by Jeffrey A Tucker at Brownstone Institute
How this began: The virus was here (the US) already for months from 2019 and life went on normally.
Once the consciousness seeped in and the politicians panicked, we moved quickly from travel restrictions to lockdowns to mask mandates to domestic capacity restrictions to vaccine mandates. Somewhere along the way, we learned to classify people by profession, stigmatize the sick, then finally to demonize the noncompliant. It’s been 20 months of intensified controls, driven by political leaders from both parties, with precious little dissent from media organs.
The pace has been furiously fast but somehow just slow enough that people and media personalities adjust to the new, the cycle proceeds, last week’s shock becomes this week’s normal, and then politicians scramble to create the next big intervention, covering previous failures with new nostrums, all while ignoring or censoring opposing views.
Even hard-won scientific knowledge of 100 years – for example natural immunity – has been memory holed. We reference Orwell often because there is a dystopian feel to it all, describable best by reference to stories we only imagined through the help of books and movies. Hunger Games, Matrix, V for Vendetta, Equilibrium – they all come to mind.
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.
In this particular case, the mainstream media has argued for months that noncompliance correlates very closely with Trump support, which everyone knows is a civic sin of the highest order even though he won the presidency 5 years ago. This realization was an invitation to the Biden administration to ramp up its mandates, finding any and every means to get the federal bureaucracies to penetrate the policy walls to the states that exist under the Constitution.
They easily found the agency Occupational Safety and Health Administration, twisted a few words, and like magic discovered a basis on which to override state-based limits on vaccine mandates. It’s using medicine as a means of political punishment.
One tip-off of the political agenda here is that the data associations of the unvaxed by Trump support only work with 50 data points, meaning state boundaries, as Justin Hart has pointed out. Expand that out by county-level data with 3,000-plus data points and the correlation almost entirely disappears. Further, if you look at vaccination by race and income, you find very low compliance among voters usually associated with Democratic support. So the war on the “red states” being waged by the federal government today is really just about consolidating political support, state by state.
Regardless, the effects of the mandates are real and devastating…Continue Reading