Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 127: COVID-19 Karenwaffe vs. New Untamed

 

This morning I want to highlight the divide between the “Karenwaffe” and the “New Untamed.” The Karenwaffe are the lockdown/social distancing warriors. They are supported in their beliefs and fears by MSM reporting, the public health establishment, and progressive politicians. The New Untamed are the restless Americans that chafe at the loss of their work and their freedom, and are more and more willing to take risks both with their health and their public perception in support of liberty. They are supported in their beliefs by the good news embedded in the evolving epidemic data and the rhetoric of the “Freedom President.”

It used to be that the debate about trading liberty for security was focused mainly on gun control; that government could provide all the protection we needed and there was no reason to have personal protection given the risk of accidental shootings of children, spousal conflict and suicide. But the COVID-19 epidemic has extended that debate to everything: who we can be with, where we can go, how we behave in public, whether we can go outside at all, where we worship, where we buy, what services we can have, what work we can do, etc. The philosophical approach to life — individual decision-making versus central control — could not be more clear.

There are two internet links to which I want to direct your attention: (1) The Frontier Center’s report The Reopen Movement: Motivations and Pathways to Support, and (2) Heather MacDonald’s A short guide to justifying re-lockdown (Or why the media is so desperate to turn good COVID-19 news into bad). Here are a couple of excerpts, first from Heather MacDonald:

Fear is gripping the American public health and media establishments: they are losing control. States are belatedly (and far too tentatively) easing their coronavirus lockdowns, many without having met the absurd CDC benchmarks for doing so. Customers are joyfully returning to previously shuttered restaurants and parks, some even discarding that symbol of subjugation: the outdoor mask.

The mainstream media and health experts are not going down without a fight, however; their newfound power over almost the entirety of human life has been too exhilarating to give up now. Their reaction to the current rebellion provides a glimpse of the strategies that will be deployed during the much-hyped ‘second wave’ of infections this fall in order to shut the economy down again.

And now from the Frontier Center:

The data reveal that critics of the reopen protesters are right that America needs renewed selflessness, but that they are wrong if they imagine that this results from compliance with flawed science and restricted freedom. A new selflessness can come from citizens who seek to remain untamed by authority. The Reopeners make clear that selflessness can be found in these everyday Americans who, while they do not seek to be political activists or agitators, feel compelled to act at what they believe is a defining moment in our history.

The protesters are demonstrating a new selflessness—a sacrifice different from staying at home and closing non-essential businesses. Their selflessness requires moving into untamed territory, which in this case risks very real conflict with authorities. These Untamed are resisting out of duty to what they say is unlawful infringement of their rights based on unscientific, flawed premises that result in deeply troubling collateral damage to the American community.

The new untamed territory is a mindset. First, American society is profoundly divided over who is the hero and who is the antihero in our modern story. The threat of a pandemic reveals that “selflessness” based on fear isn’t necessarily selflessness—it may in fact be selfishness. Reopeners are demonstrating selflessness by their determination to overcome fear for what for them is a greater cause.

As the tide has turned on the epidemic so, too, is the attitude of the people changing. The founding assumption of Ricochet is that America is a center-right country. If this is true then the stridency of the Karenwaffe must give way to the commitment of the New Untamed. And there is only one presidential candidate positioned to champion that outcome.

Trump, having supported the national shutdown based on the ‘scientific’ advice that millions would die, fairly early expressed the desire to reopen the economy, suggesting Easter as an aspirational goal. For that, he was excoriated by the ‘panic porn’ media joined by Democrats who saw political opportunity. While backing off Easter, Trump has become the champion for reopening the economy.

As this unfolded, I’ve frequently thought that the November election may be an election over freedom, and intended or not, Trump was positioning himself as the “Freedom President,” the person who advocated for personal and economic freedom against the dictates of Democrat Governors and officials.

Joe Biden (and any Democrat likely to succeed him as nominee/president) champions “safety” and central control. This is in opposition to the values of the New Untamed. It was the New Untamed that fought the battles to secure liberty for this country throughout its history. It was the Karnewaffes of the 18th Century that became the Loyalist diaspora after America gained her independence. It is the Karenwaffe who are constantly tell us they will “leave the USA” if they don’t get their way (and yet they never do). It is the Karenwaffe who have been at the core of #theResistance.

And so it is clear: Lockdowns and social distancing are not health strategies, they are political strategies. We may fight an invisible enemy in this epidemic, but we fight an all too visible enemy as well.

[Note: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]

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  1. RightAngles Member

    • #1
    • May 26, 2020, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Flicker Coolidge

    Rodin: It used to be that the debate about trading liberty for security was focused mainly on gun control

    Good point. This seems to be the underlying bread and butter of the lock-down; the same progressive theorizing and the same appeal to half the electorate: “People are dying; there is a danger to society; who has any right to endanger others?” It really is all about control for control’s sake — and to the degree that this has anything to do with safety, it’s about making life safer for those in control.

    • #2
    • May 26, 2020, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. MarciN Member

    Parents deal with such issues all the time. :-) The world is viewed by their parents as an extremely dangerous place for teenagers. When a parent and teenager have a good relationship, most conversations over permission go this way: “Okay, you can go to that concert but only if you agree to the following conditions.” In other words, there’s usually a list of dos and don’ts, not a complete refusal of permission.

    This is what is needed now. The governors need to treat their citizens as intelligent partners both of whom want to avoid the disease.

    People would have respected that approach to the problem starting at Easter time, which both President Trump and I :-) predicted would be the beginning of the end for this bout with this virus. But now, trying to institute that light hand after the press has been playing on people’s fears for the last eight weeks will only divide each state more.

