Our nation is being held hostage. Not by the fear of a virus but by incompetence.
I say fear of a virus for a reason. The actual virus itself, as the CDC has shown, is not particularly lethal. Like most other viruses, if you are healthy, if you don’t have severe co-morbidities, and you are not immune-compromised, you will have a brief, mild illness and fully recover, in fact, so mild that the overwhelming majority of people who have contracted Chinese Lung AIDS don’t even know that they have done so. Of course, there are exceptions, but there are exceptions to just about everything. You don’t order society based on your worst fears about an ephemeral threat.
Why, then, has civilization been brought to its knees?
On the one hand, there is the fascistic tendency of certain elected and appointed officials to simply make their fellow citizens do stuff because they can. There is no rhyme or reason the Andrew “Let’s Kill the Old Folks” Cuuomo’s bizarre “zone” system that allows you to get snot-slinging drunk at a liquor store but not at a bar and which permits BLM protests but essentially outlaws churches. Justice Gorsuch made that very obvious in his concurrence to Amy Coney Barrett’s opinion striking down Cuomo’s power grab (see Low-Wattage Justice Sotomayor’s Attack on the Bill of Rights Makes Her the Left’s New Supreme Court Bobblehead).
What has been noticeable about the expert-driven response to the Wuhan virus is that nothing tried has had any impact (though we are assured that the failure, like the failure of socialism, is that we really haven’t tried it hard enough). One would think that if the experts are part of the obvious power grab by politicians, they would at least want to seem credible, and that has not happened. Playwright David Mamet (who is not a conservative) writing in the Wall Street Journal comes to a different conclusion. Our experts are making bad decisions because that is all they know how to do.
We have seen shameless incompetence rewarded before.
Consider Prof. Frederick Lindemann, a close adviser to Winston Churchill during World War II. He treasured his access to the prime minister. Experts couldn’t get near Churchill unless they came through Lindemann. He feuded with everybody he perceived to be a threat, and was especially threatened by Sir Henry Tizard, who helped to develop radar, one of the most useful tools in the war effort. Naturally Lindemann mocked it. Later, Lindemann dismissed the possibility that the Germans were developing a liquid-fueled rocket capable of bombing London—the V-2.
Lindemann was feted and honored to the end of his days.
Or consider Joseph Stalin’s science adviser, Trofim Lysenko. He, too, had complete access to the boss. He believed that plants, like good Communists, could be educated—that peas and wheat could be trained to grow in winter. The Soviet ministry of agriculture, acting on Lysenko’s bogus theories, managed to ruin crops all over Eurasia and starve as many as 10 million people. Later his ideas influenced agriculture policy in Mao’s China and killed several million more.
Lysenko was a talented flatterer. He outlived Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev, dying peacefully in 1976.
Now we have climate change and its attendant alarmists. In 2001 a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted a recent study claiming that the Earth’s temperature had risen dramatically during the period coincident with the introduction of fossil fuels—the famous “hockey stick graph.” The news media, backed by those parts of the “scientific community” the media chose to honor, presented this analysis as though it were indisputable fact. In fact, it was riddled with problems. That would have been fine—no harm done—except that the American left, and the running dogs in education and the press, saw the fear occasioned by the hockey stick as an opportunity. No correction was forthcoming.
Most recently we have Covid-19. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that masks are useless outside health-care facilities, that there is little possibility of catching the virus from a “passing interaction in a public place.” Happy news, save that they, one week later, issued a squishy semiretraction, saying, in effect, “It couldn’t hurt.”
And we see it rewarded again today. The same experts…like Antony Fauci and Robert Redfield and numerous “public health” gurus..have given wildly contradictory advice and predictions this insanity began. Fauci has sneered at the idea of wearing face masks and then claimed that wearing them was our savior. He’s for and against both opening and closing schools. He’s said asymptomatic carriers of the virus will and will not spread the virus to others. He’s said we could get back to normal after getting a vaccine and that life will again be as it was before. Some Twitter blue check doctor literally sh** himself over the weekend over the Supreme Court decision which simply said the government can’t treat churches differently than businesses, and yet he signed a letter by “public intellectuals” declaring that systemic racism was a greater public health risk than Chinese Lung AIDS and, therefore, it was completely okay to protest in tightly packed rioting mobs.
This is what results. Back to Mamet:
What could the shutdown hurt? A pandemic was allowed to destroy the American economy. Tens of millions are driven out of work, cover their faces, and walk down the streets in fear of their neighbors.
A friend owns a restaurant. He is going broke. He had seating outside, but winter approaches and heaters are back-ordered until next spring. He is holding on. One is “permitted” to sit at his tables and eat without a mask. Indeed, how would one eat while wearing one? Does the virus know that one is sitting down?
He greeted two regular customers the other night, and sat at their table to chat. He took off his mask. The customer informed him that the regulations stated that employees of a restaurant are required by law to wear masks at all times. The owner put his mask on and rose. But does the virus know he is an employee of the restaurant? With whom would he argue, being an employee and a proprietor? With the virus?
The virus here is government—or at least the incompetents who advise our rulers and cannot admit the legitimacy of dissension. Absent intervention, this virus may eventually kill the host organism.
We have been cowed into obedience by two powerful forces., There is the state’s coercive power, which can deprive you of liberty and property. For that power to come into play, though, requires a conferred legitimacy. That legitimacy is being provided by, to be charitable, idiots who have insinuated themselves into the highest levels of our “scientific community.” I say charitable because if we don’t think they are idiots, we are left with the realization that they are truly evil people who are more than willing to kill as many of us as it takes to make us do what they want.