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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.]Published in