    It’s really sad. This could have been a moment for local and state governments to shine.

    • #3
    • May 26, 2020, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Bob Thompson Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Rodin: It used to be that the debate about trading liberty for security was focused mainly on gun control

    Good point. This seems to be the underlying bread and butter of the lock-down; the same progressive theorizing and the same appeal to half the electorate: “People are dying; there is a danger to society; who has any right to endanger others?” It really is all about control for control’s sake — and to the degree that this has anything to do with safety, it’s about making life safer for those in control.

    How many government employees are out of work? I’ll venture that those who are deemed non-essential when the government has no funding authorization are now on the payroll whether showing up at their place of work or not and ,probably as well, being paid even if they are not working. Anybody know the facts?

    • #4
    • May 26, 2020, at 11:22 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    • #5
    • May 26, 2020, at 12:56 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Bob Thompson Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Yup, that’s me, all right.

    • #6
    • May 26, 2020, at 1:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Bob Thompson Member

    Recognize as government grows the interests within the bureaucracy focused on the bureaucracy’s preservation and growth intensifies. This is true at all levels of government, federal, state, and local. Labor unions and associations move in lockstep with the government bureaucracies so we see a difference between right-to-work states and those that don’t have that right in law. The NEA is a big player. I suspect we will hear from the NEA soon if, in those states trying to keep public schools closed next fall, start laying off teachers. This process is already stimulating discussion among higher education institutions.

    • #7
    • May 26, 2020, at 2:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Ralphie Member

    When I grew up I used to hear live and let live. It wasn’t that those with that view don’t care, it is actually an attitude of respect. None of your business, was another saying my grandmother said. A lot. Money, sex, personal problems like health details and failing marriage were not discussed in polite society. I didn’t hear the F word until high school. Grandma kicked my dad off the Sunday dinner table for saying if the good Lord gave the earth an enema, he’d stick the tube in New Orleans. That was when we returned to Michigan after a year living in NO in 1963.

    Now it seems everyone is in everybody’s business. And when tax dollars are paying for your food, clothing, health, the golden rule goes into effect.. The golden rule is made by those with the gold. Here is some high dollar unemployment, put on your mask and stay home. Here’s some payroll protection, now here is how you are supposed to operate. Put on your mask. 

    I think this is an old fashioned hysteria. The fact this is 2020 and not 1820 or 1620 does not mean mob style panic cannot happen. The enemy has gone from the virus to those who won’t wear a mask because it makes others feel better. It makes as much sense as Big Daddy giving Jake sunglasses that make him invisible.

    Those mask clenchers will not thank us, it is a dirty job (you get dirty looks when you don’t have one on), but someone has to act. We are getting rebellious here, I notice a lot of people seem to have professional haircuts lately.

     

    • #8
    • May 26, 2020, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. EHerring Coolidge

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Recognize as government grows the interests within the bureaucracy focused on the bureaucracy’s preservation and growth intensifies. This is true at all levels of government, federal, state, and local. Labor unions and associations move in lockstep with the government bureaucracies so we see a difference between right-to-work states and those that don’t have that right in law. The NEA is a big player. I suspect we will hear from the NEA soon if, in those states trying to keep public schools closed next fall, start laying off teachers. This process is already stimulating discussion among higher education institutions.

    Essential workers work. Just ask teachers if they are essential or nonessential. 

    • #9
    • May 26, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Bob Thompson Member

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Recognize as government grows the interests within the bureaucracy focused on the bureaucracy’s preservation and growth intensifies. This is true at all levels of government, federal, state, and local. Labor unions and associations move in lockstep with the government bureaucracies so we see a difference between right-to-work states and those that don’t have that right in law. The NEA is a big player. I suspect we will hear from the NEA soon if, in those states trying to keep public schools closed next fall, start laying off teachers. This process is already stimulating discussion among higher education institutions.

    Essential workers work. Just ask teachers if they are essential or nonessential.

    If we get a significant move to home teach or switch to private or charter schools some of these essential workers won’t be employed.

    • #10
    • May 26, 2020, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Thistle Coolidge

    Rodin: The philosophical approach to life — individual decision-making versus central control — could not be more clear.

    This right here is everything.

    • #11
    • May 26, 2020, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Rodin: It used to be that the debate about trading liberty for security was focused mainly on gun control

    Good point. This seems to be the underlying bread and butter of the lock-down; the same progressive theorizing and the same appeal to half the electorate: “People are dying; there is a danger to society; who has any right to endanger others?” It really is all about control for control’s sake — and to the degree that this has anything to do with safety, it’s about making life safer for those in control.

    How many government employees are out of work? I’ll venture that those who are deemed non-essential when the government has no funding authorization are now on the payroll whether showing up at their place of work or not and ,probably as well, being paid even if they are not working. Anybody know the facts?

    We have a number of state government clients across the country that I’ve talked with over the past few weeks. It seems like, for the most part, they’re just “working” from home.

    • #12
    • May 26, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Jules PA Member

    Rodin: Lockdowns and social distancing are not health strategies, they are political strategies. We may fight an invisible enemy in this epidemic, but we fight an all too visible enemy as well.

    ^Perfect.^

    • #13
    • May 26, 2020, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Unsk Member

    Great Post Rodin,

    Love the name “Karenwaffe”.

    • #14
    • May 26, 2020, at 5:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Jules PA Member

    Rodin: This morning I want to highlight the divide between the “Karenwaffe” and the “New Untamed.”

    That Karenwaffe link is gold. A lot of typos, but still holy irreverent pure gold. 

     

    • #15
    • May 26, 2020, at 8:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like