End the duopoly

Column: The mechanisms of progress have been crippled

It will take decades, not months or years, to recover from this pandemic. The greatest damage will not be medical or economic. It will be to our society.

The medical recovery, we all hope, will be months, not years or decades. The scientific effort is unprecedented. Most reports, while appropriately cautious, indicate that a vaccine is likely and that this virus does not mutate in ways that can cause the most perplexing problems. Medical treatments like remdesivir show real promise for mitigating the most dreadful outcomes and reducing mortality.

Eventually, the economic recovery will also proceed apace, although not at President Donald Trump’s fictional gallop. I’ll bet my 401(k) that next year will not be stupendous. I guess I already have! The recession will be deep and the effects will be felt for years.

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But there is something else going on that receives scant attention. The “something else” is what will have the most profound impact. While a nation copes with the many daunting challenges of the pandemic, many of the mechanisms of progress are being crippled — quite intentionally.

The Republican Party is using the pandemic as a smokescreen to achieve the “drowning of government in the bathtub” […]

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