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Assault on America, Day 502: Deliver us from fear, Chinese Communist Party virus edition

Fear Card
A pandemic of fear is paralyzing (the blue) half the citizenry. We can’t allow it to beat us

I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.” -- (then) Senator Hillary Clinton said to General David Petraeus in 2007. George W. Bush’s top military commander was testifying on his troops’ progress in Iraq, which the former first lady and future Democrat presidential nominee obviously couldn’t accept at face value for political reasons. Or it also could be Hillary wasn’t capable of deciphering the difference between truth and hyperbole. Just look at her husband.

Hillary’s famous quote surfaces from time to time and is particularly apropos these days as Americans of all political stripes witness in horror the astonishing wave of fear that’s gripped our formerly self-confident nation due to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or Wuhan virus pandemic. Both Republicans and Democrats acknowledge the fear is real and the parties’ divergent approaches to treating the head-based ailment further exposes the vast political divide that’s so evident today.

Summing up the two sides’ positions is simple: Republicans seek to steadily increase testing and source tracing while simultaneously allowing businesses to reopen (adhering to the new realities on social distancing and other precautions, such as employees wearing masks, etc.). Led by President Donald Trump, the conservative-oriented party believes a balance must be struck where the already shaken and practically destroyed economy will be salvaged through prudence and common sense, not through encouraging irrational panic.

Democrats, on the other hand, seem to believe requiring individuals to indefinitely sequester themselves is the proper way to advance based on obscure, ill-defined notions of “experts” and “science” and the hope that mass quarantine -- even for those in areas of the country with little or no health strain -- will eventually lead to a magical moment where everyone again returns to “normal” lives, intermixing with friends, family and strangers, fraternizing happily ever after.

The liberal faction’s position, perhaps best embodied by nominee-in-waiting Grampa Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sounds like, “Hold on until we tell you it’s safe. We’ve got science and forecasting models behind us, gosh darn it, and all you have is protests, Trump flags and signs waved by a collection of backwards-butt ‘depolorables’ rednecks steering your ship.”

In practice, the Democrats’ stance requires a willing suspension of disbelief, since the facts don’t quite match their less-than-rosy outlooks. Fear is gripping the nation, and if left unchecked, its devasting destruction will crush everything in its path, thanks to the (most-likely) Chinese manufactured virus pandemic. It’s almost as though the psychological threat is overtaking the medical one, and it’s raging out of control in certain areas of the country.

Perhaps we should start labeling it the “Blue State Fear Flu.” It’s got a catchy ring to it, doesn’t it?

Like a bacteria-ridden bus station restroom, fear is thriving on the warm and filthy environment Democrats are fostering among the citizenry. We can’t allow it to get the best of us. Can we pull together like the Greatest Generation did during WWII to battle much uglier threats? Victor Davis Hanson wrote last week at PJ Media, “Does World War II offer any lessons regarding our wrecked economy and staggering unemployment from the lockdown reaction to the coronavirus?

“Perhaps. The government cannot restore prosperity. Only entrepreneurs and risk-takers can. Americans must master their fears of the virus and dare to go back to work. Otherwise, locked-down states will continue to borrow to pay out public assistance without creating wealth from labor, production, and investment. Bankrupt states will beg the federal government to print money that it doesn’t have for bailouts to pay those who are not working and not creating collective wealth...

“All that is missing is confidence — or rather, the conviction — that the coronavirus is no more dangerous than were the Axis powers and can be beaten far more quickly if we show the sort of will our grandparents had.”

As he always does, Hanson captures the main issue -- fear -- and offers ample historical evidence to support his thesis that we can get past these debilitating mental trials if there’s the national will to look the problem in the eye and resolve to not permit it to ruin us. It’s not that conservatives don’t know there’s a risk, and there certainly will be victims/casualties, but sitting at home twiddling our thumbs while society crumbles all around is much worse than the actual threat to begin with.

Meanwhile, the most vulnerable should continue to self-isolate as they’ve already done for months. With cable news blaring 24/7 coronavirus pandemic coverage, those folks know who they are. And everyone should keep a watchful eye on what the authorities advise them to do.

Here too there’s a difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans rely on optimism and a can-do spirit to encourage the wary to overcome fear and return to living and doing things they enjoy. There’s a factual basis for it as well, since the infamous “curve” was flattened weeks ago and months of study revealed that COVID-19 is not an equal opportunity killer. The fact is, most people -- especially those under sixty -- are not at severe risk for contraction and hospitalization. And should the worst happen, our country’s health industry is prepared, well-supplied and up to the task of treating the unfortunate.

Testing schemes have cropped up everywhere. Hospitals aren’t close to full capacity. There’s simply no reason for healthy people in the appropriate age groups to be frightened into incapacity and trudge forward under the misbegotten impression they’re certain to get sick and possibly die from the coronavirus. The examples are many. Former Cy Young Award winner and 27-year-old major league baseball pitcher Blake Snell (of the Tampa Bay Rays) said he won’t pitch this season on anything less than full salary because… drumroll please… the health risk is too high. This is a shining illustration of misplaced fear to the nth degree. Somebody with knowledge better have a talk with the guy. Has he ever heard of the flu? It kills people too.

