Welcome back to The Long Version, a newsletter by Jonathan Myerson Katz.
For most Americans, for most of our lives, the United States has been a comfortable place to live. There are glaring exceptions, and if you are one, then know that I am not talking about you. But it is safe to say that American national life and policy have long been based on the assumption that the worst possible thing that can happen is for a generation to grow up slightly less rich and healthy than its parents.
That sunny outlook, built on a bed of endless consumption and constant expansion, lends itself to meta-narratives and an addiction to entertainment. It is the best explanation I can come up with for why, today, the 24th day of the third month of the Year of Our Lord 2020, some people are actually entertaining Donald Trump’s argument that—after little over a week of meager and belated efforts—it might be time to end attempts at mitigation and “go back to work.”
That is murderous, naïve insanity. I hate to b…