Maybe It’s Not Just Karma

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

So I will refrain from talking about karma, or quoting Malcolm about chickens coming home to roost – or even gleefully celebrating this news as much as many of my fellow progressives and liberals are today. I don’t wish potentially serious illness upon anyone, even utterly vile people with so little regard or empathy for others that they can’t even offer any regret for the countless lives that have been ruined by this virus – let alone take responsibility for the failure in leadership that exacerbated it.

But maybe he shouldn’t have said that criticism over his tepid response to this was a Democratic hoax. Maybe he shouldn’t have told us it was no more dangerous than a cold or flu, when he knew that wasn’t the case. Maybe he should have listened to his own experts. Maybe he shouldn’t have led us to believe in the miracle cure that didn’t exist, but ended up killing people instead. Or telling us that we had turned the corner or that we had flattened the curve or that the virus was behind us and we needed to open up the country again. 

Maybe he shouldn’t have mocked all of us (including his debate opponent on Tuesday night) for wearing masks. Maybe his family and staff should have taken the masks that were offered to them on Tuesday night by the Cleveland Clinic, instead of declining them. Maybe his staff shouldn’t have sent his press secretary out to give a briefing to reporters with no mask on, hours after learning she was exposed to the virus. Maybe that same staff shouldn’t have allowed him to get on a plane and attend a fundraiser in New Jersey where he interacted closely with donors and supporters, without a mask, hours after learning he was exposed to the virus.

But this is what happens when you have no regard for the real rules of the game we’re all playing, and believe you can lie and cheat your way to the win. This is what happens when you value power, money, capital, economy, businesses and property more than human life itself. Because in the end, you can lie and cheat all you want – but you can’t defeat science or the laws of nature.

Sure, some of us may be tempted to chalk it up to karma. But to me, it’s about our fundamental interdependence and connection to each other – which has been so eroded by the toxic Story of Separation that we, as creative revolutionaries, hope to overcome and change. In the end, if you have a soulless disregard for everyone else’s life and well-being…it will end up seriously threatening your own. I just hope that our democracy and our country – who are both already gasping for breath – aren’t the next casualties.

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