Contradictions abound in Trump’s political selling point, Make America Great Again. After all, if he were interested in eliciting the “greater angels of our nature,” he would not exhort his followers to flout the use of masks, which promote the greater health of the country by serving as a prophylactic in the spread of Covid-19. The action of these clueless rebels, taken to its logical conclusion, would express itself in the statement, “I would rather die than have my liberties infringed upon by wearing a mask.” One suspects that this defiance is found in the tortured interpretation of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death,” who I’m certain would be scratching his Colonialist wig at that one.
If these Americans want a lesson on the concept of liberty, they need to look no farther than at the French whose national political consciousness is built on the foundation of that concept. The French define liberty as “being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.”
Yet, the French felt no abridgment of freedoms when their government required them to remain in their homes all day with the exception of one hour during which they could walk no father then one kilometer. There were no riots or revolutions, nor even a peep of a protest was heard from Madam La Pen. Hell, they didn’t storm the Bastille threatening to crack their champagne and Bordeaux bottles over the heads of its leaders, much less brandish AK-47s.
But that overall obedience to the greater good is not difficult to conceive in a culture that in addition to its joie de vivre attitude prizes science equally.
In contrast, the U.S. seems to look upon science with the same disdain as a foreign language — they see it as threat to their way of life as much as a Spanish-speaking toddler. Dr. Anthony Fauci, esteemed director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been the target of so much character assassination, you would think he is a fraud despite his strategies for insuring the country’s best outcomes from Covid-19. Recently, Fox News host, Tucker Carlson railed against Dr. Fauci, calling him “the chief buffoon.” Carlson, who is known to be dyslexic, could be forgiven as he probably had Dr. Fauci crossed with the man seen so often standing to his right in the White House’s daily pandemic press conferences.
None the less, Tucker’s diatribe seems to underscore that President Trump’s political phrase Make American Great Again is mutating to Make America Gnarly Again, so much so that his political consultants should consider adopting it for his 2020 campaign. It would be more accurate and in line with the disposition of his base.