People are talking about COVID-19 these days, how to fight it, how to stay away from it, whether or not the lockdown approach will end up being more harmful than the disease, and when–if ever–the country will get back to normal.
Reasonably, we’re debating the nature of the country’s response and whether we could have done something better or something sooner, and where do we go from here?
But now another ingredient has been added to the mix, often stated about like this: Why would we want to get back to normal when normal was pretty much all bad?
So here we have people using the pandemic as a springboard for steering the discussion back to the same political agenda they were pushing before the pandemic began. Sure, there’s an election on the horizon and people want us to remember the issues that separate their platforms from other platforms.
But we go a step too far when we say that the normal we had was 100% terrible and that, in fact, nothing about it is worth celebrating. I want to say, “If you think this country is totally rotten, why don’t you move to a country that either is less rotten or is still fresh as cherries just plucked from the tree?”
I would like to challenge the people who say everything about the pre-pandemic normal was horrible, to try and come up with a list of things that we not horrible. I don’t trust a person who is 100% negative to ever put together a vision for what this country should be moving toward as we fix the known ills. I want them to begin by saying, “I love this country in spite of its flaws–and here’s why.”
If they can do that, then we have hope for the future as they see it. If not, they look like the kind of people who don’t know beating a dead horse won’t get them anywhere, much less charm the people who owned the horse.