In Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race his chief strategist, James Carville, coined the phrase “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” Carville was right and Clinton served two terms as president.
As Americans enter the polling places less than 24 hours from now, after boiling down coved, corruption, lockdowns, socialism, capitalism, protesting, rioting, green new deals and identity politics, it is my opinion that this election is really about none of these specifically; it is all about freedom.
Government as Natural Law
Government exists to perform a defensive function, which is to protect and defend the rights and freedoms and property of all citizens equally. This includes laws, a court system, and police to enforce the decisions of the courts. We allow the government to apply coercion (guns if necessary) to enforce laws because there are bad actors out there that want to loot, defraud, steal, rape, and kill innocent people. But a gun that can be used to defend the rights of all citizens equally can also be used by government as an offensive force multiplier to loot and plunder the freedom, civil rights, and property of its citizens.
As former Obama chief of staff and former Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanual once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Doing “things you think you could not do before” is just another way of saying that government is going to be able to steal more freedom from people than they ever dreamed possible. For a liberty-loving citizen this prospect is deplorable. For a politician it is Christmas morning because they live for power and are ecstatic with their new-found ability to coerce others.
The Covid Pandemic Creates an Unprecedented Government Power Grab
In early March, the covid case fatality rate in the U.S. was roughly three percent—nearly three out of every hundred people who were identified as “cases” of COVID in early March died from it. Compare that to today, when the fatality rate of COVID is known to be less than one half of one percent.* Yet despite the fact most of this small percentage of people are of observable and identifiable risk, politicians are again ramping up their shut down of the entire economy.
The Attack on Freedom; Who Are the Looters?
Before the pandemic who would have thought that government could ever get away with doing any of the following by Decree:
Shutting down privately owned businesses.**
Closing schools and insisting on “remote learning”.
Telling citizens if and where they can recreate, shop, and travel.
Decide who can and cannot visit sick relatives.
The other day looters in Philadelphia cleaned out a Wal-Mart store. The police showed up and secured the area. When the police left, the looting continued. Likewise, the governor of Minnesota and mayor of Minneapolis sat by while looters burned parts of the beautiful “city of lakes”. This is a failure of government to protect the private property of citizens. Such a failure instills a feeling of hopelessness; that nothing or no one is safe. Other than major wars, this has never happened in America before. This is an insidious, dangerous precedent for any freedom-loving citizenry
To make things worse, city and state governments have used the defensive weapons we have given them to protect our rights and have turned them on the very citizens they were supposed to protect. These governments have used their weapons as an aggressive function to “loot” the freedoms of the very citizens that have given them power. The economic losses of pandemic justified government decrees are not only worse that the disease, but it is also far worse. It is a fiscal disaster with negative consequences for years to come.
There are two political parties in this country, both which in my opinion have seriously eroded the freedom of Americans over the past fifty years. I am not in love with either one, but I will cast my ballot for politicians that are not fearful, who understand the importance of free markets, and who uncompromisingly reject decree ordered seizure of private property.
* Jay Bhattacharya is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University A co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, his research has been published in economics, statistics, legal, medical, public health, and health policy journals.
** Phil Bernstein, a Chicago businessman just made the painstakingly difficult decision to permanently close his 20-year-old business due to shutdown restrictions enacted by Illinois Governor Pritzker. Bernstein said, “My business was destroyed by decree.” Chicago Tribune, October 29, 2020 Page 12.