It’s Easy To Look Back, But It’s Only Because We Never Looked Forward


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Vice President Mike Pence takes questions from reporters during a press conference with the President’s Coronavirus Task Force Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

One problem we in the political commentary world have is that we fail to acknowledge just how easy it is to look back and proclaim that we could’ve done better.

It’s not challenging at all to say that something didn’t work, so we obviously needed to do something else instead. We have the benefit of hindsight, and we know that history will always remember the mistakes way better than the victories, so we want to make sure we can always say we were on the right side of things all along.

Our national media, for example, is focusing almost entirely on every single thing President Donald Trump says so they can use it to dunk on him, fact check him, and generally make fun of him the entire way through the rest of his presidency. Did Trump make mistakes? I think so. But where the media and I will part ways is that I don’t think Trump could have done anything different at the time this all started happening.

Yes, in perfect hindsight, we could have done so much more. But the media that is out there pointing out everything Trump says and does as being wrong, they are ignoring the fact that they were just as wrong as he was at the beginning. Their greater sin, even, was the constant focus on the impeachment proceedings that overshadowed the early outbreak. Because the Democrats pushed forward with articles of impeachment that were so flimsy even their own Constitutional experts raised questions, and because the media bought into them so readily, Trump and his team were on the defensive.

Of course, though, we can say this now. But it is just as unhelpful to point this out as it is to point out Trump’s mistakes. It changes nothing.

What about businesses currently at risk of going under because they had no cash reserves for their operations? Many times, it’s not their fault, but the fact is that millions of businesses operate with just enough profit to keep the lights on and the business running. It takes a long time, on average, to be a majorly profitable business. Yet these same businesses were among the first to apply for a government loan to help them stay afloat.

If I were to ask you if they should be allowed to have access to that money because they didn’t have the proper planning in the first place to be able to withstand as much of this as possible, you’d call me a heartless bastard and demand for me to be removed from the Front Page (again). But, what if I asked you whether the businesses that did have a large supply of cash should be allowed to access that same government money? You’d be less likely to be angry and more likely to be angry with them. From a rational standpoint, it’s all okay, because businesses are the backbone of our economy and our economy cannot stay closed forever. Even the businesses with a big stockpile for just-in-case circumstances like this cannot be certain of what comes next. They shouldn’t be denied simply because they are currently more fortunate or perhaps planned better.

But, on a more emotional level, you’d hesitate, because you may work for a business that was on the brink and they missed out because another business that wasn’t in trouble did get it. Or maybe it’s you’re own business that missed out while big businesses applied for and got it.

Your natural reaction, based on the fact that you’re reading this on RedState as opposed to elsewhere, is to blame the politicians. Clearly, they messed up when they wrote the bill that funded the paycheck protection action we took. But keep in mind that no one currently in office has ever gone through this, and this is new to everyone. There are bound to be problems in the plan because it had to be rushed. We could blame Pelosi and Schumer for holding things up, and we could blame Republicans who are more interested in Wall Street than Main Street.

It won’t help, though.

Part of the problem right now is that we’re all forced to pay so much more attention because we’re at home with little else to do. We’re thinking about this a lot and focusing on how we’re all affected and we’re losing sight of what we should be doing right now.

We should be taking this opportunity to plan ahead. Plan for ourselves, our businesses, our health, our lives, and everything in between. We keep operating too much based on what other people have said and done and not enough on what we can and should do.

Joe Cunningham



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