As we ponder the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are dying worldwide from COVID-19, there is one bit of good news from this historically pivotal event: many of the most pernicious leftist narratives are being destroyed right in front of our eyes. I always try to see the positive in negative events, and in the long run, there will be positives to take away from this dark and dreary time.
With that in mind, here is a partial list of left-wing narratives that have been completely destroyed in the last few months.
1)The left cares about working people. The United States is approaching 40 million jobs lost during the pandemic, and the vast majority of people who have lost their jobs are working class and middle class people. Most of the managerial class and the professional class (and of course government workers) have been able to keep their jobs. And yet left-wing commentators and politicians want to continue the lockdown indefinitely. They can barely muster any concern for the unemployed during this period – everything is based on the childish claim that if you want people to be employed you somehow care about the stock market more than lives.
2)The left cares about science (part 1) The science clearly and unequivocally shows that it is damaging to society for so many people to lose their jobs and to be forced to stay home for unlimited periods of time without productive occupations. Unemployment and lack of useful activities cause spikes in suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and physical abuse of spouses and children. There have been hundreds of studies done on this phenomenon, but the left simply does not care what the science says on this issue. Here is one summary: https://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/indicator/2012/04/unemployment
In addition, the UN has reported that the economic downturn caused by the lockdowns will result in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths and millions of people thrown into extreme poverty, but very few people on the left seem to care.
3)The left cares about civil liberties (part 1). I wish I could say I was surprised when I visited the ACLU home page and saw absolutely nothing about the shocking violations of civil liberties going on every day during the coronavirus. As you might imagine, there was a lot of stuff about trans rights, reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights, but almost nothing on the massive violations of the Bill of Rights going on across the country right now. The left simply does not care about the actual civil liberties protected in the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Constitution – they only care about invented rights of various left-wing pressure groups. Remember when the ACLU defended neo-nazis marching in a Jewish neighborhood in 1978? That was a real show of concern for actual civil liberties, but the left stopped caring about civil rights long ago.
4)Open borders. The open borders crowd has been strangely silent lately. COVID-19 will be with us for many years to come, and it is only a matter of time until another similar virus hits. The panic from the virus has caused nation states to reassert their rights to close their own borders, even in the EU, which was founded on the idea of ending national borders. Closing borders, at least temporarily, is clearly a sound strategy for containing the spread of this virus – and other viruses that will come. For the record, I favor increased legal immigration to the United States, and I endorse the Church’s position of being compassionate to immigrants and refugees, but I have found the open borders fanatics to be increasingly deranged over the years. They have ignored many years of abuses by Bush and Obama and somehow claimed that President Trump’s policies are the only ones to be condemned. Meanwhile, I know many open borders leftists (and left libertarians) who claim there should be no border controls at all. The virus has exposed the intellectual bankruptcy of such arguments – hopefully forever.
5)We should all live in cities. Environmentalists and urban planners used to lecture us all endlessly on how suburban and semi-rural living was bad for the environment, bad urban planning, etc. These fanatics obviously don’t like people to choose how they want to live – instead these control freaks want to stop us from using cars at all and be forced into urban apartments where our only choices to get around are walking, riding a bicycle or taking public transit. The virus – and the viruses that will come in the future – should make us all realize that such a strategy will never be good for the United States. New York City because of all of the people living in close proximity has suffered the most during this pandemic, but other urban centers, from Miami to New Orleans to Detroit, have also been viral hot spots. It turns out that living in a suburb or in rural areas many actually save your life during a pandemic, and driving around in a car may be the safest form of long distance transportation.
