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

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Opposition Candidate

Victor Davis Hansen has been a keen observer of the near hysteria that has gripped significant portions of the population, driven by irresponsible media coverage specifically crafted to increase fear, uncertainty and doubt among the populace. After recounting the left-leaning media's continually efforts to promote their "armageddon" narrative to the exclusion of any evidence, data, facts, or opinion that might demonstrate just how weak their narrative really is, Hansen asks:
So, what explained the paradox of near paranoia to some inquiries [e.g., that the virus originated in the Wuhan Virology Lab] but magnanimous tolerance of other absurdities [e.g., that beaches and parks MUST remain closed until the entire population is "tested"]? Usually, one of three explanations suffice—or sometimes all three together.

First, to the degree an issue involved Donald Trump, the media and political consensus were predictable. He was for the experimental use of hydroxychloroquine; therefore, the drug must be seen as analogous to early uses of mercury or arsenic. If the Chinese lab was at fault, then Trump was deemed less culpable. So the lab was not at fault.

Second, we were to worship at the altar of Lord Pessimism. The more the numerators of death increased at a rate not matched by the denominators of positives, the higher the virus’s lethality appeared, and the more the public would be willing to put up with Draconian lockdowns.

The problem with the Stanford researchers and other antibody researchers was that if they were correct, then quarantines might be loosened a bit and normality might return sooner. And so they were not correct.

As I have written earlier, the psychology of the pessimist is always win-win: when wrong, his terrifying models are still efficacious in scaring the public into doing the right thing (and thus are often deliberately exaggerated). When right, “he bravely warned us of Armageddon.”

The poor optimist is trapped in a lose-lose dilemma: if right in doubting the end of days, only the response to the pessimist made his own hopeful reservations prescient. If wrong about a return of the Black Plague, then he is a veritable murderer, in a way that the flawed pessimist’s modeling is never held culpable for destructive shutdowns and lockdowns.

Third and finally, the subtext to the entire array of virus issues soon became the November 2020 election. The exalted left-wing hopes in Robert Mueller and impeachment were crushed on the eve of the epidemic. The coronavirus was soon seen as the magic X-ray machine that finally might penetrate Trump’s lead shield and reveal to the clueless voter the diseased organs of incompetence, pathology, and narcissism beneath ...

[Because Biden is cognitively impaired and a weak candidate], a virus became the opposition candidate of sorts. The scarier COVID-19 became, the more the need to shut down the nation, the more likely the economy would tank, the more it became certain that Trump would face a lose-lose decision in late April, as his win-win critics would either damn him as a latter-day Herbert Hoover who wrecked a booming economy or some sort of odious Wall Street financier who put profit over lives.
That pretty much sums it all up.