This. This right here. X eleventymillionbajilliongazillionkadillion.
I am so grateful that President Trump is on the mend. As Mark pointed out last week on The Mark Steyn Show, the Chinese coronavirus has actually affected the leaders of three out of seven G-7 countries: Boris Johnson, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (wife of PM Justin Trudeau) and now President and Melania Trump. That’s a very worrisome number. Without firing a single shot, the evil Chinese government has directly threatened the lives of our leaders, all the while murdering hundreds of thousands of innocents with their repulsive biological warfare.
As Mark put it, the virus (whether it was lab or wet-market born doesn’t matter) is a declaration of war. It is cowardly, ridiculous and pathetic that after almost seven months, we still aren’t discussing this seriously. In fact, the only things we in the West have been taking seriously are the disgusting, totalitarian, Chinese-inspired lockdown policies. We are destroying our lives for nothing. We are ignoring the New Cold War at our peril.
Every single person needs to reject “the new normal”. It’s the “new normal” of Communist China, terrorizing citizens and attempting to regulate everything about our lives, including the bits of food that we chew in our mouths. It’s repulsive.
Demand the regular normal. Every one of us mad about this needs to force our leaders to accept that terrorizing us about “cases” – and not hospitalizations and deaths – cannot go on. “Hospitalizations and deaths are the proper measure.” They must also be forced to admit and act on the fact that there is another way to manage this.
As has been widely documented, the “cure” (and it is certainly not a cure) is worse than the disease. We must, as President Trump rightly and bravely advised, stop living in fear, because it’s no way to live. We must focus our efforts on turning the tide of submissive, “safetyism” and understand that in addition to the physical ailments it causes, the Wuhan Chinese Communist Coronavirus has a very dangerous and deep ideological payload. That’s what we are up against. Are you up for the fight? The November election is a big part of this fight and we need to win. As Mark quoted Rush Limbaugh: there is no plan B.
No, there really isn’t. But as things continue to go ever more pear-shaped with every passing day, it becomes more and more apparent that the 2020 election, that ANY election, is not going to fix this. Laura links to a thread by the brilliant John Hayward, whose self-ghettoization to the Twitter shitpit—rather than carrying on with the longer-form blog posts he started out with back in his Doc Zero days—frustrates the hell outta me, blast it. Happily, though, there’s always good ol’ Threadreader to help me cope with that annoyance.
The Wuhan coronavirus carries a heavy ideological payload of conformity and submission to authority. The Chinese are aggressively using it to promote their model of fascism. Others of an authoritarian bent are making political use of it as well.
The basic idea that the virus is a form of divine punishment for failing to implement and obey the “right” policies is clearly false – there are far too many case surges in places that did everything “right” – but it’s irresistible for believers in centralized authority.
It also has some appeal to the public, because they want a frightening and confusing epidemic to be made simpler. Do X, Y, and Z and you won’t get the virus; if you got the virus, you must have failed to do X, Y, and Z. It’s comforting because it’s simpler than the truth.
This is a very old compulsion, going all the way back to using supernatural mythology to explain the weather and natural disasters. Please the gods and there will be no famine; if there is famine, you must have displeased the gods. We hunger for simplicity and assurance.
The inherent problem with such ways of thinking is they invite mob psychosis. People who think famine was caused by displeasing the gods become violently angry at suggestions to the contrary. Those who profit from the enforced belief system will eagerly fan the flames of anger.
The enforced belief system quickly acquires heavy moral overtones. Obedience is righteous; disobedience is sinful and evil. Debates become one-sided crusades. Information that contradicts the simplified, moralistic belief system is suppressed.
Human beings have a great appetite for living this way. It’s not entirely irrational. People working hard to provide for their families just want to know a simple formula for living safely, a clear set of procedures they can follow to make everything be okay.
The coronavirus is dangerously useful to people who want to create fusions of ideology and morality, people who seek to forcibly restore faith in authority after it fell to an all-time low, and those who assert the superiority of centralized control over individual freedoms.
In truth, the big advantages authoritarians have in such a crisis is their callous disregard for individual lives and their ability to lie without consequence. China was trapping sick people in their homes by welding the doors shut. They quarantined cities bigger than New York.
And of course they constantly lie about how many cases and deaths they really had, and even though everyone knows they’re lying, everyone implicitly treats the lies as truth by only comparing more honest and open societies in their “worst coronavirus responses” analysis.
You really don’t want to live under any of the authoritarian regimes that claim to have done a bang-up job of handling the coronavirus. Even if their claims were true – and they aren’t – you wouldn’t want to live through the measures they imposed on outbreak areas.
What the coronavirus DID reveal in many Western societies was bureaucratic sclerosis, bloated agencies that forgot about their core missions, hyper-politicization, and media-driven panicky stampedes. We should address those problems without becoming MORE authoritarian.
Indeed we should have. Alas, that ship left the dock and floated off beyond the visible horizon and away along about, oh, mid-April or thereabouts.
The sad reality is that the only truly “novel” thing about the Novel Coronavirus was the lowing complaisance Americans allowed themselves to collapse into in response to opportunistic and illegitimate official authoritarianism, enabled by what was quickly revealed as a grotesquely-oversold flu bug. Reclaiming any semblance of liberty after such a grievous error will be a long and arduous struggle—assuming such a thing is even possible in the first place, without requiring a surfeit of bloodshed and misery to accomplish it.
Update! The precedent is the problem.
Once whatever challenges Americans face are declared medical emergencies, it now appears they have no constitutional rights. All individual actions can now be controlled by executive fiat. If behavior that runs contrary to the objectives of America’s most powerful establishment institutions can be declared a pathology, the inconvenience of due process can be discarded. They’ll just put you in an asylum and throw away the key. They’ll lock you down. They’ll tell you where you can go, who you can see, what products you can consume, and what content you can watch.
