Covid appears to be settling in for the long haul, so there will be no decent interval observed before full resumption of clown-world identity politics (no social distancing for social justice, alas), as we’ve seen with the budding Ahmaud Arbery hoax. I suspect that, as after 9/11, it will come back with a vengeance.
Comparing Covid with 9/11 is a good measure of the extent of our disintegration as a nation; briefly after the latter there was a sense that we would finally come together as a nation. Now that initial moment of unity, false or not, isn’t even possible.
We were collectively faced with a threat from without, a la President Reagan’s cold war era “alien invasion” scenario and I thought I sensed even in liberals the hope it would end the misguided direction of American “civil rights”–just as they once hoped AIDS would calm our sexual chaos.
(We see how that all fared now.)
The press seized on this speech as further proof of Reagan’s bumptiousness. Sadly their mockery has been borne out by 9/11 and now Covid; Reagan was naïve. But the very cynicism with which his statement was met is the same that renders it naïve: even an alien invasion would not dilute their disdain for Reagan and those he represents.
That cynicism still defines our politics. The same class mocking Reagan now hangs on every Trump utterance for no reason other than to sink him, finally. They were right about Reagan, but his naivete was the lesser part to their malice.
If alien invaders ever showed up, you can bet they’ll be met upon landing by a contingent looking to ally with them in their fight against white supremacy and patriarchy (there’s a story idea).
Like General Casey fretting our marvelous diversity might end up in a pool of blood like Major Hasan’s victims, some are now saying it would be a shame to conquer Covid only to strengthen the patrarchy:
And yet, even these lifelong battles for a place in science have left us unprepared for the gendered and racial inequalities we have experienced in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The worst impacts of the coronavirus will undoubtedly be the loss of lives, the collapse of economies, the disruption of humanitarian aid and the decay of democracies. But we fear that the hard-won progress for women in science will be collateral damage of this crisis.
In the spirit of generosity I went looking for something I could agree with in the above piece. Maybe this:
…men’s voices are being amplified over expert women because they have been identified through informal male networks, or have blustered their way in to social media and TV interviews and are therefore perceived as “high profile”.
Okay. now we’re on to something. I think we can appease this woman. How about if we get rid of this guy?
Maybe the girls just need to work on their hair more.
The lady-doctor complaining the crisis is shaking up her field, causing some to distinguish themselves and others to fall out along predictably disparate lines, is ironically complaining that nature (in the form of Covid) is making a mockery of her socially constructed equality in the natural sciences.
Toqueville would recognize it for what it is:
“Nature secretly avenges herself for the constraint imposed upon her by the laws of man.”
The uncomfortable implication of seeing nature avenge herself for diversity in the present crisis is that it must always be wringing out its vengeance, less dramatically but society-wide, in our environment of imposed diversity and equity.
And as Covid and the attendant economic depression progress and less and less mediocrity and waste is sustainable, we can expect many more of these laments, on behalf of a variety of groups finding their uselessness suddenly exposed.
Nothing is ever all bad. They might even lose.