2020 was the year many of the fairy-tales Americans have turned to for comfort and reassurance took it on the chin.
Perhaps the saddest casualty of 2020 is the myth that average Americans cherish their personal freedom. Politicians continually shifted the rationale for lockdowns – from flattening the curve, to ending “community spread,” to reducing cases to near zero. Regardless of the proclaimed rationale, most people submitted without a fight, and usually without even a whimper. Politicians and bureaucrats fanned mass fears which quickly ripened into hatred of anyone who did not comply with the latest edict.
States and cities across the country set up snitch lines that were soon deluged with complaints of people outside without a mask, meeting friends, or having more visitors in their homes than could fit in a phone booth. Many, if not most, people quickly acquiesced to the “new normal” where any government hack who recited the phrase “science and data” became entitled to rule their lives with an iron fist.
As the Harvard International Review warned, “The very methods that liberal democracies are currently using to effectively fight the virus are the same tactics that authoritarian leaders use to dominate their people. The tools that have been temporarily deployed in the fight against a once-in-a-lifetime disease may become permanent.” That was written on May 23, more than 15 million Covid cases ago – proof of the failure of lockdowns and pervasive restrictions to make Covid-19 vanish. But the miserable batting average of officialdom will vanish into the Memory Hole if politicians launch a campaign to make Covid vaccinations mandatory, complete with boundless vilification of anyone who balks at the injection.
Perhaps it has long been a myth that we live in a self-governing republic rather than a Leviathan Democracy where citizens merely make cameo appearances every few years at the voting booth. It is still possible that the catastrophic and pointless losses imposed by Covid crackdowns will finally awaken enough people to their growing subjugation. But the most dangerous myth is that Americans will finally become safe after they cease making any efforts to leash their rulers.
That’s the biggest myth of them all, one which desperately needs busting.