In an op-ed for The Washington Post this Friday, Jamelle Bouie writes that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak devastation on the lives of millions of Americans, the main concern for President Trump and Republicans is the 2020 election.
"If the president knows anything, it’s that his fate rises and falls with the state of the economy," Bouie writes. "And if he loses his campaign for re-election, then in this polarized environment of nationalized politics, he’s likely to take congressional Republicans down with him."
According to Bouie, there’s another element to the conservative push to reopen the economy despite the threat of coronavirus.
"To even begin to tackle this crisis, Congress had to contemplate policies that would be criticized as unacceptably radical under any other circumstances," he writes. "At $2.2 trillion, the initial relief package was a bill that was more than twice the size of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in 2009. Further aid is almost certainly forthcoming, and Democrats, at least, are contemplating trillions more in additional stimulus, including universal basic income for the duration of the crisis, a COBRA expansion that would cover 100 percent of health care costs for laid-off and furloughed workers and a proposal to cover payrolls for nearly every business in America. On top of all of this, the Federal Reserve is flooding the economy with trillions of dollars in rescue loans and bond purchases, to stabilize markets and keep interest rates low."
In other words, the recognition by a growing number of Americans that "something like a social democratic state is feasible under these conditions" is "absolutely possible when growth is high and unemployment is low" is a major threat to the GOP's ideology.
Read Bouie's full op-ed over at The New York Times.