A few days ago Rush Limbaugh went on an extended rant complaining that COVID-19 was no excuse to stay home and not suffer and support Donald Trump.
Limbaugh claimed during the Spanish flu, Woodrow Wilson didn't even mention it because he was preoccupied with World War I. A super spreader event?
That's the ticket, hey everybody get some sunshine, shake a few hands, hug a few people and breathe deeply in to get those coronavirus particles and show your love for Trump.
Limbaugh then went off on a tangent about California settlers called the Donner Party who turned to cannibalism to survive a brutal winter trying to get to California.
American pioneers sacrificed for America, right?
The Donner Party didn't bitch and complain about the winter when they set out in the freezing cold and the unimaginable hunger they felt. Oh no, they cooked up some juicy neighbor along the way to survive and had a little American barbecue because that's the American way.
But that economic position is intertwined with a moral system, one that sees suffering as socially necessary. “Suffering builds character” is perhaps the quickest way to sum up this worldview.
This is a very selective stoicism. After all, Limbaugh is hardly the type to join the Donner Party himself. The risks for Covid mostly fall on people who are very unlike Limbaugh: the poor and people of color. So it’s not so much that suffering builds character as suffering helps keep the lower order in line.
Seth Meyers roasted him for it: