Last week Gallup published an article, “Partisan Polarization and Ratings of the Economy,” noting the “emotional polarization” Americans are suffering from our political identities. Frank Newport wrote, “One of the hallmarks of our age is emotional polarization, the increasing tendency for Americans to define themselves in terms of their political identity and then to look at the rest of the world through that political lens – often with heavily emotional investment.”
Newport continued, “the degree to which underlying political identity controls views of the president has reached unprecedented levels. Most recently, 93 percent of Republicans say they approve of Donald Trump's job performance, contrasted with 6 [recemt of Democrats, an 87-percentage-point gap that ties a newly established Gallup polarization record.”
This past week Americans’ views of President Trump went viral spread by Democrats and media hysteria over the latest crisis. Viewers of last week’s Democratic debate and 2020 campaign trail were treated to outright lies by candidates seeking President Trump’s job.
Michael Bloomberg: “There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing. And he’s defunded — he’s defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don’t have the organization we need. This is a very serious thing.”
Joe Biden: “We (Obama/Biden administration) increased the budget of the CDC. We increased the NIH budget. ... He’s wiped all that out. ... He cut the funding for the entire effort.”
According to Associated Press fact-checkers, “They’re both wrong to say the agencies have seen their money cut.” Yes, Trump’s budgets have proposed some cuts to public health agencies, BUT Congress overruled those proposals and actually increased financing for CDC, NIH, and other health agencies.
The scary thing is not that politicians lie about their opponents, but that CBS moderators did not challenge candidates about their erroneous charges against Trump.
Now for a little context that neither Democrats nor media will report. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 32 million flu illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths from flu.”
Contrary to political hysteria from media and Democrats, the Trump administration mobilized early on to meet this new health challenge: “CDC established a COVID-19 Incident Management System on January 7, 2020.
On January 21, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support to the COVID-19 response. The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus: Effective February 2, at 5pm, the U.S. government suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days.”
Will COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) become a pandemic killing millions of people around the world? Will the death toll from COVID-19 surpass the annual average number of deaths from flu in America? No one knows at this point.
Americans are suffering more from emotional polarization due to how we identify politically than we are from flu or COVID-19. Democrats and media have been fanning the flames of political polarization since the day after the 2016 election. President Trump has continued punching back against those who have attacked him daily over the crisis du jour. Americans need to see hyper-polarized politics for what it is because there are no adults in the spin room.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.