Tucker Goes Freudian

Wow, Tucker went all Freudian today. He said that people who are obsessed with having power and very others have dysfunctional relationships over others.

I’m starting to think there’s definitely something psychiatric in much of the political response to the pandemic.

5 thoughts on “Tucker Goes Freudian”

  1. I think that the explanation is much simpler: politicians are erring on the side of extreme caution when they favor a long shutdown period. They don’t want to be the politician who can be accused of not caring and thus allowing thousands to die on their watch, because this could hurt them in the next election. In fact, this may be a cynical strategy to have it both ways, meaning that these politicians extend the shutdown as long as possible and then relent when too many people protest and resist. Then they can say that they care about public health but also listen to the people at the same time.


    1. “They don’t want to be the politician who can be accused of not caring and thus allowing thousands to die on their watch, because this could hurt them in the next election.”

      Not buying this – will all the nursing home deaths be an issue in the next election? Doubt it. And nearly everyone who could read knew by the end of February that the Wuhan virus killed primarily the LTC demographic but, following the advice of their public health civil servants, politicians failed to isolate and protect these vulnerable individuals while quarantining the general population.

      No great surprise that politicians defaulted to their bureaucrats as this crisis emerged – its what politicians do. And, here’s the problem, public health bureaucrats are not generally the sharpest tools in the shed. Rather than practice medicine, they pull down good salaries with great benefits, regular hours, nice offices, and prestigious-sounding titles. Public health training emphasizes the centrality of state-driven solutions to societal problems and so they bought into the Imperial College clown-car ‘you’re-all-gonna-die’ predictive model without understanding where its numbers were coming from or really anything deeper than its recommended public policy curative – a lock-down of the healthy.

      At this point, especially in the US, politicians have diverged along partisan lines on the lock-down hoping to get a leg up on each other: either (a) double-down on “trusting science” (there’s a knee slapper) and establishing a “new normal” or (b) begin to wind it down while declaring victory in what was always a phony war.


      1. “Trust science” and “the new normal” are definitely phrases for my vocabulary of the expressions that give me the hives.

        I really really REALLY hate how “trust science” has been perverted to mean it’s exact opposite. People are so uneducated!


    2. In that segment, there was a video of some low-level bureaucrat who was announcing the rules people had to follow to be allowed to play tennis (“No doubles! And don’t touch other people’s balls!”) and to use beaches (“Only stay on wet sand! Not dry sand!”). I don’t know how it’s possible to watch their gleeful little faces and to think it’s about caution.

      Closing Walmart I’d understand as being about caution. It’s literally packed. Dragging in handcuffs a woman who is waking a dog in complete solitude isn’t.

      What is the reason for not touching other people’s (tennis) balls? The virus remains on surfaces? If that’s suddenly the case then Walmart should definitely close.


  2. I think you’re right that there’s something deeply (and pathologically) psychiatric going on. But I don’t think it’s the same thing in the people running the show, as it is for the regular folks. Motives of people in charge are pretty cynical, I expect. None of them seem to be taking their own precautions seriously, so for them it’s all election-year posturing, and the raw thrill of exercising power.

    For us groundlings… it seems to be more complicated. But still, weirdly, very partisan. For my elderly Democrat relatives, they still get their news from TV (which they trust without criticism because it aligns with what they already believe) and they are scared. Not without reason: they’re in the very highest COVID-fatality risk group. But for my churchgoing conservative elderly relatives who are also in that high-risk group (but don’t get their news from TV)… it’s not a big deal. The main difference seems to be how they feel about experts and death. From what I gather, those on the liberal/Democrat side of the split are scared of death, and have a very high faith in experts. Those on the conservative/Republican side have accepted that they’re old and death will come for them sooner rather than later, whether that’s from COVID or a heart attack or stroke or whatever (they’re far more afraid of a lingering dementia than death). They don’t like staying at home, and they’d rather take their vitamin D and accept the risk, go to church, and hang out at the Waffle House over coffee and hashbrowns. Mainstream news is hostile to their beliefs, so they don’t listen to it.

    For the younger set, it’s a lot more muddy (not being in a high risk group). For those with a conservative or libertarian bent, the obvious conclusion is that there’s not much to worry about and the sooner they get exposed (if they haven’t already been) and get over it, the better for everyone. For the liberal sort, there’s still a high trust in “science experts” and even though they’ve been consistently wrong about everything COVID so far, faith has not wavered. They’re going to be right any day now, and then all you libertarian jerks will be sorry. Any day now.

    There’s a lot of social signalling going on as well, which obscures things. “I’m the right kind of people and I need you to know it: here’s a profile pic of me in a mask!” Add in the people who actually hate their regular lives, and do not want to go back to them (but can’t actually admit it to themselves, so resort to “We have to keep doing this because we CARE SO MUCH! (and definitely not because we loathe our meaningless soul-killing cubicle-farm jobs)(and also definitely not because we’d rather drink cyanide than have to keep hauling the kids out to soccer/gymnastics/dance five times a week).

    The main divide seems to be risk-avoidance vs. risk-acceptance?


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