Even ICP Is Being More Responsible About Coronavirus Than the Missouri GOP

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ICP for co-governors of Missouri. - VIA PSYCHOPATHIC RECORDS
ICP for co-governors of Missouri.

Once, while I was reporting on the Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos back in 2013, I came across a scene in which a man picked up a piece of poop with his bare hand and then slapped another man right across the face with it, as part of a playful dare for which both were participants. Consequently, I've never considered juggalos to be a particularly health-minded, germ-avoiding bunch.

So you can imagine my surprise, then, when I awoke this morning to the news that ICP had cancelled this year's Gathering, citing coronavirus concerns.

"It is with a heavy heart we announce that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we can't possibly in good conscience even consider trying to put on a Gathering during these difficult times," the statement reads in part, later adding, "The bottom line is simply that we refuse to risk even one juggalo life by hosting a Gathering during these troubling times."

It's the right move, not only from the obvious medical standpoint, but also from a financial one: There is just too much uncertainty at this time as to how the ongoing pandemic would affect turnout. Would people even want to show up to the festival, slated for August, if there are still health concerns? Would they even be able to afford to, given so many have been out of work for so long?

In light of these considerations, it begs the questions: How is it that the Insane Clown Posse, of all groups, has thought this through more than our own state government?

Governor Mike Parson (Parsons? Parple?) announced just yesterday that most Missouri businesses will be able to reopen on May 4, less than two weeks from now, even as coronavirus cases in the state continue to climb. The decision flies in the face of the recommendations of scientists and medical professionals, not to mention the recommendations of the Trump administration, which say that states should begin to open in a controlled way only after fourteen days of declining case numbers.

click to enlarge Even ICP Is Being More Responsible About Coronavirus Than the Missouri GOP

"We're working on the policy and the guidelines for that, but I will tell you almost every business in the state of Missouri will be able to open their doors," Parson said in an address. "People will go back to work. There'll be some guidelines we'll have with that, but the majority of them will be open."

Parson's announcement came just one day after hundreds of protesters swarmed Jefferson City demanding the state be reopened, many of them refusing to wear masks or practice social distancing, many of them proclaiming the virus to be a "hoax" — proving that even if the state opens with "guidelines" about safety, many of our fellow citizens are just gonna straight up ignore them.

It comes, too, after numerous Republican lawmakers and operatives have declared that the reopening of the economy is more important than the lives that would be lost in doing so, with Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick even going so far as to utter these astonishing words: “There are more important things than living, and that’s saving this country for my children and grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.”

Let's compare and contrast the two responses again: On the one hand, "There are more important things than living." On the other, "We refuse to risk even one juggalo life."

Seriously, is this where we're at now?

Even if we were to take Lt. Governor Patrick at his word as to his motives for reopening the country, the logic here is (literally) fatally flawed. The reasoning behind the push for the reopening of states by various Republican leaders and operatives, not to mention by protest groups (which are meant to appear grass-roots in nature but in many cases are actually backed by moneyed interests on the far-right) is said to be to save the economy. But as even ICP apparently understands, a blind push to continue on, consequences be damned, is not going to be good for business.

The small businesses that will be forced to open during a global pandemic will be putting their employees at risk while suffering through what will obviously be a suppressed demand for most goods and services as the majority of Americans continue to shelter in place. Polls show that more than 70 percent of Americans support stay at home orders — it is absurd to think that same 70 percent will just say, "Oh OK, never mind, let's head out into a pandemic" just because the government deems it so.

So it's not small business owners that this will help. It will help get people off of the unemployment rolls though, which "entitlement"-hating Republicans would love. Never mind the fact that even if they do have a job to go back to, they'll be risking life and limb to do so.

What's more likely to happen here is that small businesses will suffer perilously declining revenues due to the loss of demand and will be unable to pay their mortgages and/or rent, and will be forced to shutter for good. Additionally, opening everything up will cause a second spike in cases, which will in turn cause a second round of lockdowns, which will sink even the small businesses who were able to weather the storm.

And who will be best positioned to buy up and occupy that space? Wealthy developers, chain restaurants, mega corporations. Goodbye beloved local restaurant; hello to yet another Chipotle.

Is this "saving this country for my children and grandchildren and saving this country for all of us?" No. A mortgage and rent freeze would go much further toward that goal — if you care at all about small businesses. This is a nice little boon for the big corporations, though.

The fact that two guys in clown makeup are more able to grasp the health and financial implications of pulling the trigger too early on getting things going again than the clowns occupying office in wide swaths of our government is troubling at best, and intentional disaster capitalism at worst.

Or, to paraphrase a popular Insane Clown Posse song: Fucking epidemiology, fucking economics — ICP knows how they work.

Does the GOP?

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About The Author

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill is editor at large for the Riverfront Times and he demands to be taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.
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