To the editor:
It is worthwhile noting that protests against shutdowns are more common in less densely populated areas and states reopening sooner are more likely to have Republican governors. The percentage choosing the option in your May 14 poll, “It’s time to reopen now,” is about the same as the percentage Republican state-wide candidates get in Alexandria. Likely, there is considerable overlap between the two.
Folks should understand that the reason northern Virginia isn’t ready to reopen yet and has some of the highest coronavirus levels in the state is because of policy preferences which distinguish Democrats from Republicans: Dense development puts people in closer proximity, facilitating viral spread more so than in less densely populated places where more social distancing happens normally because people don’t live or work as close to one another.
Density drives voting patterns more so than most folks realize with areas with fewer than 800 people per square mile tending Republican and those with over 800 square mile tending Democrat.
The Democrat vote percentage has risen in tandem with Alexandria’s increasing density. When Prince William County was hassling poor, many illegally present immigrants, Alexandria’s liberal leaders laid out a welcome mat, resulting in many tightly packing into housing in Arlandria, facilitating higher virus exposure.
After President Donald Trump halted immigration from China to control the coronavirus, instances of Chinese trying to illegally cross our southern border in- creased. Democrats exhort us to “build bridges” to welcome others rather than Trump’s walls to keep them out.
There is also one policy which both parties have supported, free trade, which has caused more business travel between the U.S. and China, increasing exposure to the virus both when these business travelers are in China and to others after they return.
That is why in Italy – which has outsourced to China many of the manufactures it used to produce domestically – the coronavirus struck the hardest in Milan, its financial center which has the most business travel to China.
It is worth noting that our country’s most stalwart free trade opponents, labor unions, looked the other way on the inconsistency of former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama regarding free trade: after insisting during their campaigns that they were against free trade, they switched and pressed for it hard once in office. Similar was Hillary Clinton’s risible pretend that she was against the Trans-Pacific Partnership she had helped negotiate as Obama’s Secretary of State. Whereas Trump took on and defeated the GOP’s dominant libertarian wing on the trade issue and forced through NAFTA reforms that both the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO ultimately backed.
Our country now finds itself, unexpectedly, having to spend trillions of dollars more than it otherwise would have had to in order to address circumstances exacerbated by policies Democrats favor and Republicans oppose. From where are these additional trillions coming and who will pay them back and how?
-Dino Drudi, Alexandria