A couple of months ago, President Donald Trump was riding high.
The economy was going gang-busters, and the various Democrat and “resistance” coup attempts, from the Russian collusion hoax through the Ukrainian phone-call impeachment gambit (Does anybody still remember what that was all about?), had fallen short. Reelection, if not assured, looked very likely.
And then came the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
In a stroke, and without a single constitutional shot fired, the country was given over to two unelected doctors named Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, the Democrats suddenly discovered the virtues of federalism, and the economy slammed into the brick wall of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, as governors across the country trashed the Constitution and began ordering their residents around like serfs.
The anti-Trump media immediately jumped into the fray, warning of plagues, boils, locusts, and frogs falling from the sky; in a trice, the second coming of the Black Death was upon us. Millions would die, they confidently predicted, based on airy-fairy “models” from second-tier British universities (the same kinds of places that gave us the “global warming” hoax a decade ago). If drastic measures weren’t taken right away, American streets would soon look like the zombie dystopia of “The Walking Dead.”
Out of either ignorance or willfulness, the media began conflating infections with demises—this for a virus to which young and fit people with strong immune systems are essentially insusceptible, and whose greatest damage is done among an extremely elderly population with such comorbidities as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease—and even then, largely among people in nursing homes. New York City’s abnormally high death rate was merged with the overall national numbers, making things look worse even for folks in rural environments, where the disease is practically unknown.
Then, the goalposts started moving.
The measures, we were told, were to “flatten the curve” in order to slow the spread and thus prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. When the hospitals weathered the outbreaks, we were told that the resumption of normal activity wouldn’t be safe until widespread testing was underway, or until a vaccine was developed, or until the Twelfth of Never, whichever came first.
Sports entrepreneur Mark Cuban, whose principal claim to fame is that he owns a basketball team, came up with the gimcrack idea of hiring and training millions of the newly unemployed to act as contract tracers, snooping around the sick to find out with whom they’ve come into contact. Thus far, no one has suggested the East Asian solution (South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong), which involves cellphone monitoring via apps and quarantining visitors for 14 days with the mobile phone equivalent of an ankle bracelet, but you can bet that’s coming.
And so everything from the sacred (churches and synagogues) to the profane (California beaches) was shuttered, the hospitality industry cratered, the airlines found themselves grounded, the Trump economy died, and the president’s reelection chances are going up in smoke along with the incinerated jobs of some 30 million American breadwinners. (Even so, the current unemployment rate is still only 4.4 percent, in an economy in which optimal, non-inflationary “full employment” is considered reached at 4 percent.)
There’s no doubt that Trump will be blamed for the disaster, on the principle that “the buck stops here.”
It matters not that he closed down air travel from China early on: that was racist, xenophobic, and too little, too late. He bossed the governors around too much; he bossed the governors around not enough. He never held enough press conferences until he started holding daily briefings, starring Dr. Fauci and the Scarf Lady (Dr. Birx), and then that was too many.
In short, the Democrats have Trump right where they want him. Only six months before the Nov. 3 election, the president has to move quickly to get the country back to normal—not the “new normal” beloved of privation-adoring Democrats, but the way things were—and hope the virus really doesn’t turn into the bubonic plague as the ghoulish media lovingly records every death.
Elections are generally won or lost due to the economy, and Trump can no longer ask voters whether they’re better off than they were four years ago, because the answer is surely no.
That answer is also surely right. It’s not just the economic damage that threatens to make Trump a one-term president, it’s the damage done to the U.S. constitution, psyche, spirit, and way of life. The erstwhile self-reliant Home of the Brave has been reduced to the land of sniveling cowards, dutifully penning themselves in at the behest of unelected physicians and at the order of professional politicians whose emoluments aren’t affected one whit by their actions.
Unless people can get back on the job quickly, life on the dole with Netflix is going to start to look like an attractive proposition for some, perhaps many. Turning the nation over to the doctors was an unforced error of epic proportions.
History already shows it to be so. In 1968–69, the world was ravaged by the Hong Kong flu, another deadly flu virus that went on to kill a million people around the world, 100,000 of them in the United States. And yet, the media hardly mentioned it; it was just one of those things.
And rather than canceling history while waiting for a vaccine (there finally was one, but long after the pandemic had run its natural course), the following things weren’t canceled between the fall of ’68 and the summer of ’69: the Mexico City Olympics (held in October that year), the 1968 presidential election, Apollo 8, The Who’s “Tommy,” Chappaquiddick, the moon landing, Woodstock, and the Manson family.
Bill of Rights Tattered
Worst of all has been the damage done to the Constitution. Apparently, the First Amendment’s guarantees of the free exercise of religion and the freedom of assembly no longer mean anything. But where, one wonders, are the conservative lawyers, or the conservative judges we’ve heard too much about, or even the rank hypocrites of the American Civil Liberties Union? Our Bill of Rights has been tattered without firing a shot.
The American people are going to want to take this out on somebody, and incumbents will do nicely, thanks. White House speechwriters had better be working overtime on a rallying speech that will guarantee the restoration of our liberties and our livelihoods, or he could lose to a hologram of Joe Biden and whichever black woman (Michelle Obama?) he has chosen as his running mate.
Nor will the GOP likely fare any better in Congress. The House was needlessly lost to Speaker Nancy Pelosi two years ago when times were good. What are the chances it will return to Republican control in the post-COVID-19 era? As for the Senate, a combination of an unfavorable map (23 Republican seats are up, as opposed to 12 occupied by Democrats), a narrow majority (53–47, plus the vice president in case of ties), and a slew of unlikeable and undistinguished candidates spell big trouble. A net gain of four seats—three if the Democrats win the White House—and the whole Trump revolution goes down the tubes.
It could happen. In Arizona, Martha McSally is a sure loser; ditto Kelly Loeffler in Georgia. Iowa’s Joni Ernst and Maine’s Susan Collins are far from sure bets, and neither is North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, who will suffer for the sins of his unpopular colleague, Richard Burr. (Both Loeffler and Burr have been tarred by allegations of insider trading related to the virus.) Rounding out the roster, the unimpressive Cory Gardner of rapidly bluing Colorado and the annoying anti-Trumper Ben Sasse of Nebraska could also go down.
By contrast, the Democrats have only one sure loser, Doug Jones of Alabama.
This isn’t to say any of this is guaranteed to happen. Six months is a lifetime in politics. But isn’t it better to think—and do something!—about it now, rather than on Nov. 4?
Michael Walsh is the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history, will be published later this year by St. Martin’s Press. Follow him on Twitter @dkahanerules.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.