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Guest article: Wisconsin court ruling and Covid-19 expose fault lines within American society: can we rise to the challenge?

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By David Schane, Ohio, USA – 16 May 2020
While readers are entitled to disagree, I believe Wisconsin party goers new behavior (as described on the article link over these past few days) are endangering the public safety of themselves and their fellow citizens during the current pandemic – and may on a wider level be a leading indicator of potential social disharmony to come, as the enormous economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 trauma weigh heavily on America and expose latent and troubling internal divisions.

David Schane MA Int. Relations, USA

Fortunately in Ohio, our courageous Republican Governor has unequivocally supported our Department of Health Director (the Governor’s own bi-partisan appointee) – so their jointly designed policies reopening our state economy thoughtfully in stages can phase in and remain in force across our state.  That’s distinctly different from Wisconsin, where their recent divided State Supreme Court (4-3) ruling has now created a patchwork of individual county health regulations, allowing a new boisterous and crowded bar scene to come into existence and be more minimally regulated at the local level.

While the State House in Ohio passed legislation to limit our own Health Director’s Executive Powers (to regulate health and safety statewide), the State Senate appears to have a sufficient number of conscientious legislators who don’t want to betray the policy leadership of their respected and unifying GOP Governor.  As such, the Ohio legislative branch has not been able to successfully challenge the Ohio Governor’s (and his own Health Director’s) executive powers.  Otherwise, Ohio could currently be facing the same kind of court battle and judicial case (between the state legislative and executive branches) which led to Wisconsin’s court decision this week – which directly created the risky, Balkanized bar scene that’s now playing out in Wisconsin before our very eyes.
These overly exuberant Wisconsin party goers will anonymously disperse and go to work regularly over these next days (either within their own communities or across county and even state lines) – and some of them will sadly be unwitting, asymptomatic carriers of a virus which respects no borders.  Thus, their recent bar room behavior in large crowded groups will not only cause illness and possible death to themselves, but to innocent citizens around them – while these bar hoppers will equally tax precious health care resources (and drain limited state and federal budgets) when some undoubtedly end up in the hospital unnecessarily with cases of Covid-19.
Recall, Wisconsin is a decisive battleground state in the upcoming Presidential election in November.  Consequently, some in the GOP state legislative majority who brought this court case against their Democrat Governor to the Wisconsin Supreme Court (where conservative jurists have the majority) almost certainly were motivated by election year political considerations.  That’s especially as the public health of the nation and the emerging American economic reopening have become distinctly politicized issues, which I described in my previous commentary, appearing on Geopolitical Research’s website ten days ago.
Tragically, more innocent people will now undoubtedly die as result of these Wisconsin state legislators “realpolitik”.  At their base rationale though, are their policy actions even logically consistent with the foreign travel bans and even domestic travel restrictions that were respectively instituted by President Trump and a number of governors earlier in the pandemic, when prevention of community transmission of the virus was a direct policy framework?  Is this “compassionate conservatism”?  Or, is this rather rugged individualism run amok – and capriciously manipulated, grafted onto people’s understandable current economic fears as sociological and political backdrop?
Speaking of “compassionate conservatism”, President George W. Bush’s recent two minute video linked here provides an interesting contrast and reflection on the uplifting community values of caring and sacrifice that Americans lived by and which bound us together, transcendent, for generations.  Are these core national and non-partisan values still not inspiring to the American conscience today?  Or, is Wisconsin’s new raucous pandemic party scene (which is mainly occurring in its rural counties) a disturbing forewarning of the fraying of American civil society and even the domestic tranquility, enshrined within the Preamble of the US Constitution itself?  The virus is unleashing tidal forces and only time will tell whether the nation and leadership can rise to the challenge and responsibilities it imposes on all of us.  May God bless America.

David Schane, Ohio, USA – 16 May 2020

david_schane@sbcglobal.net

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the author’s. Geopolitical Research and the other contributors at this site may not necessarily agree with the views of Mr. Schane. All contributors to our website express their own independent opinion based on their research. Thus, guest articles are not edited by this website. We appreciate diverse independent opinions, which sets us apart from many agenda-committed or ideologically driven platforms. We welcome thought-leaders with diverse backgrounds that can contribute to constructive discourse with a respectful language. Furthermore, no comment should be interpreted as an investment recommendation or suggestion.

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