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Why Are Republicans and Democrats So Divided Over the Coronavirus?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Obviously, we are a very badly divided nation: so divided we agree on virtually nothing; so divided we can't even talk to one another anymore; so divided one side doesn't believe in anything the other side says; so divided California, New York and Illinois might as well be on a different planet than Texas.


We can't even agree on how to respond to the novel coronavirus, and when to get back to business.

Check out the latest Rasmussen poll. Sixty-one percent of Republicans believe America will rise from the dead by Easter. Count me among them.

But only 41% of all likely voters somewhat believe the USA can get back to work by Easter. Among Democrats, the number must be in the teens. 

In the past few days, President Donald Trump made it abundantly clear that Americans need to get back to work. 

I have said repeatedly on my nationally syndicated radio show: "The business of America is business. It's time to get back to work because the deadly virus is temporary, but the economic disaster we're causing could last a lifetime and prove far more deadly in the long run."

Many conservatives such as myself have also pointed out that the mortality rates of the coronavirus have been greatly exaggerated. On Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx, "America's Doctor," said the same thing in a press conference: There will not be millions dead in the USA. The math doesn't add up. 

She reported how computer models predicting 500,000 dead in the U.K. have been downgraded to 20,000. She reported how the terrible death count in Italy just doesn't add up to millions of Americans dead, not even close. 

President Trump and Republican businessmen like me remain steadfast and optimistic that we can start bringing this terrible pandemic to a close and be back to business (or at least a limited business rollout) by Easter.


It's not because we don't take this pandemic seriously but because we believe in our hearts that we can't allow the U.S. economy to die. We can't allow another Great Depression. We can't honor the sick or dying by losing our job, income and life savings. 

Someone has to mind the store, keep the economy going, pay the bills and pay the taxes so that after we win this war -- and we will win -- there is something for the older, the weak and the vulnerable to come back to.

We believe in our hearts and souls there is a way to restart this economy and to do it carefully, reasonably and responsibly while protecting the oldest, weakest and most vulnerable.

Meanwhile, Democratic politicians and liberal Hollywood activists scream about millions dying and about keeping the nation locked down for months. And they call Trump and Republicans all kinds of terrible names.

What accounts for this difference? I believe I've figured it out. It's all about personality. 

Most every Republican I know is positive, outgoing and relentless, won't take no for an answer and has can-do spirit. That's why so many Republicans are successful in the business world. That's why we're proud to create the jobs and pay the taxes. We are the workers, makers and producers of America. We turn lemons into lemonade. We see the glass as half full, not half empty. We love working. We see it as our American way of life. We desperately want and need to get back to work.


Democrats are the polar opposite. They are cynical, negative and always finding fault with America, capitalism and business. That's why conservative talk radio is so successful whereas there is virtually no liberal talk radio. It's just too negative, too dark, too depressing. Liberals are always complaining, offering no solutions other than bigger government.

That explains the differences in how we see the coronavirus. Republicans have everything to lose if they don't get back to work. We see our business, career, job as our calling in life, our baby. It is who we are. Taking that away from us is like death.

Democrats are made up of groups who don't see anything to gain by rushing back to work. Some of them didn't work before this crisis. Some are protected by union contracts and union pensions. Some work for the government -- and they have jobs for life. Some have lived on a welfare check for much of their life. Some want to be paid bigger checks for being unemployed than for working. In the end, they feel they can stay home, take no risk and have the government pay them.

It's a completely different mindset. Democrats depend on government. Republicans depend on God, prayer, self-reliance and personal responsibility. Our lives are wrapped up in our work. We're risk-takers. We must get back to work or risk losing everything we've worked our whole lives to build. It's what makes us who we are.


Yes, we're a divided nation. It's like we're from different planets. I'm proud to be from the planet where the glass is always half full, where America, with the greatest health care system in the world and the strongest economy in the world, will always prove victorious. 

Yes, it's true that "the business of America is business." Let the people who want to get back to it get back to it.

Wayne Allyn Root is a CEO, entrepreneur, bestselling author, nationally syndicated talk-show host on USA Radio Network and the host of "The Wayne Allyn Root Show" on Newsmax TV nightly at 11 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Pacific.

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