The Corner

Health Care

Trump Never Would Have Been Pro-Mask

James Surowieki wonders why masks weren’t the favored solution of conservatives in America. They are about individual initiative, they’re cheap, and initially the scientific experts were against them.

You can come up with all sorts of explanations for why Trump didn’t embrace masks in mid-March (by which point he was admitting that the pandemic was a problem). But honestly it feels random, like if the right person had had his ear, he could easily have gone the other way.

— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) June 30, 2020

I remember at the beginning of this crisis, I vainly wished Trump’s germaphobe instincts had kicked in. But upon reflection, I don’t think Trump ever would have been pro-mask.

Trump is a showman, and he cares about the look and “feel” of things. And I would bet the family farm that he believes masks put their wearers into a more fearful, downcast mindset, rather than a confident one. And further, that he believes this “mood” of the country plays a huge role in his reelection. His religious upbringing is about the power of positive thinking. And his approach throughout the crisis has been to project confidence. Masks don’t fit into it.

Most Popular

Jerry Falwell Jr.: Failed Institutionalist

In December 2015, I sat with about 10,000 other students in Liberty University’s Vines Center for one of the thrice weekly Convocations, this one featuring remarks by Jerry Falwell Jr., the school’s president, chancellor, and son of its famous founder. It was already well-known by the student body that for ... Read More

Jerry Falwell Jr.: Failed Institutionalist

In December 2015, I sat with about 10,000 other students in Liberty University’s Vines Center for one of the thrice weekly Convocations, this one featuring remarks by Jerry Falwell Jr., the school’s president, chancellor, and son of its famous founder. It was already well-known by the student body that for ... Read More

The Party of Lincoln

Paradoxical as it might seem, the greatness of Abraham Lincoln has actually been obscured by his posthumous elevation to the rank of stone-hewn demigod. The man described by Leo Tolstoy is the one most Americans imagine when the name of our sixteenth president is invoked — the civic savior sent to water the ... Read More

The Party of Lincoln

Paradoxical as it might seem, the greatness of Abraham Lincoln has actually been obscured by his posthumous elevation to the rank of stone-hewn demigod. The man described by Leo Tolstoy is the one most Americans imagine when the name of our sixteenth president is invoked — the civic savior sent to water the ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Someone might want to remind Joe Biden, who’s just picked progressive California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, that his vice-president-to-be believes Catholics are unfit to serve in our nation’s courts. (Biden, of course, as I considered at length on the homepage today, has spent his entire ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Someone might want to remind Joe Biden, who’s just picked progressive California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, that his vice-president-to-be believes Catholics are unfit to serve in our nation’s courts. (Biden, of course, as I considered at length on the homepage today, has spent his entire ... Read More