6)The left cares about science (part 2): The evidence was clear pretty quickly that the highest risk groups from the virus are the elderly, the obese and people with immune or respiratory problems. The science quickly showed that people who are young and healthy were at very low risk of dying from the disease. If people on the left actually cared about this science, we would have seen massive efforts aimed at preventing the virus from spreading among those actually at risk. Instead, we saw New York officials sending sick people with the virus into nursing homes with the most vulnerable groups. This caused thousands of unnecessary deaths. We saw a lot of grandstanding about lack of ventilators when that was not the biggest problem. We see left-wing politicians today saying that people can go to the beach only if they stay on the wet sand, not the dry sand. One Democratic governor calls for people to social distance within their own homes with their own family members (as if the virus cannot be spread on door handles). There is a lot of good research about the need for herd immunity, but the left just makes fun of such research because it doesn’t fit the narrative. Even the WHO is beginning to see that the Swedish approach, which emphasized personal freedom while protecting the most vulnerable groups, was probably the best way to handle the virus in the long run. But the response from the left is the predictable snarky response, “Oh, now conservatives like Sweden,” instead of considering the actual science. When it comes to science, most leftists prefer snappy comebacks to saving lives, apparently.
7)The left cares about the children. Hundreds of millions of children will be harmed worldwide by the totalitarian government response to the virus, but very few children will be harmed by the virus. Not only are the children at very low risk of dying from the virus, but they are being forced out of schools and prevented from playing with their friends. Decades from now we will see the effects an increased sedentary life has had on these hundreds of millions of children, and we will see the unhealthy emotional effects of children prevented from socializing. Meanwhile, these children cannot go to school, summer camps and sports events – all crucial building blocks to emotional health for children. And I am sorry to report that there has been an alarming increase in domestic violence during the virus, but the left apparently does not care about this. Personally, I think all of the homeschooling will actually be good for many children, but what about the loss of social skills because of a lack of face to face interaction? And I have already mentioned the hundreds of thousands of people, including children, who will die because of the economic devastation caused by the government response to the virus.
8)The experts will save us. Leftists and progressives have promoted rule by experts and specialists since the 1890s. If there is anything we should learn from this virus, it is that experts and specialists are wrong more than they are right. First masks were bad for you, and most people should not wear a mask, and now everybody will be required to wear a mask. First, the models showed more than 2 million Americans would die from COVID-19, then the models showed only 60,000 would die, and now perhaps 120,000 or so. The experts hated the Swedish response, but now many of them like it. There are multiple problems with how the CDC is reporting COVID deaths. The experts in New York caused thousands of unnecessary deaths by the way they responded to the crisis. The experts hated President Trump’s China travel ban, and now they say it was not enough. I could go on, but if there is one thing we should learn it is to be very suspicious of the “experts” trotted out by government officials.
9) The left cares about science (part 3). Leftists believe “science” will save us. This response is pure scientism, not faith in real science. These people pick and choose whatever narrative supports their view and then claim if you don’t agree with them you are “against science.” The problems of scientism were spotted decades ago by Karl Popper and Frederick Hayek, but suffice to say that most people on the left have abandoned all rationality when it comes to discussing science.
10)The left is against totalitarian government. If there is one thing we have learned about the COVID-19 response by the left, it is that they run to embrace totalitarian government responses immediately rather than siding with personal freedom. The heroes for the left – the governors of New York, California and Michigan – are those who are most against personal freedom. When I studied history I could not for the life of me understand how the people of Germany allowed the maniacal tyrant Hitler and his brown shirts to take power. There were crucial years when the majority of Germans clearly saw what a threat Hitler was. Yet, he promised the German people safety, and people fell in line. This is exactly what we are seeing today – tens of millions of Americans embracing safety over liberty, all because of a virus that is not that different than many other viruses and that have hit the world in the last 100 years or so. This may go down as one of the most dangerous periods in U.S. history, a period when an American nation born on the idea of liberty was taken over by tyrants who love government control. But the good news is that the left cannot hide anymore. Every time we see a leftist complain that President Trump is a tyrant, we see that the leftist doesn’t really care about tyranny – as long as a leftist is in control. I believe most Americans will see through the lie, and increasing numbers of people will reject the left. So, there are reasons to be upbeat about this pandemic. The leftist narrative has been destroyed – at least for those with an open mind who are listening.