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Drain the Swamp?

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Message Rob Palmer

Drain the Swamp?

Pow...Pow Pow...Zing.
I hit the floor, then rolled into an interior hallway.
"911, what is your emergency?
"Multiple shots fired. Right outside my house."
The shots continued, to my right, plodding footsteps, more shots, this time directly ahead. My house had been hit. Possibly my car.
Bam. Zing.
A womans shriek, unrelenting. She must have been hit, someone from the party next door.
How many shooters? How many shot? What's going on?

Anything less than a multi acre fortified compound outside Pueblo, CO will be useless. Install a Faraday cage in an internal room, set the alarms, unspool all the aluminum foil, I am getting out. Let me stop by an ATM. We will need cash.
Checking Balance 0.00
Damn. Okay, what else have you got? You can't be serious. Allright. I need a minute to think.

Institutional Memory

n.The information held in employees' personal recollections and experiences that provides an understanding of the history and culture of an organization, especially the stories that explain the reasons behind certain decisions or procedures.

Records may be considered a part of institutional memory, but the term generally connotes informal, unrecorded knowledge. Dictionary of Archives Technology. Website

The More You Know

"A literal once- in-a-century crisis that's killed 100,000 in 9 weeks. Conservatives (especially in the USA tend to reject whole swathes of public policy as just illegitimate on their faces-things that should be left to the private sector, or individuals. Trump, instead of putting serious thinkers in institutions, put in grifters or people who intentionally dislike the institutions and want to weaken it. Public health has been viewed as part of the magistrate's job for as long as war and courts. Government's have been quarantining infectious diseases since well before the United States existed. It is CRUCIAL (emphasis in original) and it has to function and conservatives cannot just b*tch about how "well it's full of liberals and it has a liberal bias." Your county health department is as vital to your community as your local school district or police and by ceding fields like public health to the progressives conservatives have basically lost all institutional knowledge about things like public health.
There is no viable conservative alternative to public health in this crisis-the entirety of it is "bunch of libs doing lib stuff! No to that!"

This is also a symptom of how functionally libertarian our right-wing politics have become. Guys like Bob Dole seem like dinosaurs from another era-and yet I feel like only 20 years ago plenty of conservatives would have acknowledged that in times of epidemic, war, or terrorism we might need a muscular government response. But the ensuing decades of conservative brain rot-from Bill Buckley to Sean Hannity-have resulted in a movement that seems incapable of doing anything other than 1) protesting the libs and 2) asserting their rights to do what they want.

What it boils down to me is that apart from the military (which I think we could do with less of), the judiciary, and law enforcement, there's essentially no conservative institutional knowledge. No conservative sense of what public health, or environmental protection, or workplace safety regulation, or consumer finance protection should look like. Everything has degraded into your "folk libertarianism" except for poor lonely Mitt Romney, and Josh Hawley who I'll believe just as soon as he does something more than make an inspiring speech. Michael Lewis had a good, if somewhat overwrought (or so I thought at the time) book, "The Fifth Risk," published after Trump took office, and it illustrates this really well. The idea basically is that the worry is that institutional knowledge and competence will degrade, under leaders that deride expertise, and some unforeseen future crisis will arise that no one will have the capacity to deal with. And here we are." The American Conservative.

All of us born after WW2 have spent our lives in a bubble. The first vaccine, the polio vaccine, was in 1955.
Massive death was routine until our time. We tend to forget the consequences.
The public health structure has deteriorated because it hasn't happened in our lifetime. We've dismantled public health services. All 50 states are doing their own thing. A hodge-podge of guidelines are not helping to contain the virus.
History shows that you have to take disease seriously. The things that work aren't necessarily dramatic. Natural herd immunity would have devastating consequences. We need a vaccine. It takes 60% to 70% of the population being vaccinated to contain the virus. If enough people are immune to a disease it will break the chain of transmission.

One hundred sixty thousand Americans. One dies every 80 seconds.
Holocaust: Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale.
We can go ahead and check that box.
Apartheid: Minority rule. The current president received thteemillion fewer votes in 2016. Check.
Drain the swamp: Trash all the playbooks. Fire or vilify experts. We're three for three.
The solution must be to do the opposite of everything we've been trying. Undrain the swamp. Listen to the experts. Lead by example.
I dropped my head. Put the genie back in the bottle. Squeeze toothpaste back into the tube.
That's your solution? You want me to reverse Trumpism?

"We are not where I'd hoped we'd be." Dr. Anthony Fauci. "Five million infections. Three hundred thousand dead Americans by the end of the year.
We do not have a universal plan. To slow the outbreak, social distance. Wash hands. Close bars...We have to open the country...when we tried to open up several states, instead of being way down, we started to have an increase. We have it in our power to get that (deaths from the virus) down.
Schools? One hundred thousand kids have been infected in the last few weeks. Try to open the schools, however, make sure safety is the primary considederation."

Green, Yellow, Orange Or Red? This New Tool Shows COVID-19 Risk In Your County

July 1, 20205:01 AM ET

Heard on Morning Edition

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A proud student of southern culture and history, embodiment of the bold paradox that is American life, Rob Palmer is a writer finding his way in 21st century Texas. Publishing political editorials exclusively in op/ed news, at least until (more...)

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