If the United States had a properly functioning representative democracy, a lot of lockdown-state politicians would be feeling massive heat and near certainty of defeat for themselves and their parties:
All of the aforementioned states instituted major lockdowns that were intended to stop the annual respiratory sickness season from occurring, but failed to do so. These policies did in fact detonate their respective economies. Moreover, most of these states continue to have major restrictions in place that will keep unemployment moving in the wrong direction. …
After a full year of evaluating the data, it’s clear that there was no threat to states that allowed the economy and society to flourish.
Sure, citizens in California are working to exact some accountability from their governor, and New York’s governor is blowing up for reasons unique to himself, but, at least for the time being, that’s largely the extent of accountability. To wit, our representative democracy is not functioning properly.
The reasons are manifold. Built on a broad platform of complacency and apathy, we have a federal government printing money to bail out states where accountability would be most likely and is most needed. The news media, which is crucial for accountability, is largely complicit in the bad decisions and is, in any event, deeply partisan. Moreover, armies of special interests are reliant on the governing system that has done so much damage.
Meanwhile, it’s just too much easier for those who suffer more from the status quo than they benefit to leave and go elsewhere.
Is there a way out of this trap? The best any of us who are tackling the problem can say is that we’re working on it. The question for everybody else in our state is this: Do you think Rhode Island is worth saving?