My brother David just reminded me of the following Douglas Adams passage (from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish), which is always relevant but never more so than now as U.S. Covid deaths pass the 150,000 mark, the result of wretched governance. For those who think of politicians as lizards, then it’s important to also acknowledge that not all lizards are the same:
[Ford said], “On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
“Odd,” said Arthur. “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
“I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
“But,” said Arthur, going in for the big one again, “why?”
“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”
If, in 2016, more people had worried about the wrong lizard getting in, then Hillary Clinton would currently be orchestrating America’s response to the pandemic, tens of thousands Covid victims would still be alive, and schools would probably be opening on time. The wrong lizard could get in again if people don’t turn out and vote for Joe Biden.
This is no time for purity tests. The lizard we vote in will make all the difference.