Democrats rely on such pessimism to spread their fearmongering and chastise and shame those who don’t agree with them, as though their liberal orientation and comfortable electoral positions grant special license to tell everyone what to do. Fear is their friend -- and their weapon. They’re counting on a widespread willingness to suspend disbelief to maintain a politically friendly (to them at least) viewpoint that people should be restricted and the government will cover everything for them.

And let’s face it. Some opportunists enjoy being paid not to work. If federal unemployment benefits are more lucrative than slogging away at a regular wage, there are plenty who will choose the former. The lazy and entitled no doubt make up a large percentage of Americans who, according to polls, don’t want lockdowns to end. These outcasts make up the Democrats’ largest constituency that crosses demographic lines and ethnic groups.

Today’s Democrats think there’s more to fear than fear itself

Democrats want to increase the dependence, too. Last week Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren and California Congressman Ro Khanna introduced a plan titled, “Essential Workers Bill of Rights” which, if ever enacted, would place a host of new mandates on employers vis-à-vis frontline workers. That’s right, unemployment reached 36.5 million a few days ago and the political elites want to shackle businesses further with more job destroying regulations and nanny-state dictates.

The ambitious leftists seek to impose “workplace-appropriate health and safety protections” -- translation: ordering employers to provide gowns, masks, plastic shields and everything else to ensure work can’t be performed at a normal level. In addition, Warren and Khanna demand “Fair and substantive premium pay (with higher benefits for low wage earners who “need it most”), “Protection for all collective bargaining agreements”, “Truly universal paid sick leave and family and medical leave”, “Protection for whistleblowers”, “Health care for all workers during the crisis, regardless of immigration status” and… “Guaranteed childcare”… (What? Yeah right!?)

There are more unworkable ultimatums, but you get the picture. If it were left to Democrats -- and it’s not just Warren and Khanna -- the government would punish employers at a time when millions of businesses, large and small, are struggling just to remain solvent. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if there were no businesses and no employers, there wouldn’t be any jobs either.

It's almost like Democrats downplay the actual health pandemic facts to ignite a much larger and more injurious plague of fear. If they’ve convinced wage earners that it’s not safe for them to return to the workplace (short of necessitating all of these ridiculous preconditions), they’ve basically won the battle. Like major league baseball pitcher Blake Snell cited above, the gutless and entitled use fear as a crutch to buttress a desire to do nothing.

Thankfully, not everyone feels this way. Cal Thomas at the Washington Times reported on rocker Ted Nugent’s reaction to the fear hysteria. On his Facebook page, Nugent wrote, “Why do I have to stay home just because you are scared? How about you stay home … you stay in your house indefinitely, you wear a mask, you socially distance yourself from me, you avoid restaurants, you avoid baseball games, you stay off the roads, you avoid malls and beaches and parks … I’m done playing your dumb game … I’m no longer going to be a prisoner of your fear. I’m no longer staying in my house or catering to you because you are scared … YOUR fear is not an excuse to destroy America. YOUR fear is not my fear and your fear does not have the right to interfere with my life, my job, my income or my future as a free American citizen.”

Well put (yes, by this guy). It’s what a lot of us are thinking…and it’s great someone finally articulated it.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Coincidentally, FDR uttered the words during his first inaugural address in 1933, in response to the growing alarm and despair of the early years of the Great Depression. It’s about time we took his advice, pushed our fears to the side and got back to work.

Government’s poor communications fan the flames of fear

At least some of the fear that’s tearing many Americans apart is due to vaguely worded explanations as to why we’re doing all of this. It’s causing confusion, resentment and…rebellion. Cassidy Morrison reported at The Washington Examiner, “A lack of clarity about the purpose of stay-at-home orders and mixed messages from federal and state government officials have confused the public, contributing to social distancing fatigue.

“’I think there’s been a real lack in clarity as to the goals, which — the orders have [been] clear, but it has not been clear for people about why they’re supposed to do it,’ said Dr. Suzanne Judd, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s School of Public Health…

“Many people have become frustrated and lost sight of the purpose of lockdowns. ‘People have to understand, yes, we have a pandemic crisis, this is what you need to do,’ said Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten at Cornell University's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. ‘But people also have to see real clear things about what the government is doing and where the end of the road is going to be, because good crisis leadership, at some point, is about resolving the crisis.’”

This assumes there is such a thing as a resolution. There’s no guarantee a vaccine will be developed, tested, approved and distributed before the next flu season starts. What then? Keep people scared (poop)-less and locked away from everyone else? Cancel school forever?

What would be left of the economy in such a scenario? Is society worth saving if it’s so wrecked and contorted that it’s like starting over again in the stone age, but with smart phones and the internet and the knowledge on how to harness fire?

This ever-evolving nightmare must end and common sense says to err on the side of optimism and the belief our country can endure the worst of trials and pandemics. This isn’t the Black Death we’re talking about. At some point, government must trust the people, and maybe then, the people will put their fear away and start trusting the government in return.

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