The desire to blame folks for things is a very powerful urge. Typically blame comes when folks are frustrated or scared or when they have an agenda. Then they feel the urge to stretch blame to highly illogical places.
COVID is something that has been so all-encompassing for people that after a year and a half, any sane person has had to spend at least a little time both frustrated and scared. Because of that, I’ve seen some folks blame Donald Trump and now Joe Biden. I’ve seen some folks blame Mike Parson and Sam Page. While others blame China, I tend to side with those who blame the Cubs.
Now I guess in order to blame someone you have to have some logical expectation of something they should do or accomplish for you. Let’s take Mike Parson. I’ve seen some folks blame him for COVID so what did he do about it?
First, he shut down the state for a month or so, and those who were scared agreed with that decision, and it angered those who were already frustrated by COVID. Then, he let every county make its own choices on masks and lockdowns. The folks who were scared in the cities agreed, and the folks who were scared in rural Missourah disagreed. The opposite was true for folks who were frustrated. However, the majority of scared folks got what they wanted, and the majority of frustrated folks got what they wanted, and still blame flowed.
Now, here is where the folks with the agenda came in. It was mostly city folks who wanted to boss around the folks in rural Missourah and try to shame them about masks. Which worked about as well as you would expect St. Louis folks lecturing rural Missourah about anything would work. We just dug in and wore them even less in part to spite the uppity city slickers.
That’s not to say that I’ve agreed with Gov. Parson on everything he has done with COVID. I thought they should have put more money into promoting the lake to take advantage of the boom in tourists seeking the freedoms the lake offered. I thought he should have temporarily reclassified grocery store workers as essential, but he didn’t really do either.
It’s a tough job in a tough situation. However, all Missourians can be thankful that someone like the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was not in charge in Jefferson City. We would have been like those city folks and saw tens of thousands of people in nursing homes die here as they did out there because of his decisions. I’m sure today everyone in the Empire State regrets not dumping Cuomo and getting someone with Polk County commonsense to be their governor. Mike Parson has a better job, but maybe they could have gotten Trent Drake or Debbi Roberts-McGinnis to be governor of New York. Think of all the lives they could have saved.
Whether the masks or lockdowns worked is probably up to whether COVID more scared you than frustrated you or vice versa. However, the thing that actually does work is getting the vaccine.
Reasonable folks can disagree with how the governor handled COVID for the first year probably depending on whether you live in Missouri or Missourah or if you were more scared or more frustrated by it, but the one thing you have to credit the governor on was the vaccine distribution.
Unbelievably quickly, Gov. Parson got vaccines out to all parts of the state, and within a few weeks, there was virtually no waiting to get the vaccine that wanted it. Now, of course, some city folks complained that they didn’t get all the shots in St. Louis, but even his harshest critics have had to begrudgingly admit out of their left-wing socialists’ mouths that the vaccine rollout was an overwhelming success.
The vaccine is the one thing that is the universal answer for both those who are scared and those who are frustrated. Scared of dying from COVID? Get the vaccine. Frustrated with dealing with COVID? Get the vaccine. We will see mounting problems getting people vaccinated as the incentive to get vaccinated is decreased.
Now, we get to folks with an agenda. All 6 million of us Missourians have access to the vaccine. No waiting, just walk into hundreds of locations and get it.
That is Mike Parson’s job, to make sure the vaccine is available to everyone who wants it.
If it’s not available when you go to get the vaccine then the buck stops with Mike Parson and you should blame him.
Now what is not Mike Parson’s job is to hold 6 million people down and shove a needle in their arm.
Mike Parson got his shot and so did his wife Teresa. They let folks take a picture of them getting it. They have both encouraged folks to get theirs. I’m not really sure what the city folks are expecting him to do after that.
Some city folks with an agenda clearly want to blame Mike Parson for folks not getting a vaccine. It’s real city-specific, a mix of pathetic and sad.
Currently, there are around 42 percent of Missourians vaccinated. For a state called the Show-Me State, that is probably about right at this point. None of those 42 percent cared what the governor or the president did, nor do the 58 percent care. The 18 percent of folks in Pemiscot County who took the shot make their own choices just like the 52 percent of folks in St. Charles County who aren’t vaccinated didn’t care for the advice of a politician.
I chose to take the vaccine. I also chose to have my daughter take the vaccine when she turned 12. For what it’s worth, I’d encourage you to get your shot. But none of my decisions had anything to do with any encouragement from Mike Parson or any other politician.
I did visit with a few folks before taking the vaccine. I chatted with my doctor, I asked a few folks who got the shot what it was like, and then I visited with my dad. Mark Faughn is one of the most reasonable level-headed thinkers I’ve ever known. He is full of wisdom and someone I trust. His opinion mattered to me. I for sure never gave a damn about what anyone on Twitter thought about it.
There ain’t nobody that makes a health care decision based on what a politician has done, and for those who do (there ain’t none) then every politician from the president to the governor to the mayor of St. Louis has got theirs so I guess you don’t have them to blame.
There are 6 million of us Missourians, and for all of us Mike Parson is our governor, and for all but a couple of us, Mike Parson ain’t our daddy. He has plenty to say grace over just being governor. He ain’t got time to be your daddy.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.