The war on the war on covid should make you worry about democratic stability
Consider these excerpts from a recent piece by Jeffrey Tucker at the Brownstone Institute with the understated title “The Purges Have Begin”. Would someone who took these extreme, apocalyptic arguments to heart oppose efforts by a faction of ethno-nationalist Republicans to steal an election or entrench themselves in power?
The policies have been bad enough but the political polarization has been the real poison. In history, we’ve seen where this leads. New and random mandates from political leaders become loyalty tests. Compliant people are viewed as enlightened and obedient. The noncompliant are regarded as stupid and probably politically threatening. They are purgeable. . . .
Regardless, the effects of the mandates are real and devastating for millions of people. People are losing their jobs because they are unwilling to go along. . . .
There are many reasons to refuse these mandates. The people with previous infections know that they have better immunities than they could get with a vaccine, and they want that to count even as the CDC refuses. This is particularly true of health care workers.
Others prefer the risk of Covid to the risks (and they exist) of the vaccine side effects. Others simply resist the demand that they pump their bodies with a medicine developed with tax dollars for which the private companies bear no liability at all. It feels like an invasion of the body that should never be tolerated by a free people. Some people still imagine themselves to be free to choose. . . .
It is not lost on the Biden administration – this tactic seems to have been hatched in the summer – that this is harming their political enemies, not exclusively but predominantly. Apparently, no one really cares. . . .
The party in power wants to remain in power forever, which is a story as old as time. The virus is the excuse of the day. The trouble is that they have been wrong in so many ways with so many victims that the whole scenario is unspeakable. We’ve been here before and the ultimate solution comes down to a choice between two paths for the ruling regime: admit the wrongdoing or purge those who believe things they should not.
It would appear that the latter position is the prevailing one. The vaccine mandate has become the tool of choice. Submit or see your job melt away. This is where we are today. . . .
The symbolic act of medicinal compliance easily becomes a physical sign of political compliance: the ID card. That then becomes the basis of the reductio ad absurdum, the political purge – an intensification of the mask mandate to become a needle mandate as a means of ferreting out dissidents.
Reductio ad absurdum is correct. Mandatory vaccination has coexisted peacefully with American democracy for as long as we have had democracy. We can argue about mandates – and the need for mandates would be reduced if people like Tucker weren’t encouraging vaccine hesitancy. But loyalty tests, purges, ultimate solutions, ferreting out dissidents? Libertarians need to ask if they are prepared to live with the consequences of this inflammatory rhetoric. Where do they think this will lead?
How about interment camps? That is what we did in our last existential war. Do not get me wrong—the interment camps were a mistake but if George Washington had not ordered smallpox vaccinations we could well be looking to Boris for leadership. He’s an knows it would be better than Republicans and the former guy
Neither science nor history are on his side, so Tucker hyperventilates about a paranoid vision unmoored from any plausible mechanism. It’s not even good fiction.
I was already worried about democracy.
But the fact that we have enemies promoting a paranoid view of government does not mean we should answer them with hate. That just feeds the paranoia.
I may come to regret saying this…or at least have to admit I was wrong, but so far it seems to me that Biden and the very smart Ms Psaki have at least the right tone.
Also, where did all those people that wanted out of Afghanistan at any cost go when our withdrawal went so badly? Ordinary Joe got pummeled as if there was a way to withdraw that would not go badly and I have yet to hear from anyone defending him on the obvious grounds that we had to be either in or out. There were no other choices.
nicely said. might be worth noting that the “press” were waiting to jump on whatever Biden did. He could have just let the war go on ..for the same reasons Johnson let his war go on after he knew we couldn’t win it. probably knew there was nothing to be gained by being in it in the first place….that is, that in America “winning” a war is everything. losing one is political suicide.
