It's not going to work.
No, I can't say that I think the spirit of 1776 still surges through the veins of the average American, but there is enough defiance, enough individuality, enough indignation at the intrusion of "betters" who deign to rule our lives, that I just can't see the imposition of more stay-at-home and economic shutdown orders being obeyed; particularly when they are being dictated by those who view themselves as exempt.
- D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser threatens new restrictions on civil liberties, as she travels to Delaware – a state deemed "high-risk" – to attend Joe Biden's victory speech.
- California Governor Gavin Newsom bans gatherings of more than 10 people, as he attends a party, without a mask, at a swanky restaurant that requires reservations years in advance. When caught, he shrugs and says "We're all human, we all fall short sometimes," conveniently omitting the fact that he won't go to prison or be fined for his.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot forbids residents of her city from attending weddings and funerals, as she frolics mask-less, shouting into a bullhorn in the streets to celebrate the defeat of a political enemy.
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has already shown off her expensive ice cream freezer, and enjoyed a blow out at a shuttered hair salon, discourages Americans from gathering with family for Thanksgiving, all while attempting to simultaneously throw a soiree for incoming members of Congress.
Several nights ago, Tucker Carlson indicted this kind of elitism perfectly:
"A lot of people with impressive sounding credentials in this country are frauds. They have no idea what they're doing. They're children posing as authorities. And when they're caught, they lie, and then they blame you for it."
Looking at the previous examples, where's the lie in what Carlson articulated? Bowser, Lightfoot, and Pelosi all lashed out at those of us who are trying to play "gotcha politics." And though Newsom admitted wrongdoing, he quickly justified it and appealed to a standard of absolution he would not give to the powerless.
Plus, remember those examples are just a recent smattering of the arrogance routinely exhibited by the ruling class, as they condescend towards their subjects – always blanketing their decrees in the name of public safety. It's happening everywhere, all the time.
So frequently, so widespread, and so ostentatiously that it's just not going to work anymore. People aren't buying the hysteria from leaders who obviously don't believe their own dire warnings enough to change their personal behavior.
What's more, they are seeing straight through the media's duplicitous effort to shame them for daring to speak truth to power.
CNN breathlessly ran with the viral claims of a singular South Dakota nurse, Jodi Doering, who said she witnessed "so many people" gasping for their last breaths all while denying the disease they had was real. Wired magazine applied some basic journalistic skepticism and revealed within a couple of days the unlikeliness and uncorroborated nature of Doering's account.
The Associated Press published a story aimed at embarrassing Midwestern towns for "shrugging" at the surging virus while going on about their lives. But when average Americans read the story they saw completely rational people making completely rational choices:
"I'm not going out and looking to catch it. I don't want to catch it. But if I get it, I get it. That's just how I feel."
That isn't an "anti-science" mindset. Those aren't the words of a "virus-denier." Commentator Bethany Mandel perhaps best articulated the mindset of a country that is increasingly fed up with rules-for-thee-but-not-for-me elitists:
"The lockdown absolutists think those of us who aren't are idiots who 'don't believe' in the virus. I believe in it. I know dozens of people who have had it. I recognize the risk. I will not destroy our society or hide inside for over a year because I'm afraid of it."
Governor Newsom is being sued, Governor Whitmer is being impeached, Governor Cuomo is being exposed and embarrassed at his own press conferences. The majority of Americans still have patience and an open mind about the importance of wearing masks, social distancing when possible, and minimizing the risks of transmission.
But the draconian lockdowns, suspension of non-elective surgeries and medical care like cancer treatments, subjective assignment of "non-essential" status to the work and livelihoods of millions of people, and the arrest of commerce and economic exchange? It's not going to work anymore, so let's come up with a better plan.