Two Reflections on a Passing Hearse

Donald Trump has announced that he is running for president in 2024, because Americans just don’t realize how much they are suffering yet, and how terrible things have gotten under the Democratic White House. That’s precious coming from the man who almost singlehandedly created the current Democratic power lunge. After all, it was Trump who lost the popular vote in two consecutive elections, each time to one of the weakest candidates the Democrats had ever offered. It was Trump who followed the establishment’s wish list right down the line: destroying the pesky Tea Party movement by reducing it to an anti-constitutional personality cult; facilitating the left’s rebranding of principled conservatives as white supremacist conspiracy theorists; annihiliating the Republican Party’s clear and beneficial advantage as the party of responsible, decent, law-abiding citizens; encouraging desperate and marginalized millions to align themselves with mob violence and a literal assault on the very procedures of republican government by lying to them continuously about a “stolen election” for which claim not a scintilla of evidence was ever presented, and in defense of which narrative every legal attempt at unmasking the alleged subterfuge blew up spectacularly in the cult’s face; and above all, exacerbating and aggressively fostering the divisive bitterness that has derailed American civil society, making the environment ripe for radicals and thugs of all stripes, but especially for those with the most tentacles in the existing institutions.

Trump — not Trump alone, but he more than any other single person — is immediately responsible for today’s American dash to the progressive abyss, and especially for the lack of any coherent public resistance to that mad dash. He wants to continue the destruction by running again; that is, by continuing to ensure that no coherent, constitutional, and unifying opposition to the left will ever arise from the dumpster fire he started. And, should he actually be permitted to win the nomination for a third time, by ensuring that a Democrat will win the popular vote yet again.

Here is a wonderfully worded social media post, inadvertently summing up the past two and a half years, not merely in America but around the world.

Yes, that’s right. The U.S. — that is to say, the U.S. government — is “extending the Covid public health emergency.” That is, the public health emergency never existed in reality, not for one day. It was a government-manufactured emergency from the get-go, and it will continue to be so at least through spring 2023. The government created this “emergency,” and is now extending it, long enough, one presumes, to find another crisis to serve as a pretext for maintaining and expanding the powers established through this ersatz crisis.

To be fair, in the early weeks of the pandemic, in the winter of 2020, when countries were discovering their first cases and noting the rapid spread of the virus, and when there was some cause for alarm about the potential severity of the disease, there was a reasonable case to be made for declaring a public health emergency, in the proper and responsible sense of bypassing the normal processes of law-making temporarily, in order to take immediate steps to curtail the spread or manage the influx of cases. But an emergency that carries on (officially) for three years, and for years beyond the point at which the true nature of the health threat was well-known, its decidedly non-cataclysmic effects well-observed, and civilization’s capacity for withstanding it with relatively little significant effect on normal life readily apparent (apart from the entirely harmful effects of the government’s arbitrary mandates and restrictions), is no emergency at all. It is a public power grab, a state-corporate profiteering racket, or a grand experiment in mass social control; but it is certainly not a “public health emergency,” in any sense that would warrant longstanding and open-ended suspensions of the proper limits on government authority or the proper extent of individual liberty.

The U.S. government, like its counterparts throughout most of the so-called civilized world, has arbitrarily, unilaterally, and most unjustifiably extended the optics farce of a public health emergency over a health problem that was never a genuine emergency, and that has been observably a non-emergency to every semi-rational adult left on Earth since at least the summer of 2020 — although hundreds of millions of the non-rational continue to believe the emperor’s new pandemic is as terrifying and world-historical as he declares it to be, in the most successful experiment in mass psychological manipulation the world has ever seen. 

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