Politics Monday: From Winning Hearts and Minds to Saving Lives

On the current trajectory, if we don’t do more, if the entire world doesn’t do more, the world won’t be vaccinated until 2024.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Hands Reach Across the Water Post-WWII

When my parents joined the Foreign Service in 1955, they embraced an internationalist vision of winning hearts and minds for America in the Cold War. In today’s pandemic and war torn reality, from Gaza to Yemen to India and the African continent, diplomacy is being called on to save lives.

We have an awfully long way to go.

Hands Unable to Reach Across the Country

We are living through a distorted reality that offers vaccines in abundance to Americans who don’t want them, while the people around the world who are desperate to get the miraculous protection cannot get a vaccine to save their lives.

We cannot win each other’s hearts and minds today in polarized American, much less reach our hands across the water.

Could today’s version of America have been able to win World War II? It hardly seems possible. That victory required national cohesion, voluntary sacrifice for the common good and trust in institutions and each other. America’s response to COVID-19 suggests that we no longer have sufficient quantities of any of those things.

David Brooks, The New York Times

Pandemic Solidarity Fractures

A year ago, we were locked inside, keenly aware of our collective fragility. Americans clapped for first responders. Italians sang arias from their balconies. The pandemic revealed our fractures, the murders of Black men and women shattered communities, and an election spawned an insurrection. Masks were politicized.

Colonial Pipeline Panic Reflects Selfishness

We were reminded how little we regard our community at large, when the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack generated a meltdown. Governor DeSantis declared a state of emergency without clarifying that South Florida does not depend on Colonial for gas, and suddenly gas stations in Miami were out of fuel and shut down.

You first need a big dose of uninformed panic. And then you’ve got to top it off with the kind of every-man-for- himself mentality that doesn’t bode well for when a real crisis comes along and cooperation is paramount.

Frank Cerabino, The Palm Beach Post

Getting A Vaccine to Save Each Other

Which brings me back to reaching hands across the aisle, across our neighborhoods, across the country, to get vaccinated and bring this pandemic to a stop.

We’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima; we’re asking you to walk into a damn CVS.

David Brooks, The New York Times

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