Biden Can’t Save America

America is 40% total asshole, and the states have gone feral

Artwork by chaosteory

Joe Biden might as well be Joe Gorbachev. He’s a nice guy but the USA is going to collapse anyways. The USSR at least contained Chernobyl. The US will never contain COVID-19, with all the knock-on effects that brings. Namely, the last superpower has already fallen. There’s nothing Joe Gorbachev can do.

How do you lockdown a nation of fools?

The biggest problem Biden faces is not figuring out how to suppress COVID-19. That’s known. America has always been 4–6 weeks away from beating COVID-19. They just need a two month lockdown while they get test/trace/isolate in place, like the rest of the world did months ago.

This has always been true, everywhere. Countries like South Korea and Taiwan already had the infrastructure so they could skip the lockdown part. Everyone else sacrificed and figured it out.

The US never did and so here we are. The US has never had a national lockdown and still doesn’t have a national plan. But the prescription remains the same. They can lock down now after 160,000 deaths or in 2021 after 300,000, but that’s the only way out. Cases have to be held to a manageable level, and they need national public health. Even a vaccine would require working public health infrastructure.

The only problem is that this will be impossible.

No public health tool can work on a population where 40% of people will not comply. Masking, distancing, even vaccines — none of these things work without nearly universal public support. Forget national lockdowns or vaccines. Americans can’t even agree to not breathe on each other.

Also forget national governance, that’s just imploded into a horrible TV show. Trump has thrown everything to the states in a plan that can only be described as feral federalism. Every region on its own, in the wild.

The result is that any functioning central government will have to reintegrate cities and states that have been living in the wild for a year. Many of them won’t want to come back. America’s national policy will only be as secure as its dumbest governor or mayor, which is pretty dumb.

Biden will inherit an exhausted, impoverished, and divided nation which has been trying half-assed measures for months. He will inherit a nation that has already fractured into states. Then he has to make a huge shared sacrifice again. They won’t do it. Trump has been using the bully pulpit to destroy public trust in experts, the White House to destroy institutions, and Republicans have been merrily going along. That won’t all suddenly come back on January 20th. The idiots will still be there.

No public health tool can work under these conditions. You can’t have 51% masking or 51% vaccination, the virus doesn’t give a fuck about majority rule. A house divided against itself cannot stand. In truth, it has already fallen down.

How do you rouse the braindead?

The American body politic is already braindead. Even after getting over 160,000 Americans killed, Trump’s approval rating is the same as during the Stormy Daniels scandal. Nothing matters.

Tracing the approval ratings of US presidents since Lyndon B. Johnson, you see a clear heartbeat, fluctuating with events and presidential performance. This was the case until Trump, when for the first time there appears what looks like a definitive separation of opinion and reality — an almost flat line. (The Correspondent)

A huge chunk of the American public simply doesn’t care, even if people are dying and the economy is on fire. They’re just dead inside.

There’s no prescription for this. No public health tool can work on a public that doesn’t care about anybody else, or even themselves. These are people that won’t practice basic hygiene and wear a mask. How are you going to get them to take a vaccine? These are people that make death threats against public health experts. How are you going to get them to listen to them? A change of government won’t help. Americans are ungovernable.

People talk about Biden being close in Texas like it is a good thing. It’s horrifying. After getting nearly 10,000 Texans killed and causing a Greater Depression, things are just close in Texas? How fucking stupid is Texas? And Oklahoma, and 40% of the country?

America had a pulse once, but not anymore. Nixon’s approval rating dropped to 24% after Watergate, but that’d be just Thursday in Trumpland. Trump is literally getting a thousand people killed every day and his approval rating barely moves? This isn’t a country that was killed by COVID-19. America was already dead.

America cannot be saved

This is why America cannot be saved. It’s too late, they’re too stupid, and their central government has already collapsed. Republicans have been trying to drown their government in a bathtub for decades and they’ve finally done it. It’s dead.

Even if America elects Biden, Trump has pissed in the public health well so much that no one can draw water. By January 2021 they’ll be looking at 80 million infected and 300,000 dead and it will just keep going from there. Even if there’s test/trace/isolate, enough people won’t comply that the virus will keep going. Even if there’s a vaccine, enough people won’t take it that the virus will remain.

Eventually it will slow down, but you’ll be looking at years gone. A broken economy, a worthless passport, and a nation that’s gone from superpower to plague state in a blink of an eye.

Like Gorbachev, Biden seems like a decent leader, but there’s nothing he can do. The thing he’s running for, it’s already fallen down. There is no cure for stupid, there is no vaccine for cruel, and no election can change that. Joe Biden can’t save America because America doesn’t want to be saved.