Paul Krugman, in the New York Times (which has replaced Mad Magazine in the humor section these days), inquires loudly: “How Many Americans Will Ayn Rand Kill?”
Even as New York contained its pandemic, however, the coronavirus surged out of control in other parts of the country. There was a deadly summer spike in much of the Sunbelt. And right now the virus is running wild in much of the Midwest; in particular, the most dangerous places in America may be the Dakotas. …
[W]hy does this keep happening? Why does America keep making the same mistakes?
Donald Trumpâ€™s disastrous leadership is, of course, an important factor. But I also blame Ayn Rand â€” or, more generally, libertarianism gone bad, a misunderstanding of what freedom is all about.
If you look at what Republican politicians are saying as the pandemic rips through their states, you see a lot of science denial. Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, has gone full Trump â€” questioning the usefulness of masks and encouraging potential super-spreader events. (The Sturgis motorcycle rally, which drew almost a half-million bikers to her state, may have played a key role in setting off the viral surge.)
But you also see a lot of libertarian rhetoric â€” a lot of talk about â€œfreedomâ€ and â€œpersonal responsibility.â€ Even politicians willing to say that people should cover their faces and avoid indoor gatherings refuse to use their power to impose rules to that effect, insisting that it should be a matter of individual choice.
Which is nonsense.
Personally, I’m hoping she knocks off all the looters and all the moochers, starting with Paul Krugman.