The coronavirus is reaching the heartland.
The bump in coronavirus cases is most pronounced in states without stay at home orders. Oklahoma saw a 53% increase in cases over the past week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over same time, cases jumped 60% in Arkansas, 74% in Nebraska, and 82% in Iowa. South Dakota saw a whopping 205% spike.
But don't assume that the Republican governors' attitudes toward lockdowns will hurt them politically.
Since long before the pandemic, American conservatives have fought government social programs based on a simple belief: If misfortune has come to your life, you probably deserve it. If you're broke, or unemployed, or have medical bills you can't pay, well, sorry, but you must have set up your life in such a way that misfortune came to you. Maybe you made bad life choices. Maybe you're a sinner. (Real Christians believe that everyone is a sinner, but American conservatives believe that some people -- not themselves -- are sinners in ways that God responds to with terrestrial punishments.)
One governor, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, says outright that getting sick or dying from the coronavirus is your own damn fault.
"This is a program that depends on people exercising personal responsibility and their civic duty," Ricketts told Politico Wednesday. "This is about making that decision, not the heavy hand of government taking away your freedoms."
It won't be long before reporters find covid-19 sufferers, or relatives of sufferers, in these states who absolve their governors of blame for the preventable spread of the virus -- because freedom, of course.
Posted with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog