The Good, the Bad, and the Contagious

How the Outbreak May Affect our Democracy

Ariadne Schulz

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(Sourced from @bornmiserable via @AdamLedet504)

The pandemic has so far killed 209,000 Americans and rapidly counting. We’ve stopped shaking hands, Americans who can telecommute do so, and there are continual political fights over whether or not the country as a whole is ready to “open,” or not. The idea that it would not eventually make its ways into the halls of government is absurd. In fact not only have members of Congress and the Senate had to quarantine due to exposure or infection but, Herman Cain who worked in a senior position on the Trump 2020 Presidential campaign died from COVID-19.

Medically speaking, basically everyone has an underlying condition. There are Olympic athletes with underlying conditions. High blood pressure or being overweight are underlying conditions.

Shortly after his death Cain’s repurposed twitter account suggested, “looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be.” And as insidious as that little tale may itself be it was somewhat inevitable that Donald Trump who categorically refuses to take any of this seriously and craves attention would catch it.

Regardless, COVID-19 in general and Trump catching it in particular are gamechangers. This pandemic and this particular set of infections is going to change what may have otherwise occurred and possibly the structure of our democracy.

The Judiciary

When Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed away only a few weeks ago her dying wish was that she not be replaced on the court until the next Presidential term. Had she passed in April that may have been problematic, but she died in mid September during an election. I received my ballot the same day she died and cast it the day after. I received confirmation that my ballot had been accepted by my county clerk only ten days after RBG departed. It is true that my vote is one of the first to have been cast in this election and that this election is unlike any other, but RBG’s dying wish is entirely reasonable. Especially given the historical precedent of Abraham Lincoln who waited to nominate a justice to an empty seat until he was re-elected and the behaviour of certain Republican Senators when Scalia passed in February 2016 nearly eight months before the election, there is no cause for RBG’s final…

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Ariadne Schulz

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.