LETTERS: Conservatism created crisis

First: “A hoax!” Lately: “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

President Trump and rightwing media accused Democrats of undermining his presidency. Please understand. We have an untrustworthy, incompetent failing to act responsibly 3-4 months before our backs were against the wall.

Our social order facilitates corruption. Several senators had insider information. Unconscionably, they sold stocks before the market unraveled, all the while negating legitimate public concerns to all but connected friends. Big tobacco’s lie, “Cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer,” took lives. Legislation forced automakers to manufacture safer vehicles, not “market forces.”

Reaganism’s 40-year transfer of middle-class wealth upward created today’s economic inequalities. “No regulations” helped Enron and John McCain’s

Keating 5 criminals.

Many delude themselves. If America’s truly “exceptional,” where are testing, masks, ventilators, critical medical supplies and coordinated preparedness of other nations isolating the virus? It’s projected to overwhelm an inadequate, for-profit healthcare system from lessening a Grim Reaper’s bountiful human harvest.

This isn’t a matter of not pulling together or finger-pointing at those creating or compounding present difficulties. Rather, it asks: “What of our moral compass mired in fear, greed, money, power and influence that we’re unable to protect ourselves?”

It’s a shame we didn’t embrace caring for the least of us during Christianity’s 2,000-year window of opportunity. Remembering how and why key institutions failed us, we’d be a more compassionate, socially responsible nation than the one living a coronavirus nightmare. Honest introspection is also good for the soul.

Barry Zavah,L Harlingen