Everybody knows the story of King Canute, the 11th-century Viking king of England who raised his hand to stop the roll of the tide—and yet the tide rolled in anyway. The almost certainly apocryphal story has come down to us as an illustration of hubris: even the proud monarch couldn’t command the elements.
But that’s wrong. The real moral of the story is that the king commanded the tides to stop in order to show his courtiers that there are limits to man’s temporal authority, and that not even a monarch can command God or nature.
Leaving aside the amazing coincidence of why, in the immediate aftermath of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and last week’s debate, so much of the GOP brain trust suddenly came down with the Chinese Communist Party virus—and, thus far, not a single Democrat—the president’s seemingly quick recovery from COVID-19 was just the reality check an increasingly buffaloed and fearful America needed.
The Democrats, it seems, have gone all-in on the novel coronavirus, the better to permanently destroy the economic gains of the administration and, worse, insisting—against much medical evidence—that the American people should be muzzled as a sign of their subordination to government at all levels. Indeed, after dodging the issue repeatedly, Joe Biden has issued a call for mandatory mask-wearing even outdoors, for “the next three months minimum.”
But there’s no meaningful evidence that wearing masks—even along with constant hand washing and “social distancing”—does much of anything to “defeat” a virus. Nor do destructive lockdowns that crush both spirit and body, devastate businesses, destroy livelihoods, and—in their arbitrariness and capriciousness—dishearten and discourage the maintenance and formation of new businesses.
Worst of all has been the damage done to our constitution, which explicitly protects freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the free exercise of religion. There is no constitutional exception for “pandemics”—and the Founding Fathers, as men of the 18th century, were certainly experienced with infectious diseases, among them cholera, tuberculosis, and yellow fever. In fact, a yellow fever swept through Philadelphia—then the nation’s capital—in 1793, just two years after the ratification of the Constitution.
Their reaction? They moved the capital to Washington, D.C., and went right on with building the country.
Doctors Running the CountryTrue, some doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic endorse the lockdowns, but then again, that’s what doctors do. Their job is to fight infectious diseases the best way they know how, without regard to economic or personal consequences.
Every death is a small tragedy for somebody, and believe me, I speak from experience on this. But death is the determined outcome of every life; what is important to the life of a nation, culture, or civilization is not the demise of an individual, but the fate of the body politic. The graveyards, as the saying goes, are filled with indispensable men, and yet somehow life has always gone on.
Until now. Until the COVID of 2019 turned into the Panic of 2020. But for today’s squeamish, feminized, “safety first” America, there seems shockingly little appetite for risk, much less any sense of duty, honor, country. Following the president’s lead, the proper reaction to COVID-19 is to live with but not give in to it.
As I’ve advocated from the start: get it, get over it, get on with it.
Fighting BackFinally, some patriots are fighting back. Just last week, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian edicts banning just about every human activity were unconstitutional on the grounds that her orders were effectively a usurpation of the state’s legislature.
If we let the actions of Cuomo, Whitmer, California’s Gavin Newsom, and others stand, how can we possibly defend ourselves against the even greater strictures they will impose to fight another phantom menace, “climate change”? Because you know they will.
“Past and future have vanished, to be replaced by an eternally torturous present that can only be endured, and not transformed. Death becomes no one; if there is nothing worth living for, except for the sake of living, then what is worth dying for?”
Our reaction to the Wuhan virus provides a clue, and so far, it hasn’t spoken well of our national character. Like Canute, the president can’t raise his hand and forbid the Chinese virus from wreaking what havoc it has left. But if Trump can continue to speak out on this issue—to show his fellow Americans that they have, to quote FDR, nothing to fear but fear itself—he can well serve both his reelection chances and the country he leads.