Virus only true siege against our country

| September 2, 2020 1:00 AM

Ryan Zinke is right about one thing in his disingenuous, talking-points tome published in the Aug. 19 edition of the Whitefish Pilot. The Americas, all of them — North, Central, and South — are under siege. He is wrong about the nature of the siege.

What is the one overweening fact missing from Ryan Zinke’s opinion? A virus which measures 0.0125 microns or one thousand times smaller than a single mote of dust is the true and only force laying “siege,” to our nation.

Zinke’s political party and dear leader have failed to protect this nation from this pandemic. The idea of doing one’s part, i.e. wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands to thereby protect your fellow-citizens, has been turned by the white-right into a cultural trope of personal liberty and religious freedom.

Zinke’s commensurate is to decry the “shaming” of those who choose not to do their part to protect first responders, teachers, nurses, etc. While the richest 1 percent continue to siphon billions from social relief programs to keep the stock market afloat, Zinke whines about socialism. The USPS has been vandalized, the census suspended, the institution of the election called into question, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security plundered, 15 members of the President’s 2016 campaign staff convicted of corruption — instead Zinke depicts the 2,000 or so homeless and property-less looters in a dozen cities as a well-armed attack on the Constitution.

When the rich rob the poor, Ryan Zinke hangs with those who call that good business. When the poor fight back — Ryan Zinke calls that violence. Ryan — when talking points limit the ability to reason intelligently, it’s called indoctrination.

Zinke’s platitudes regarding correcting societal cancers are the typical deflections of the white-right. Millions are unemployed, millions about to be evicted, 20 million have lost healthcare. The Republican Party and its dear leader are on vacation playing golf. That means the White House propagandists must deflect and detract. Across the country Trump’s minions are providing these op-ed “letters” to editorial pages of small town newspapers. Talking-points exhibit no accountability, no understanding. The real siege is from a virus. The breadth and magnitude of the President and Republican Senators’ miscalculations and blunders in containing the pandemic is appallingly unfathomable. No other pressing problem in this nation will be corrected until we get the virus under control.

The highest form of knowledge is empathy or compassion, for that requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self-serving opinion. To this end, we the people have to expose the injustices the corona virus has exposed. The US has 4% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s Covid-19 deaths. The death rate among minorities is at least 3 times greater than the white population. The lowest paid workers are the most essential to the functioning of this country, yet these people and their children are not protected and can’t even get tested in a timely manner. Their anger and frustration has led to violence. Of course violence and looting can never be condoned, but neither can brown-shirt thuggery against peaceful, legal protests be condoned. Try, just try, to imagine how minorities feel and understand their rage. When this rage turns to violence, fixing the injustices — not by bringing in the troops — is what will stop it.

There is an old saying: ”Until the lion learns to speak, the stories will be told by the hunter.”

Autocrats only record their triumphs and never accept responsibility or even acknowledge their failings.

We the people have a duty to resist that narrative. We the people must become the lions who have learned to speak.

Bruce Haller and Glenn Schiffman, Whitefish