I spend a lot of time, as I’m guessing you may too, thinking about how we’re ever going to get out of this. Here’s a best-case scenario: Joe Biden gets elected and becomes president on Jan. 20. So we finally have a president who actually takes science seriously and doesn’t think he’s smarter than all the virologists. The virus is still spreading, people are still dying. There’s a vaccine coming, but we’re not sure yet how well it works. President Biden imposes a two-month lockdown, and the Democratic Congress passes enough money to keep the economy afloat.
But: Roughly 35 percent of the country refuses to go along. They’re told by their “news” sources that Biden is a Marxist, the vaccine is a fake, and Democrats are so obsessed with Trump hatred (which will not have abated a whit, in their telling) that they want people to die. In other words, the anti-science 35 percent, by not wearing masks and not taking the vaccine, can hold the other 65 percent hostage. Forever. Or at least until so many people die that they finally, grudgingly acknowledge reality. And that’s a best-case scenario.
It’s often said that the “two sides” live in their own bubbles. And there is some truth to that. But all such statements are irresponsibly misleading, because to speak of these bubbles and just leave it at that is to imply that the two ways of seeing the world exist in rough moral equivalence. The reality, of course, is very different.