In the final analysis, then it is only elites that get to choose which wars their countries fight and, in the event their side wins, then they also get to write the history that justifies their choices. Losing a war does suck, especially for elites, but also for the families of the dead. Since I survived Vietnam, then losing mattered little to me or my family. After all, it was not a war I supported nor did my parents, but rather one that drafted me. I am still in favor of a military draft, but I have never met a war that was worth the cost in lives. WWII left us no other salient choice though.
i dunno. it seems to me they could gin up enough enthusiasm for a war to get volunteers. more likely they used enthusiasm for the war to get people to accept the draft.
i have mixed feelings. i don’t know enough about the civil war to know if the draft was “necessary,” but i am pretty sure that if i had lived at that time i would have “skedaddled”. it’s not that i don’t like to fight, it’s that i don’t like to be a slave.
the people who started the vietnam war had some excuse because they truly believed that the empire (their idea of the bastion of freedom) was at stake. they had no excuse for the way they waged the war…wars enable the worst in men (we used to call it evil) to come out in the daylight and play.
you have to realize that in any army the soldier is not a human being…in spite of the letters home regretfully informing parents…but merely a unit of potential firepower.
the trouble is, as you may remind me, is that there is always the other side, which has it’s own bad guys, and it might be too difficult to persuade citizens to take them seriously enough to give their lives..until it is too late. it’s not like we were defending our own homes, or village, or even city.
So counteracting these ideas is important somehow? At least with COVID policies, one of the smartest moves would be to move prior infection into a vaccinated equivalent status. No systemic health risk – probably the opposite as thousands of healthcare workers are involved – and a real split in the COVID “opposition”. But then there are tens of millions fewer to threaten.
Oh, it’s the weekend, I finally have time to study OSHA’s emergency COVID rule. But I’m having trouble finding it….help me out, someone. It’s been nearly a month, and it is a true emergency, right?
Stop with your disinformation. Many people might not be aware you have no clue what you are talking about. Stick with your Facebook group with this nonsense.
Comical really. None of it is disinformation. The purpose of vaccination is to have the body’s immune system react as if it had experienced the actual pathogen. But Kramer blows a bunch of nonsense in a past post about how you’d need to run tests. The overlap between testing, diagnosing and vaccinating in Brown county is enormous, but the red herring of integrity is thrown around as if a real big problem. Sure, Bellin, Aurora, Prevea, CVS, Walgreens are reliable as anyone could hope for over at their vaccination tables, but those guys they have doing tests or diagnosing disease….well every one of them was killing Sicknick for sure on their day off in January. And some “emergency”, right? OSHA is stuck trying to come up with an emergency rule for a non- emergency….that’s what’s taking weeks here. When the NTSB or FAA think they have an emergency, directives are at airlines in 60 minutes. People hate on DeLouis, but if today he said “hey, unvaxxed USPS workers, take Monday off and get your shot and Tuesday head over to HR and either show them your card or process out” even Biden probably could express 30 seconds of coherent rage.
Who is DeLouis? Your anger has taken over your finger’s ability for accuracy.
Run, I think he means Louis DeJoy, but it is clear that anger has outrun dialog on all sides.
Stick to your Facebook group. Actual scientists know that the vaccine provides far greater protection than the natural immunity gained by having the disease before.
Actual scientists know that it is much safer to get your protection from the vaccine than from a natural infection. But as for the “far greater” protection from vaccines, the data don’t justify such a strong conclusion:
“The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label.”
This is one study, the numbers are small, the only vaccine used was the Pfizer vaccine and protection was specifically against the Delta variant.
Strange days when politics is war by other means, but that is how team Orange rolls.
thanks for this.
I was helped out the other day by a trucker. I did not ask, but I would bet he voted for Trump. And yet, here he was being a decent human being.
In general I have found this to be the case with people who do not vote the way I do. Not what you would expect from people who are killing people and don’t care.
They may not be educated, and they might even be wrong, but they can also be decent human beings. Something I don’t always see from people who vote the way I do.
Yep. My wife’s whole family except for her voted Trump. They are good Christians, more decent than smart. My wife was also raised Republican and only reluctantly votes for Democrats such as the POTUS elections in 2008 and 2020. She voted Romney in 2012. Her nuclear family and all her dad’s side of her extended family were from the NE, mostly MA, CT, and NY.
That bothers me only a little since my opinion of our two political parties is that it is a terrible quandary to ponder whether each is more crazy than stupid. It is an unanswerable question for either one in my mind. That said, then I still have a preference for the liberal form of crazy and stupid simply on the basis of sentiment, but no faith that with their policy that they can do more good than harm. Conservatives, OTOH, should be given credit for accomplishing their intent if one assumes that their intent is to do more harm than good to the general welfare of the public.
My wife forbids me to talk politics with her family, probably because her family takes their crazy stupid seriously. However, I have her permission to discuss economics with her family, which really is a better bet with them. My guess is that if the folk in her family actually understood economics then their politics would be a lot more like mine.