The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Big-Girl Pants

There will be millions of words written on our nation's response to COVID-19, but at the moment, it's too soon to tell whether some of the more extreme steps taken by our political leadership were necessary or justified. In fact, it may be impossible to form a legitimate judgement. Our elites will tell us that because of their extreme measures, the death toll, initially and erroneously predicted in the low millions, is now predicted to be about 65,000. They'll tell us that without their measures, hospitals would have been overwhelmed and chaos would have reigned. Maybe they're right. But then again, maybe they were wrong to put tens of millions out of work, destroy tens or hundreds of thousands of small businesses, and incur trillions in additional debt.

William J. Bennett & Seth Leibsohn comment:
New York City is where the epidemic has struck the hardest. The media is centered in New York City. Although sensationalism is not new, something in the 21st century media landscape is: Reporting the news has been replaced with raising alarms, heightening political tensions, and funneling information through a strictly partisan lens. Lost is the notion that if something is too bad to be true -- or too good to be true -- it probably is not true. Conspiracy theories and extreme rhetoric have replaced fact and reason, as well as reasonableness. These dark impulses have been aided and abetted by a series of left-wing notions that have come to dominate our politics, giving us a new “paranoid style in American politics.”

... Aided and abetted by its mainstream media enablers and ideological soulmates, the left has warped our political rhetoric to a point beyond reason, impeding our ability to make calm and rational assessments. President Trump, for example, is not wrong or too conservative -- he’s an “existential threat to America” and “worse than Hitler,” and, of course, responsible for all the deaths from COVID-19. From the left’s social to political rhetoric of extremism and worst-case scenarios, we’ve been conditioned to hyperbolic exaggeration; we’ve been numbed into implausible raving.

Thus, when the virus came to our shores, Americans were primed enough to accept and cower in front of models of death telling us that two million of us would be killed. Now, after the damage was ignited by shutdowns and panic, the social destruction of this irresponsible fearmongering will take a long time to undue. Whipping the population into a frenzy and panic, is, as Abraham Lincoln warned us long ago, not healthy for the perpetuation of our political institutions.
There's no shame in feeling a combination of unease and anger as we've lived through the past few months. Only the "catastrophist" narrative has held sway. Alternative views have been buried or denigrated consistently by a left-leaning media and a majority of Democrat leaders.

On one of the early morning shows today, the host was interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key player in all of this. She asked whether we'd soon see an end to the lock-downs, the shelter in place and the like. As Fauci normally does, he hedged. The host looked crestfallen. "I was hoping" she said [paraphrasing], "that you'd tell us it's okay to begin the road back to normal."

Her response is typical of the empty-headed victims' reaction that is a direct result of what Bennet and Leibsohn call "irresponsible fearmongering" that has been ongoing for the past two months. First Fauci is a good man, but he is not a god. He's simply one of many epidemiological experts, all of whom have differing degrees on concern and differing strategies for getting us out of this mess. The problem is the the host and her colleagues don't allow them the air time to express opinions that sometimes conflict with Fauci's.

Maybe someone should tell the morning show host to put on her big-girl pants and use common sense and a broad spectrum of information and opinion to form he own answer to her question. And oh, by the way, then act on it, rejecting the notion that politicians have the right to tell us whether or not we can gather in small groups in private residences (against the law in some locales), take a walk in the park (now closed) or buy "non-essential goods (a dictate in MI). We're seeing the rise of petty tyrants in far too many places. It's time for it to stop.