, people start expanding their objectives to justify the sacrifice. So we have departed from a war to “flatten the curve” to a “War to End All Wars” (as they famously labeled World War I after a few million losses). Today, that’s taking the shape of a “lockdown to end all deaths.”
Speaking of wars, Joe Biden is looking a lot less like the U.S. Army in Normandy and a lot more like the U.S. Army in Vietnam. The candidacy of a well-known, decent man with high favorables was a good choice for an election that was supposed to be a referendum on Trump, but now that the conversation is pivoting towards lockdown policies and (hopefully) an economic recovery, Biden looks like an American tank trying to push its way through a muddy Vietnamese rice paddy. That’s the metaphorical way of saying– a powerful political weapon that is not fighting in the war it was designed for.
No one is better at motivating angry voters than Trump. And his energy and WWE-campaign style will be hard to counter as long as Joe Biden stays in the basement. By the numbers, Biden is still the favorite. But this type of election will help to level the playing field for Trump.
Lastly, if the coronavirus is going to take center stage in the election, it’s hard to say what approach to it the public will favor. The numbers are very clear: people overwhelmingly support continuing lockdowns. But a walk around most cities tells a different story. Streets in New York City have lately been clogged with people socializing; and the beaches in Los Angeles are looking about the same. Meanwhile, airlines are reporting increases in sales for the first time in months. These aren’t Right-wing loonies bringing machine guns to state capitals to protest their rights.
Republicans seem to be betting on cognitive dissonance among voters — that they support longer lockdowns for other people, but are eager to go back to their own lives. But recent history has shown that cultural attitude leads political preference. Put another way, the fact that Trump supports re-opening the country is probably enough to convince a lot of people that we shouldn’t. All bets are off on where this story goes in the coming months, as people’s financial situations become more dire and death tolls rise.
What is this bloggers opinion? It seems obvious that there are only two longterm choices: America must either go full-China or full-Sweden. The current policy is just full-Retard.
Lastly, some updates about SSG. We are going to experiment with shifting to a Tuesday newsletter, which fits better with our podcast release schedule. Many of you have recently stepped-up and contributed to our content piggy bank, and for that we are thankful. Those of you who enjoy reading this content as much as we enjoy creating can support Star Spangled Gamblers with your talents and financial resources by visiting www.StarSpangledGamblers.com/support.
Now, on to the alpha!