It’s not the problem; it’s how you react to it. So goes the aphorism, and 2020 exemplifies it. All the sum-ups of the year past proclaimed that COVID-19 made it the worst year of the century, and maybe it was. If so, it wasn’t because of the virus; it was government’s reaction to it — shutting down virtually everything. Many now believe those shutdowns have caused more suffering and death than the virus has.
By the end of last year, evidence to support that contention multiplied, but not enough for big government or its mainstream media spokespeople to acknowledge it. Instead, they’ve doubled down on fear hype. In September, the CDC reported that the under-69 population of those infected had more than a 99.5 percent chance of surviving it. So why the continued shutdowns?
And why do teachers unions insist that schools remain closed when the CDC reports that children aged 0-19 survive COVID at a rate of 99.99 percent? Surely it’s not to protect them. Why do blue state governors and superintendents acquiesce? Teachers unions are among the party’s biggest contributors.
After Tuesday’s Georgia elections, Democrats could control the entire federal government, but is our country uniting behind them? A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll demonstrates that although most Americans accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, 39 percent think the election was rigged. That points to a seriously divided country.
Is this division a recent phenomenon? Many of us first became aware of roiling discontent within the electorate when the Tea Party emerged about 10 years ago. Most agree it was a grassroots conservative movement, but I can recall what happened when a large contingent of Tea Party activists first made their presence known at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference. Republicans were wary because it had no leaders and wasn’t part of the Republican power structure. CPAC’s three-day conference program that year didn’t even mention the Tea Party.
I remember walking into the hotel lobby in Washington and the first thing I noticed was a man dressed as an original 1773 Massachusetts patriot complete with tricorne hat and waving a yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. However, no one mentioned the Tea Party in any of the sessions I attended. It was as if it didn’t exist. And Democrats were not going to welcome them either, given the Tea Party first coalesced following the narrow passage of government-expanding Obamacare in 2009 with not a single Republican vote.
Here was an amorphous throng of citizens dead-set against big government — and shunned by both major parties. Mitt Romney ignored the Tea Party in his 2012 presidential run and lost. Looking back now, we should not have been surprised that an outsider with zero political experience and promising to “drain the swamp” won the presidency in 2016. If it weren’t for his narcissism, he likely would have won a second term. Instead, he was toppled by an aged career politician who stayed in his basement throughout the campaign in fear of either COVID or making a gaffe, or both.
After the first two weeks in early 2020, many Americans opposed government’s massive response to COVID. Shutting down the economy and triggering a near depression, it then created trillions of dollars out of thin air and distributed them to citizens, businesses, as well as various institutions and organizations large and small. Federal debt, already out of control, went into the stratosphere. Governors, most of them in blue states, extended shutdowns again and again, and now into 2021. All but 13 states have ordered their citizens to wear masks everywhere.
When gubernatorial authority to shut down states is challenged in court, judges have so far ruled it unconstitutional — even though states do have authority to deal with infectious disease. Anthony Fauci objects to that though, claiming that federalism is undermining the U.S. response he coordinates.
According to an article in Just The News, when states report COVID statistics, nearly all conflate patients hospitalized “with COVID” and “due to COVID.” As more people are tested and found to have antibodies, it’s inevitable that more hospitalized patients will too. It’s possible that hospitals are not being overfilled with patients “due to COVID” as media and government repeatedly proclaim, but “with COVID.” That’s an extremely important distinction that few Americans recognize.
COVID is a problem, yes, but it’s much worse when government and media stoke COVID fear to justify seizure of power over the day-to-day lives of Americans — and further dividing our country. Two centuries ago, President Andrew Jackson advised Americans: “Never take counsel of your fears,” yet that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Tom McLaughlin lives in Lovell, Maine. Reach him at tommclaughlin.blogspot.com.