What are the most significant events of “our lifetimes?” For the sake of discussion, let’s say post-Viet Nam. What would you consider the most impactful historical development in that time period? You could make a good argument that it is 911. That led to a temporary spirit of unity in the nation and to a subsequent focus on terrorism. But as significant as that was, I think the long-term effects of the pandemic are even more impactful.
It is not just the disease itself. It is our reaction to it. Years from now, we will be more impacted by our willingness to throw both our freedom and the economy overboard, in one fell swoop, than by anything else. The precedents we set are an existential threat to our way of life and the survival of our nation.
I used to harbor a naïve notion that large and wealthy organizations usually make decisions that make sense. Silly me. I no longer believe that. A concomitant notion was that government usually took actions that served the political goals of those in office, but also took pains to make sure they had good, sound reasoning behind it. Again, today, not so much. It seems as if our nation increasingly just does whatever wokeness dictates, activist government requires, and increases the size and power of government.
A piece in the American Spectator, here, summarizes the scientific case that lockdowns simply didn’t work. You could be excused for assuming that if the free world mostly shut down their societies, and caused a horrible economic crash, it must be because we knew it was the right thing to do, notwithstanding the immense harm they did. If you thought that, you would be wrong.
The damage to human health and happiness, caused by the lockdowns, is incalculable. Depression, suicides, unemployment, and business failures all increased. Our children were deprived of an effective education and people in hospitals, hospice, and senior living facilities were denied the decency and love of normal care and human contact. People were not even allowed to give loved ones a traditional funeral (unless you were a privileged congressman or were killed by a police officer, of course). Nor do we know with much certainty whether masks work. Some evidence suggests they may help, although there are no randomized studies on the subject. But it is hardly an overwhelming case. See here, for example.
Government increasingly acts to increase its own power, make you more dependent on it, and reduce freedom. Can you name three things Washington has done in the past two months, under this most activist and leftist of administrations, that has made government smaller or increased freedom? No. I can’t think of one either.
Two decades ago, to pick an arbitrary point in time, if we had faced a health event with the potential impact of this pandemic, no one would have even considered shutting down the economy, banning church, or telling people they couldn’t have Thanksgiving dinner, shop for gardening supplies, or use a motorboat. Yet those are all real examples of what governors nationwide did. That and much more, all in the supposed service of better health.
If you had suggested, forty years back, banning church, private gatherings, or going to the beach, you would have been laughed out of the room. If you were an elected official, you would have been vilified and voted out at the next possible opportunity. You would have been considered a dangerous lunatic.
Today, the common assumption is that, yes, of course we need to do those things, because it is for our own good. Oh, really? It is? Well, if government says so, I guess we have to check our brains at the door. That settles that. That is the politically correct, woke assumption today, notwithstanding the reality that every autocratic, despotic, dictatorial, evil regime in human history has justified their incursions on freedom in the exact same way. Government always claims what it is doing is for our own good. Always.
South Africa defended apartheid as being in the people’s best interests. Nazis said the same thing about the holocaust. It was all for the best.
Surveys show people are more concerned about illness than freedom. And God help us. This from CBS, for example, reveals the fear was that restrictions would be lifted too soon, not too late. People were willing to see their hopes, dreams, and livelihoods thrown out like last week’s leftover tilapia, so long as they thought it might help fight the virus.
The most astonishing element is the ease with which it was done. At one point, I believed that if someone came to power and suggested such draconian restrictions on our liberty they would be hounded out of office and the populace wouldn’t stand for it. People not only wouldn’t obey, they would publicly give their governor their middle finger, display their bare ass, or offer some similar universally accepted sign of disdain. Then they’d get crabby.
Not so today. The America of today – sadly, suddenly, astonishingly – reacted to the wholesale removal of key constitutional freedoms like a bunch of medicated, somnambulant sloths. Only with less energy. They kicked us and we said, “thank you sir, may I have another?” Not only did people go along with it, but people who supported freedom were vilified. As bullying, wokeness, and group think works, it is very important for people to be marginalized for daring to question authority. We have to pay a price for our principles and values.
It is said there are no ethics without courage. If you don’t have the nerve to stand up for what you believe, then it really doesn’t matter what you believe. Our ability to defend our values perfectly aligns with our willingness to speak out. If you don’t fight for your principles, you are as useless and ineffectual as if you had no values at all.
Did EVERYONE just roll over and take it? No. But if you weren’t surprised by the absence of large, powerful, and effective opposition to the loss of our freedoms, well, you were watching something other than what I observed.
We founded flyover-patriots.com because we believe in freedom over everything else. It does not mean that we don’t value things like health. It does mean that, if we had to pick one, it would be freedom that was at the top of our list or priorities. Our freedom is what separates us from the rest of the world. Or used to, anyway.
Lots of prisoners, patients, and zoo animals have good health, plenty of food, and safety. With how many of them would you like to trade places?
It is not necessary to refuse to wear a mask, or take any other symbolic step, to prove you are a supporter of freedom. It is necessary that you openly support the rights of others to exercise that freedom.
Now, people who have had the vaccine are being told by media darlings/power hungry bureaucrats, like Tony Fauci, that they still have to wear masks, preferably more than one, social distance, and avoid large gatherings. We will be expected to feel grateful to unelected government zombies for giving us back a piece of what they didn’t have the right to take in the first place.
When Biden spoke recently, he said most of America should be vaccinated by the end of May. Then he said that, it we continue to do what we are told, obeying orders like a trained puppy, we might be able, by July 4th, to have a cook-out, with a small group, as long as we were still careful. This after we are vaccinated. You know what? Biden has no right to tell us that. And we don’t have to follow his rules. I wasn’t previously planning on having a big July 4 party. Or maybe sooner. With all due respect, screw you, Mr. President. Beer and burgers, my house, July 4/ Bring a friend.