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EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES

THE CRC REVIEW

Desperate times can call for desperate measures. Even in our toughest times, our shared values, principles, and aspirations can provide a needed roadmap. However, rigid ideology must be set aside to answer the call of the moment. Our leaders must make the best decisions possible, given the information in the moment, not privy to the benefit of hindsight. Navigate society through challenging times, setting aside politics in favor of the needs of all.

There are few times in our history when our nation completely shut down. Especially without a military conflict or national tragedy present. Our nation is at a complete standstill in order to protect society from the rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Our economy is not operating anywhere near full capacity to ensure there is an economy in the future. A major sacrifice and burden asked of our people.

A difficult request to ask of a society embodying hard work, ambition, and freedom. Prior to the pandemic, the economy operated near or at its best across many important economic metrics. Jobs creation, wage growth, and market expansion was robust. Trade deals reached at the beginning of the year cleared a great level of global uncertainty weighing on markets. Then the pandemic began in the world manufacturing leader, eventually bringing the global economy and world to a complete standstill.

The decision to implement social distancing policies was not an easy one, but a necessary one. For some, social distancing simply meant remote working and schooling. For others, it meant a complete loss of income and the need for unemployment. Our global way of life may be on pause, but many costs, both personal and economics, still need to be paid without the offsetting income.

Whether one is a fiscal conservative or anti-bailout liberal, there is a legitimate need to provide funds to the people and businesses most impacted by this pandemic. Government made the request for many to make this sacrifice, without any guarantee it would work. As a result, policymakers needed to help soften the blow and bridge the gap. The cost is not insignificant by any means. But our leaders needed to ensure our economy was able to survive for the future.

One area of opportunity policymakers should consider in future plans is to help only those truly in need. Funds should be directed towards those actually losing income and small business owners not able to access capital elsewhere. Many remote workers still receive full paychecks, which makes additional stimulus assistance unnecessary.  Those funds could go to bolster the state pools for unemployment benefits as claims are skyrocketing with people unable to work. Hindsight is always 20/20 and the people actually making the decision made the best ones given the moment.

In a moment of crisis, there is a need for collaboration between public and private providers, as well as entities that normally compete against one another. The ability for our society to leverage public and private partnership was a tool that undoubtedly benefitted our response. Private health facilities helped expand care capacity and provide innovative approaches beyond the scope of just public providers. Collaboration at times is appropriate in the midst of responding to a national emergency. While there were some needs to cajole certain organizations, our private sector provided great support to our society, at no additional cost in many cases.

Moments of crisis can lead government officials to take actions that conflict with strongly held principles of freedom, civil liberty, and self-reliance. Social distancing policies was an appropriate ask, although it should not set a precedent for government to exploit. Some officials went too far in using it to suppress constitutional rights or encourage citizens to turn on fellow citizens. Our leaders must ensure that our solutions are not crueler than the problem at hand. Must protect free society even when government power grabs are staring them in the face.

Our society and our leaders made bold choices in the face of a new challenge. No response is ever perfect, but the goal is for it to be effective. So far, this one has been just that. States will need to decide for themselves how best to reopen and keep their constituents safe. America cannot hide from our challenges, but find solutions leveraging our innovative people across all areas of society. 

Politics in our society is less about honest exchanges of ideas, intellectual discussions, or moving society forward than it is about storytelling and gossip.

Our political discourse sunk so low that some are completely unable to set aside political attacks in order to come together for the betterment of society.

Typically, our society comes together in the moments of crisis. Political no longer hide behind party membership rather become Americans. 

This is not the case with the Covid-19 coronavirus and the continual level of political hysteria in our society. Every aspect of life is obsessively viewed in how it effects politics. 

Consider the change in tone from media members and political opponents to President Trump as his approval ratings rose and poll numbers improved. 

The ferocity of personal attacks increased after the polls showed the public approved of the handling of the pandemic. 

As expected, the revisionist historians came out to put forth narratives that met their political objectives. Hoping society will not remember what happened to them.

The narrative they want society to believe is President Trump and his team squandered precious time doing absolutely nothing.

Many want to shift blame from where the pandemic emanated from to place it on the Trump Administration and the federal government. 

Hindsight is always 2020. Many on both sides of the aisle probably wish they did more to take the impending pandemic more serious. 

Holding televised lunches in various Chinatown locations to downplay the threat in hindsight was a bad optic and idea. 

Bringing the work of the people in Congress to a grinding halt to pursue a political objective might have better been served in reviewing our preparations and systems. 

There is no question Trump could have set aside the hope and spoke more serious at the beginning. But he was not left alone in that boat.

No response to any crisis is ever perfect. Every response to tragedy has room for improvement. The hope is leaders focus on guiding society through it and set aside politics.

A crisis occurring in the nation that manufactures so much of our everyday goods and the equipment to make said supplies understandably created a crisis for supplies.

One can agree with the argument for invoking the Defense Production Act sooner. One can also understand allowing private companies to step up first.

The government, as is usually does in crisis, did the best job it could in the face of strife. In the face of some wanting to exploit the situation for political agendas. 

Some on the far far left fringe continue to focus on advancing their radical agendas while their counterparts focus on addressing the need at hand. 

Providing temporary liquidity, reducing regulatory obstacles, and fostering cooperation is what the moment calls for. 

Pushing for election rigging, nationalizing industries, and covering the bloated costs of political agendas at the state level is not. 

Uncertainty and fear must never serve as fuel for bad public policy. The solutions to our problems must never be worse that the problem.