From Smirking Chimp
It's becoming something of a cliche' in this crazy year of 2020, but in mid-September Joe Biden came to a minor-league ballpark in Moosic, Pa.a few home-run balls from where the Democratic presidential hopeful was born and staged a campaign event unlike anything America has ever seen before.
In a normal year, the former vice president might have packed the seats at PNC Field, but instead he was out in the parking lot for a nationally televised CNN town hall, watched in person by 35 carloads of pre-selected voters. The attendees leaned on the hoods of their cars, confined to chalked-out rectangles that would keep them six feet apart, as they watched Biden hammer home a message that matched the social distancing, that President Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus has been "close to criminal."
A short time later, TV viewers saw Trump climb down Air Force One and address a packed rally of thousands at Mosinee, Wisconsin. Almost none of the enthusiastic attendees -- packed tighter than a can of sardines -- wore masks, even though Wisconsin had set a record for new COVID-19 infections that very day. The president told the crowd that he'd seen Biden's drive-in town hall from the plane: "They've got cars," he said. "It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen."
Now, Donald Trump might be a serial liar -- well over 20,000, according to the Washington Post who, as I write this, is posing the greatest threat to American democracy -- since the Civil War, but I can't stop worrying that the 45th president is onto something with his political analysis. In a year of earthquake-caliber shocks, one of 2020"s biggest surprises has been the way that Democrats and Republicans have reacted so differently to a killer virus that doesn't care about your party ID.
Republicans, it turns out, are from Mars. They are prone, in far too many cases, to see common-sense public-health mandates or guidance such as always wearing masks in public and keeping six-foot social distance as an assault on their personal freedom.