To our governments, the cracks are showing. The dam is breaking. The facts are not on your side. You can’t keep this up any longer. The pandemic is over. Enough is enough. You are our servants; we are not your subjects.
The obvious answer to the current instability is mass resignations within the administrative state and among the class of politicians that gives it cover. In the name of peace, human rights, and the renewal of prosperity and trust, this needs to happen today. Bury the pride and do what’s right. Do it now while there is still time for the revolution to be velvet.
Not one governor performed perfectly during the pandemic and lockdowns. With media pressure, a desire to balance their constituents, and a desire to get reelected and move on to federal positions down the road, it was an enormously difficult job for all of them. For every single one, from Governors Newsom and Cuomo to Noem and DeSantis, it was the most challenging policy-making of their careers, and for any governor in perhaps American history
We’ve lived through an enormous setback, pushed by reactionary elements among the ruling class, but it is likely a prequel to what comes next: a backlash against reaction and toward a new stage of progress. Cycles within cycles. Forces of centralization have had a field day, and a good run of it, but the forces of decentralization are fighting back again with good odds of regaining the narrative again.
Figuring out why sound public-health practice was rejected in favor of lockdowns is the job of writers and researchers for many years to come. But this much we know already. We had the information we needed to rationally address this threat. We had the experience and knowledge we needed to approach this responsibly and scientifically. A very small group of people on both sides of the Atlantic chose a different path.
While many historical analogies have been offered for our present moment, from the campaign to combat polio to the National Socialist dictatorship of Germany, it is perhaps this wholly unnecessary self-destruction of a civilization that our own era most readily resembles. The campaign by our government to prevent every possible infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus regardless of the cost has unleashed a hollowing of once trusted institutions and ideas.