The crisis of the coronavirus-induced economic lockdown and now the violent protests in the streets have unleashed a depression-level financial crisis and unprecedented human suffering — especially in our inner cities. These events have also exposed a Grand Canyon-sized chasm that now separates how the left and the right see America today. To wit:
No. 1: The right believes that stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are counterproductive and should be repealed safely and immediately. The left believes that those orders must stay in place but should only apply to those on the right, not to liberal protesters.
No. 2: The right engages in nonviolence. The left shows tacit support for mob violence.
No. 3: The right believes the best way to revive the economy is to incentivize a dormant workforce to get back on the job. The left believes that the best way to revive the economy is to pay people more money not to work than to work.
No. 4: When the right protests against injustice, such as 40 million people losing their jobs due to lockdowns, it is always during the light of day so they can be seen and heard. The left protests in the dark so people can’t see what crimes some of the protestors are committing.
No. 5: When the right attends rallies, they carry the American flag. When the left protests (and riots), the only American flags you see are burned.
No. 6: The right believes there are limits to how much governments can spend and borrow to avoid national bankruptcy and financial ruin. The left believes that trillions of dollars of added spending and debt are advisable and benign.
No. 7: When the right holds rallies, the protesters clean up after themselves. When the left protests, they ransack and burn their neighborhoods, spray-paint obscene graffiti and leave a mess of litter and trash everywhere for someone else to clean up. Yet leftists say they are the environmentalists.
No. 8: The right stands in support of small-business people’s rights and has been asking businesses like hardware stores, run by immigrants or other minority owners, to open up. The left’s rallies lead to looting and burning down the hardware stores.
No. 9: The right believes the best way to get people back to work is by getting money straight to people’s paychecks through a payroll tax cut. The left thinks the best course is to give money to mayors, governors and other politicians.
No. 10: The right wants to help prevent racism in urban police forces by firing incompetent and bigoted police officers. The left stands by the unions, which prevent police from being fired.
No. 11: The right wants to make America look like Florida and Texas. The left wants the rest of the nation to look like New York and Illinois — which are crumbling from rioting, lockdowns, high taxes and an accelerating stampede of businesses leaving the state.
Those are the monumentally important choices America faces. This is what the 2020 elections are all about on Nov. 3.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy.” To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.