When Bad COVID Policy (Very Occasionally) Changes Minds

Throughout the pandemic, it has been dispiriting to realize that most elected officials will suffer few consequences for supporting and enacting COVID policies that range from the mediocre to the outright malevolent. So this change of heart by a two-time Trump (and DeSantis) Republican voter is encouraging (boldface mine):

There was another event in my journey, however, which acted as a kind of healing accelerant for me, once the shock wore off. When COVID hospitalizations for children began to skyrocket here in Florida last summer, during the delta surge, I told other Trump and DeSantis voters that our governor would divorce himself from the COVID-deniers and the spreaders of vaccine disinformation. As you probably know, he didn’t do that. Instead, DeSantis quadrupled down on undermining the vaccine and undoing health precautions.

Up until that point, I’d had a favorable impression of DeSantis; he seemed like a mostly drama-free purple-state governor who was genuinely interested in the hard work of governing and policymaking. The “new” DeSantis shocked me. I came to realize that he had sold his soul to keep those in the thrall of the GOP’s pandemic nonchalance, hysteria and paranoia stuck in self-perpetuating and self-exacerbating cycles of unhealed political trauma. As a father of two young daughters, I found DeSantis’ Molochian offering — to propitiate those with little to no regard for life or the suffering of others — behavior unworthy of anyone’s vote. Such a spectacular failure in leadership is rare, from any political figure of any party.

Unfortunately, while this is refreshing to say, I fear it’s noteworthy by it’s rarity.

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