I repeat: if it weren’t for lies, they’d have nothing to say at all.
More than two years since the lockdowns of 2020, the political mainstream, particularly on the left, is just beginning to realize that the response to Covid was an unprecedented catastrophe.
But that realization hasn’t taken the form of a mea culpa. Far from it. On the contrary, in order to see that reality is starting to dawn on the mainstream left, one must read between the lines of how their narrative on the response to Covid has evolved over the past two years.
The narrative now goes something like this: Lockdowns never really happened, because governments never actually locked people in their homes; but if there were lockdowns, then they saved millions of lives and would have saved even more if only they’d been stricter; but if there were any collateral damage, then that damage was an inevitable consequence of the fear from the virus independent of the lockdowns; and even when things were shut down, the rules weren’t very strict; but even when the rules were strict, we didn’t really support them.
Put simply, the prevailing narrative of the mainstream left is that any upside from the response to Covid is attributable to the state-ordered closures and mandates that they supported, while any downside was an inevitable consequence of the virus independent of any state-ordered closures and mandates which never happened and which anyway they never supported. Got it? Good.
Astonishingly, in a debate on Monday, Charlie Crist, Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, accused Ron DeSantis of being “the only governor in the history of Florida that’s ever shut down our schools.” “You’re the only governor in the history of Florida that shut down our businesses,” Crist went on, “I never did that as governor. You’re the one who’s the shutdown guy.”
In fact, as DeSantis pointed out, Crist had publicly sued DeSantis to keep kids out of school in 2020, and he wrote DeSantis a letter in July 2020 saying the entire state should still be in lockdown.
Arguments like these are as facile as they are transparent. Does anyone honestly think these people would be arguing that lockdowns didn’t happen, or that it’s impossible to measure their effects, if the policy had been a success?
Read on for an incredibly chilling rundown of the veritably incalculable and multifarious damage done by those newly “nonexistent” lockdowns—first and foremost among that being, for me at least, the wreckage it made of such piffling concerns as individual autonomy, self-determination, and the very idea of unalienable, Constitutionally-protected rights.
The piece continues from there with pictures, almost none of which I’d seen before, putting this wanton, needless destruction on display for all to see and be shamed by. Bottom line? You’ve been had. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled.
By pretending that all of these horrors were attributable to public panic, apologists for the response to Covid are attempting to shift blame away from the political machines that imposed lockdowns and mandates onto individuals and their families. This is, of course, despicable and bunk. People did not voluntarily go hungry, or stand in the freezing cold to get food, or remove themselves from hospitals while they were still sick, or bankrupt their own businesses, or force their own kids to sit outside in the cold, or march hundreds of miles in exodus after losing their jobs in factories.
The collective denial of these horrors, and the refusal of media, financial, and political elites to report on them, amounts to nothing less than the greatest act of gaslighting that we’ve seen in modern times.
Further, the argument that all of these terrible outcomes could be attributed to public panic rather than state-imposed mandates would be far more convincing if governments hadn’t taken unprecedented actions to deliberately panic the public.
Does it get even worse yet? Oh, you bet your sweet bippy it does.
A report later revealed that military leaders had seen Covid as a unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on the public, “shaping” and “exploiting” information to bolster support for government mandates. Dissenting scientists were silenced. Government psyops teams deployed fear campaigns on their own people in a scorched-earth campaign to drive consent for lockdowns.
Moreover, as a study by Cardiff University demonstrated, the primary factor by which citizens judged the threat of COVID-19 was their own government’s decision to employ lockdown measures. “We found that people judge the severity of the COVID-19 threat based on the fact the government imposed a lockdown—in other words, they thought, ‘it must be bad if government’s taking such drastic measures.’ We also found that the more they judged the risk in this way, the more they supported lockdown.” The policies thus created a feedback loop in which the lockdowns and mandates themselves sowed the fear that made citizens believe their risk of dying from COVID-19 was hundreds of times greater than it really was, in turn causing them to support more lockdowns and mandates.
Those who publicly spoke against lockdowns and mandates were ostracized and vilified—denounced by mainstream outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and health officials as “neo-Nazis” and “white nationalists.” Further, among those who really believed the mainstream Covid narrative—or merely pretended to—all the authoritarian methods that had supposedly contributed to China’s “success” against Covid, including censoring, canceling, and firing those who disagreed, were on the table.
Though many now claim to have opposed these measures, the truth is that publicly opposing lockdowns when they were at their apex in spring 2020 was lonely, frightening, thankless, and hard. Few did.
A-HENH. Actually, although it was certainly lonely, I saw nothing whatsoever hard about it, much less frightening; way more frightening to me was how very many of us failed to see through this patently bogus nonsense, even supported it at the time.
This revisionism is all the more disappointing because a small handful of politicians including Ron DeSantis, Imran Khan, and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith have proven that admitting error in implementing lockdowns and mandates isn’t that hard, and can even be politically profitable.
The same should go for the political left. Thus far, we have yet to see anything remotely resembling regret from any leader on the left, but this is what a decent, Truman-era Democrat might say in these circumstances:
“The lockdowns of 2020 were a terrible mistake. While they were outside my field, it was my duty to properly vet the credibility of the advice that was coming from health officials and to end the mandates as soon as it was clear they weren’t working. In that role, I failed, and you all have my humblest apologies. Given the unprecedented harm that’s been done by these mandates, I support a full investigation into how this advice came about, in part to ensure there hasn’t been any untoward communist influence on these policies.”
Those who spoke against lockdowns and mandates in early 2020 showed that they were willing to stand up for the freedoms and Enlightenment principles for which our forebears fought so tirelessly, even when doing so was lonely, thankless, and hard. For that reason, anyone who did so has reason to feel extremely proud, and the future would be brighter if they were in positions of leadership. That fact is now becoming increasingly clear—unfortunately, even to those who did the opposite. One more reason to keep all the receipts.
Any liberty-oriented American worth his salt must never, ever forget the needless, intentional disaster of Spring 2020, on pain of seeing one of the bleakest chapters of our history repeat itself. Because it’s for sure and certain that they’re going to try, and the only way they can get away with it again is if We The People allow them to. If you only read through all of one thing I link to this entire weekend, this one absolutely must be it.
(Via Ed Driscoll)