Having just gotten back from a trip to coastal Georgia and having my TV watching there bombarded by Ron DeSantis political ads from just over the border, I returned loaded for bear.
People in the know told me what a mean, vindictive person DeSantis is, so I’m thinking that we might be better off to let Trump walk on his current charges than dispatch him only to have DeSantis float to the top of the cesspool and be a more electable Republican 2024 nominee.
Despite only having won by 32,000 votes when he last ran, in a state with more than 22 million people, Desantis’ anti-science stance on COVID restrictions has made him very popular and the likely victor this November in the race for the governor’s office. So I couldn’t wait to get home and start writing a comparison of our own state’s much more stringent efforts, led by Gov. Tom Wolf, and how many lives they’d saved in comparison to DeSantis’ folly.
While there are probably a number of demographic factors that might weigh into such an analysis, the percentage of 65+ citizens is definitely at the top. In fact, Florida’s percentage is slightly higher, at 21.3%, than PA’s at 19.1, based on 2020 data. Sure vaccination rates, political affiliation, educational levels, urban vs. rural, proximity to hospitals, all might be factors; but I would assume they’d even out, with age being the most critical.
Of course, as is my point, the first three letters in “assume”…well you’ve already heard that one. But, the startling fact is Florida and Pennsylvania, at diametrically opposite poles of COVID restriction response, have had, as of August 29, 2022, identical percentages of their populations succumb to COVID: 0.36%.
So, opportunist that I am, while one idea for a spiel vaporizes in the light of fact, I grab a parachute and use the experience for another. Those of us who still exist in the real world, and it seems to be a declining percentage of the population of this country, probably owe it to our values to check into things before shouting out an opinion. However, that assumes– there’s that word again– that the other side is also playing fair.
I’m watching the PA senate race very closely. John Fetterman has not the practiced TV presence of Dr. Oz, nor is he probably quite as bright. But, he’s effectively using the tools he has, like memes on social media and tactical avoidance of debates, to, in a sense, play dirty and retain his double-digit lead. That’s the moral quandary: Where is the line that we are willing to cross and leave behind the same regard for fairness and facts that has been so long absent from “the other side.”
The Ukrainians have been very clever in outwitting the Russians using asymmetric tools like social media, decoys and improvised weaponry. But, they are in a fight for their survival. Perhaps we are also in a fight for the survival of our democracy and should recognize that all is fair in love and war. Just not sure I’ve yet reached the point where I can cross over that line. And I wonder, if we all do, will we be able to come back.
©2022, David B Bucher