Last updated on October 16, 2020
Negligence is not a feature of libertarianism but it is a tasty bug as the Trump campaign ignores local ordinances and continues to spread the pandemic, mainly in smaller US cities that have large enough airport hangars. The Trump strategy of herd immunity will kill over a half-million people before a vaccine is available. Some days you eat the bear….
Many state and local officials say they’ve gotten little to no notice from the campaign about these events. And while many events are outdoors, not all of them are – Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday held a shoulder-to-shoulder indoor rally at a Holiday Inn in Panama City Beach, Fla., where few in the crowd wore masks. Meanwhile, some events have not followed state and city limits on large crowds, the campaign isn’t requiring face coverings and social distancing doesn’t appear to be enforced, even though Trump officials with recent exposure to the virus will be speaking.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) October 12, 2020
Public health experts have said the Trump campaign should be actively limiting crowds and encouraging social distancing and masks, especially because of Trumpworld's ongoing bout with the coronavirus.
“Big rallies just shouldn’t happen,” said Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association. For big and small events, both campaigns should coordinate with local authorities, he said, particularly as Trump officials are “coming from an environment where there’s been a major outbreak.”
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) October 14, 2020
— Luke Lynch (@LukeLynch) October 13, 2020
— Peter Grinspoon MD (@Peter_Grinspoon) October 12, 2020
As one park service PSA noted this summer, bears “usually just want to be left alone. Don’t we all?” In other words, if you encounter a black bear, try to look big, back slowly away, and trust in the creature’s inner libertarian. Unless, that is, the bear in question hails from certain wilds of western New Hampshire. Because, as Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling’s new book suggests, that unfortunate animal may have a far more aggressive disposition, and relate to libertarianism first and foremost as a flavor of human cuisine.
— Millenarian✨🤝 (@Millenarian22) October 13, 2020
The bear problem, in other words, is much bigger than individual libertarian cranks refusing to secure their garbage. It is a problem born of years of neglect and mismanagement by legislators, and, arguably, indifference from New Hampshire taxpayers in general, who have proved reluctant to step up and allocate resources to Fish and Game, even as the agency’s traditional source of funding—income from hunting licenses—has dwindled. Exceptions like Doughnut Lady aside, no one wants bears in their backyard, but apparently no one wants to invest sustainably in institutions doing the unglamorous work to keep them out either. Whether such indifference and complacency gets laundered into rhetoric of fiscal prudence, half-baked environmentalism, or individual responsibility, the end result is the same: The bears abide—and multiply.
Their prosperity also appears to be linked to man-made disasters that have played out on a national and global scale—patterns of unsustainable construction and land use, and the climate crisis. More than once, Hongoltz-Hetling flags the fact that upticks in bear activity unfold alongside apparently ever more frequent droughts. Drier summers may well be robbing bears of traditional plant and animal sources of food, even as hotter winters are disrupting or even ending their capacity to hibernate. Meanwhile, human garbage, replete with high-calorie artificial ingredients, piles up, offering especially enticing treats, even in the dead of winter—particularly in places with zoning and waste management practices as chaotic as those in Grafton, but also in areas where suburban sprawl is reaching farther into the habitats of wild animals. The result may be a new kind of bear, one “torn between the unique dangers and caloric payloads that humans provide—they are more sleep-deprived, more anxious, more desperate, and more twitchy than the bear that nature produced.” Ever-hungry for new frontiers in personal autonomy and market emancipation, human beings have altered the environment with the unintended result of empowering newly ravenous bears to boot.
….Clearly, when it comes to certain kinds of problems, the response must be collective, supported by public effort, and dominated by something other than too-tidy-by-half invocations of market rationality and the maximization of individual personal freedom. If not, well, then we had all best get some practice in learning when and how to play dead, and hope for the best.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 7, 2020
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) October 13, 2020
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 13, 2020
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 14, 2020
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: