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Long as I'm at it today HOT TAKE

all the moralistic "why don't Americans sacrifice for the group? why are we all so selfish? surely there is some evil latent in our nature!" takes are missing the obvious factor:

Shitty social conditions create & reinforce selfishness.
It's not just that there's some latent American Evil pulsing in our souls, some innate BadPersonness.

It's that for decades we've seen a selfish plutocracy enshrined and the community let all of us down! It's harder to sacrifice for the team w/o faith it will be repaid!
Deprivation does not make people saints. It makes many people crueler, angrier, more spiteful, more cynical, and less likely to trust the group or sacrifice for the common good.

Why the fuck SHOULD Americans put their trust in a community which has failed them so often?
The reason so many other countries dealt better with COVID-19 is because rightly or wrongly their governments had an established pattern of meriting the public's trust. They could say "we're all in this together & we'll get through it together."
Americans will (rightly) laugh bitterly at that.

Republican administrations and rapacious modern capitalism have been very thorough in teaching us to expect any call for sacrifice is just a call to be fleeced, and that public goods will always be channeled to private capital.
And that's why so many Americans are reluctant to cancel trips, hate wearing masks, and in general are hostile to any sacrifice of their personal joys for the sake of the collective:

America has taught them that the only person looking out for them or their joy is...them.
Republican America has taught Americans that any effort to put off pleasure will just end in them getting fucked over.

Republican America has taught Americans that if the government asks for sacrifice, they're looking for dupes.
And un-teaching these lessons is hard, painstaking work. It particularly can't be done purely by pointing to the many individual good people who DID sacrifice for the group, who DID put others' welfare before their own - they have a habit of being exploited & ultimately unhappy.
Folks in European or Asian countries who willingly sacrificed and are now returning to normal-ish, are not latent Better People.

They just had a social contract which, despite its other flaws, could reassure them it would be to their ultimate benefit instead of exploitation.
America - especially America under a Trump - CANNOT SAY THE SAME, and we all know it.

We all knew early on this pandemic would be used to intensify inequality & exploitation & that no matter how well-intended social servants were, it would be used to make our lives worse.
I've always said this is why we have so many people who desperately chase economic success - the more wealth & independence one has from the American capitalistic misery engine, the more one is free to act on their generous impulses w/o getting burned.
Anyways, that's a big, big reason imo why so many Americans are desperately trying to find loopholes in the pandemic, ways to chase their little snippets of hard-won joy.

We already see our government as out to get us & happiness coming mostly by "cheating" in the game.
We have enshrined petty criminality, minor cheats, exploitation to grow wealthy - bc those are the ways someone reaches "the good life" in America.

There's a strong undertone of "following the rules & being part of a team is for suckers."
And ofc in this light it's only natural our worst actors admire Trump. Not only does he give them the racism they crave, he won the game.
Trump, the ultimate shameless cheat, the gleefully selfish huckster, the untouchable fake billionaire, is a Republican American success story
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