Saturday, May 23, 2020

Regarding Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb Himself

Because it is possible that some people might otherwise manage to misunderstand some of what I have written here during the past couple of months, I write the following in order to take it out of their power to do so.

Let nothing that I have written (or may write in the future) that criticizes Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's actions or decisions be taken as a reason to dislike him as a person.  I take the time to state this explicitly because I have raised objections to some of his actions and decisions, this year -- actions and decisions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic -- and in raising those objections, I have pointed out extraordinary and unusually serious problems with the course of policy that the Governor's office has pursued.  If someone reading what I have written were to assign the full weight of the blame for these problems to Governor Holcomb himself (and deem those problems a consequence of his character and judgment), saving nothing for the pandemic itself, that would be a very heavy weight -- and a weight that I have no interest in placing on anyone.

In my writing, my focus has been on these policies themselves, not on distributing the blame for them.  If I were, however, to assume responsibility for judging Governor Holcomb for the actions (the objectionable ones) that he has taken in relation to the pandemic, this year, I would keep in mind how important the difference is between taking those actions in 2020 (as Governor Holcomb has) and taking those actions in 2017, 2018, or 2019 (which he did not do), and I would assign to the coronavirus the quantum of blame appertaining to that difference before deciding how to allocate the remainder.

This is not to say that a pandemic justifies or excuses whatever actions might be taken or whatever decisions might be made in response to it.  It is also not meant to suggest that a governor's decisions in relation to a pandemic cannot reflect in some way on that governor's character or judgment.  My point is nothing more than that the objections that I have raised concern the policies (or the means used to implement them) themselves, but that if I had any interest in assigning blame for the problems with those policies, I would reserve for the pandemic the share that it is due.

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