Governor Wolf recently released his proposal on reopening Pennsylvania’s economy. Governor Wolf’s position was essentially to do Nothing, just like his party, the ‘Do-nothing Democrats.’ Aside from releasing a color-coded protocol, which is a good idea, Governor Wolf has told selected municipalities that they face criminal reprisal should they reopen in defiance of his administration’s directive.
Governor Wolf understandably wants to save lives, and like politicians across the world right now, he is trying to weigh lives with the cost of a life. Ultimately, reopening the world’s economy requires an impossible choice: saving the economy or saving a life. Inevitably, a worker might catch the Coronavirus if the economy is to be reopened, one more infected person than otherwise would have occurred if the economy is to remain on ‘lock-down.’
Many Democrats are taking a typical party discussion point, socialism, and applying it to earn political points during the worst pandemic and financial crisis in the history of the world. Governors on both sides are halting this partisan behavior. Governor’s Newson and Cuomo, in far more liberal states, have praised the Administration’s efforts to deliver relief, supplies, and financial assistance to individuals and small businesses alike. Governor Wolf is emerging as a lone outlier among the nation’s most liberal Governors.
It is important now, more than ever, that Governors in both parties work from a similar framework to manage an impossible choice: a pound of flesh, as Shakespeare so eloquently plays in The Merchant of Venice, or a pound of Gold.
The debate around reopening could be shaped by adding a few considerations. The first is a more proactive response t what is an impending financial and economic crisis. As unemployment hit 7 million, just a few months ago now, Democratic Governors should have sounded alarm bells. They could have done this by beginning to outline a strategy for economic and financial preparation, that includes not only managing current fiscal and budgetary crises, but helping to manage what could be long-term unemployment, poverty, food shortages, and other ills associated with a financial collapse.
Democratic Governors could have also signaled a much stronger intention to unify regions across the United States. Almost immediately, and thankfully many of these statements have since been retracted, Democratic Governors floated the crazy idea that the United States could devolve into Regional governments, just look at Governor Newsom’s statement related to California’s exit at the front-end of the crisis. Even a Republican governor, Larry Hogan of Maryland another lone wolf, began to openly defy the Trump administration in a brazen attempt to win political points with bush-era Republicans. Governor Wolf is seen as leading another regional fissure among Northeastern States.
If the economy continues to decline, and the decline last for the longer-term America could be faced with escalating regional tensions. Calls by Governors for bipartisanship and unity are essential to both America’s sovereignty and Union.
These two small actions, developing measured preparation strategies and calling for Unity, can be accomplished by Governors of any size state. As a Pennsylvanian, I am both disappointed and worried for the future of our great State’s leadership.