Anyone who doubts this need only consider the events of the past nine months. A two-week “lockdown” to “slow the spread” has turned into a catastrophic shutdown with no end in sight. The entire nation has been turned into a medically supervised asylum as corporate elites mop up what’s left of independent businesses. Whatever chances America ever had of crawling out of debt have been drowned by trillions in new federal borrowing. Life in America may never be the same again.
The scariest thing about this medical usurpation of the constitutional rights of Americans is the precedent it has set. One may argue forever over whether or not the COVID-19 virus required this level of lockdown, but at least it was a virus. At least it was a genuine medical challenge. If this virus didn’t actually merit these measures, perhaps the next one will. But what if any agenda of social control can be medicalized?
Medicalization of political issues is sort of like the liberal rhetoric of compassion but more potent. It provides a powerful tool for self-aggrandizing opportunists, in an irony that utterly escapes rank and file liberals. For example, low-income multi-family housing, imposed scattershot into neighborhoods that were previously 100 percent single-family homes, offers financial windfalls to tax-subsidized investors. But now the hard-working residents who just want the people they live around to pay the same prices they did, and make the same sacrifices they did, aren’t just personally defamed as racists. Now they’re said to be suffering from a collective pathology. The cure, demanded because this is a health emergency, will undermine if not virtually erase their standing in court to object. Investors get rich. Residents get ruined. Racism is supposedly cured.
The Soviet Union also redefined dissent as pathology, ie, a mental disorder. PRO TIP: that is not a coincidence.
The “climate emergency” is also moving swiftly towards being defined as a health emergency, with all the streamlining of process and obliteration of constitutional rights inherent in such a declaration. It isn’t hard to see where this is going: micromanagement of virtually everything people do. To justify this, America’s elites, looking down from lofty heights, see a nation with a pathological need to overindulge in resource consumption. Sustainable options abound to address potential resource scarcity—clean natural gas, nuclear power, biomass conversion, hydropower, indoor agriculture, desalination, and eventually, commercial fusion. And of course, mass immigration is not inevitable, it’s a policy choice. More resources, slower population growth. Problem solved. But these options don’t allow opportunistic special interests to make more profit. They don’t allow America’s establishment elites to amass more power.
Everything put in place to combat the COVID pandemic is furthering the creation of a medical slave state. A medical emergency was declared, everyone was told to go on lockdown, and with fitful exceptions, everyone went on lockdown. The population is now desensitized to the term “lockdown.” That a medical emergency can erase constitutional rights is now a fact, not conjecture. And the technology of surveillance and control has taken a giant leap forward with contact tracing, facial recognition, the inevitable tiers of privileges that will be attendant to individual vaccination status, and the fact that the American people, by and large, accept this.
And THAT RIGHT THERE is our biggest problem of all—one that may prove to be insuperable, and ultimately lead to our undoing.
President Trump, on three critical issues—the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate change—has been a consistent voice of common sense. This fact, that Trump opposes alarmist overreaction to these issues, and without fear or hesitation exposes the hidden agendas behind the overreaction, is the real reason he is bitterly opposed by every establishment institution in America. President Trump is one of America’s last hopes to reverse the permanent medicalization of public policy, bypassing the constitution.
No one man can reverse all this, and none but a fool would hope for such. Wiser heads always recognized that Trump could only stave off the crisis temporarily, thereby providing a brief opportunity to brace ourselves for the coming firestorm.
FUD update! Fear is a weapon, and a mighty one at that. But it cannot be successfully wielded without the permission of those under its sway.
Democrats champion masks because masks acknowledge the rule of fear. They’re symbols of subordination and surrender — yes, subordination to fear of a germ, and surrender of rights and freedoms. In this scheme, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are to be scrapped in favor of contentment with security — however illusory — under the watchful eye and guiding hand of corporatist big government, which, of course, is to be led by the cabal that Biden fronts.
You see, fear is a means. It’s a weapon in the hands of Democrats. The mainstream media are eager henchmen. Power lust drives Democrats to use fear to gain what they covet. A virus, like a crisis, isn’t to be wasted. A contagion that helps manufacture a crisis is too tempting to pass up. Exacerbating fears, and full-on exploitation of whatever may stress the human spirit, are practically trademarked by cynical Democrats.
Fear has always been an ally to tyrants, whatever the stripe. How dreary that fact, and how tragic the history of the last century, in particular. Red terrors, pogroms, Kristallnacht, and Cultural Revolutions are the dramatic manifestations of weaponized fear. But there are more mundane applications of fear. With learning, experience, and advancements, tyrants are honing the means.
Tyranny is showing a blander face nowadays. Stalin’s stern look and Hitler’s glowering expression have given way to the corporate cool of Xi Jingping or the facelessness of U.S. corporate, sports, and education leaders who operate in a loose confederacy to impose “progressive” orthodoxy. Or via the checked-out expression of the Democrats propped up standard-bearer.
Submit and behave well, admonish today’s autocrats, or you won’t have a job, your reputation will be trashed, and your kids won’t have a future. Sound familiar? What other is cancel culture, now being practiced on these shores? A kid with a MAGA cap, Nick Sandmann, can attest to news outlets eagerness to destroy his future. How many Americans do their jobs in silence, dreading that one remark, one act of independence, can cost them their incomes?
Cancel culture is no more than a stop on the road to a greater smothering of rights and liberty.
He reels off another good line towards the end: “Courage is requisite to freedom.” Yes indeed. T’was ever thus, and ever shall be.