If Then

The other day mariner had a conversation with a member of the electorate. This member happened to be a Trumpist. They were complaining about the Fascist state of affairs in the United States because the Government said everyone had to leave jobs, stay home, wear self-deprecating masks, etc. The Trumpist was echoing the popular complaint going around that uses 40,000 car deaths and people can still drive cars . . . why can’t 150,000 deaths occur from virus and people can still work.

Mariner responded in a sympathetic tone that he understood the Trumpist’s sentiments but mariner didn’t understand the Modus Ponens (If–then) logic that relates car deaths to virus deaths. Mariner suggested a different argument:

“A similar argument that relates to the virus constraints would be: The Constitution says all men are created equal but the Government can’t stop me from denigrating black people. Further, the Declaration of Independence says every man has the unalienable right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness so the government can’t stop me from working.”

“But,” mariner continued, “it seems immoral to say just because we let people die in cars that we should also let people die from the virus when, unlike a car accident, death from the virus can be avoided. That’s why the car-virus comparison doesn’t work.”

“You ought to be a lawyer,” the Trumpist said, “and it doesn’t change the fact that we live under a Fascist government.”

Politics can be fun . . . . . and depressing.

Ancient Mariner


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