Everything is sharks.
Adam Smith who uttered the now iconic phrase, “All things relate to vicious man-eating shark attacks, more or less…”, couldn’t have known how right he actually was back in those bucolic 1700s. The Father of Capitalism, prescient, though hit that nail straight on its head. In a new-ish book titled “Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government, two political scientists, Larry M. Bartels and Christopher H. Achen, examined how the terrifying 1916 New Jersey attacks that inspired the film Jaws sunk President Woodrow Wilson’s presidency.
Let’s sample from the Boston Globe.
With sharply declining tourism revenue, and no system in place to prevent shark attacks, local communities turned to the federal government for help. President Woodrow Wilson, who had previously served as governor of New Jersey, convened a Cabinet meeting, but his own Bureau of Fisheries told him there wasn’t much to be done. By the time he mobilized Coast Guard resources to patrol the waters, the sharks had moved on and the fear and controversy had faded.
But local voters, adversely affected by the economic consequences of the attacks, still took their anger out on the president. According to Bartels and Achen’s calculations, in the communities most impacted by the attacks, Wilson underperformed by 10 percentage points.
And, I’m sure you can guess where this is going, no? Exactly correct. To what many are calling “The Great White Shark of the Lungs.” Again we turn to the Globe.
The more the new coronavirus outbreak, and the government’s response to it, becomes politicized, the worse things are likely to turn out for Trump. Since Trump has already gone out of his way to blame Democrats and the media for exaggerating the potential impact of the virus, the politicization train appears to have left the station.
Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to minimize the impact of the rapidly spreading virus for fear that panic will negatively affect the economy may backfire spectacularly. Now his actions and response are tied directly to the crisis.
If Covid-19 causes major dislocations, Trump will inevitably pay a price for any resulting economic slowdown, even if blame for the underlying pandemic can hardly be placed at his feet.
So do you agree that Great White sharks will essentially undo Trump’s political fortunes or do you think this is MSM straw-grasping to an unprecedented and rude degree, stoking fear and division and blaming the prehistoric beasts for all our problems?
Rude, if true.
More as the story develops.