Have you noticed something about the rapidly-spinning-out-of-control coronavirus, or “Wuhan virus,” panic? Its victims are chiefly, if not solely, private-sector, civil-society events and institutions.
The NBA has suspended its season. College basketball conference tournaments are being shut down. The NCAA just canceled both its men’s and women’s tournaments. Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have suspended operations. The South by Southwest festival in Austin has been canceled, as has the Houston Rodeo. St. Patrick’s Day parades across the country have gone by the boards. Kentucky’s new Democrat governor has demanded churches — churches! — close their doors.
And on and on.
All of those things are exemplars of the civil society, the voluntary associations not dependent on government that play such a massive role in keeping the American populace from falling out among ourselves.
Without parades, sporting events, festivals, church services, and the like, this country would dissolve into unrest and atrocity so fast it would make your head spin. And the civil society manifested by those events has been under assault for two generations, without a whole lot of success by the attackers other than taking out the Boy Scouts and Hollywood.
And yet in less than a week America’s ordinary life has all but disintegrated due to the outbreak of a virus we’re not even allowed to properly term by its origins. Apparently, it’s racist to call the Wuhan virus the Wuhan virus, just like it’s racist for President Trump to call it “foreign.”
You’ll probably notice that things like political fundraising events haven’t ceased while everything else has. Because those shows must go on.
Which brings us to our first quick thing.
1. The public society should be sharing in the same misery as the civil society.
If you can’t go to a baseball game or a parade because we’re concerned about the spread of infection, then why on Earth are we forcing our children into public schools every day? For more than a century, those institutions have been responsible for communicating more infectious disease than any other in America, and children are considered as hyper-spreaders of the virus even despite very low incidence of symptoms. If the local St. Patrick’s Day parade is too dangerous for people who aren’t sick to attend on a one-off basis, then for God’s sake we shouldn’t be forcing kids daily into the petri dish of potential disease the public schools so clearly represent.
And while we’re at it, we should be shutting down the massive government bureaucracies at federal, state, and local levels, as well, to ensure they’re not responsible for spreading the virus. Restrict them to essential employees only and send the rest home until the virus is gone.
That goes for the courts, too.
Higher education? Those institutions are already moving toward online-only classes for their spring semesters. Outstanding. Let’s have that be the case and stay that way, and in a year or so we can evaluate whether or not it shouldn’t be a permanent situation that allows for tuition and state funding to be slashed and the money pocketed by parents, students, and taxpayers.
In short, the biggest danger coming from the media-fueled panic over a viral outbreak that to date is nowhere near as serious as the swine flu or SARS is to the civil society, and we already know that hollowing out the space between the individual and the government is the primary mission of the modern Left. Well, if they’re going to take out the civil society amid the panic the media has caused, it’s only fair — and, after all, certainly proper, out of an abundance of caution — that the public sector be made to shut down as well.
Do that, and you’ll be amazed how quickly sanity takes over on CNN.
2. Watch out what you ask for, Bernie.
Failed two-time presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — yes, we can call him a failure this time, because it’s very clear the Democrats are not going to allow him to be their nominee, and, let’s face it, Bernie is actively trying to fail — has been demanding that people injured, or worse, by others using guns should be able to sue gun manufacturers.
Oh, OK. Tell you what, Bernie — we’ll let you have that, on one condition: that victims of communist regimes are also able to sue active communists like you for their suffering.
We know a few Cubans, Venezuelans, Poles, Nicaraguans, and others who might like to take a bite out of Bernie’s personal seven-figure fortune as recompense for what communism has done to them. And since Bernie is certainly as charitable with his own money as he is with that of others, he won’t mind.
3. Nick Searcy is right, and the time has come.
I’ll probably do a longer piece on this next week, but the great Nick Searcy has been making a lot of noise of late, not about taking back Hollywood from the Left but about standing up an alternative institution altogether and beating these people at their own game.
A couple of weeks ago Searcy gave a tour de force of a speech at Hillsdale College on this very subject. It’s an hour long, but it’s well worth your time. He goes through just how stacked the Hollywood deck has become against people of traditional beliefs on religion, culture, and politics and points out the fantastic opportunities available to people who are willing to produce, and invest in, “conservative” content.
Gosnell, the movie Searcy directed, which came out in 2018, was a perfect example of his point. It took more than two years to secure distribution for the film, as the industry did everything it could to squelch a pro-life movie exposing the horrors of the abortion business using a completely true story documented in the courts. Once it actually appeared in some 600 theaters, the movie managed to crack the top 10 in box office receipts. Had it been a pro-abortion film, Searcy and his colleagues would likely have racked up at the Oscars and Golden Globes, but all involved knew that wasn’t in the cards.
What Searcy is saying now is that Hollywood is cutting its own throat. When people like Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford are aggressively insulting half their potential customers with filthy-mouthed attacks on Trump and his voters, it’s an indication they don’t even want our money anymore. Rather than swear off going to the movies or watching TV, the answer is to compete with these people.
When conservatives create content, it sells. We know this. What’s difficult is distributing that content, since the Left will do everything they can to stop it. That means not just getting the investment to make conservative, or even non-leftist, movies, TV shows, and other art, it also means developing platforms from which that art can reach the public.
Searcy is working on the first part of that equation, and he says in his Hillsdale speech that he’s involved with a production company on two upcoming film projects. As to the second, he mentioned a platform called Creádo Media, which has not yet launched but might be interesting.
And as someone who’s recently entered into the content-creation sphere (my first novel, Animus, was released in September, with the audiobook set to publish any day now, and I’m in the latter stages of the editing and rewrite process for my second novel, Perdition), it’s exciting to see the first green shoots of development of a conservative answer to Hollywood. There could well be a renaissance of traditional culture in the offing, and America needs that so badly it hurts.
4. Take Joy Reid. Please.
I might get in trouble for this, but I’ll ask it anyway: if Joy Reid was, let’s say, of Irish or Polish descent, do you think she would be on TV?
I ask this, because last week she actually went on the air and accused the president’s supporters of spreading the coronavirus.
We already knew Joy Reid was a complete fool and a clown. That doesn’t make her special at MSNBC, though to be fair, she’s more foolish and clownish than almost anybody else on their air.
At some point, perhaps when the public finally gets a snootful of the media’s perfidy and contempt for them, standards are going to be imposed on places like MSNBC. When that happens, what is poor Joy Reid going to do with herself?
5. The cruelty of Biden’s camp
Have you seen this video? It’s the one of Joe Biden being led out to a car in a rather confused state while he’s peppered with questions he doesn’t seem to understand.
Biden’s deficiency of mental faculties has been patently obvious for some time now, and it’s certainly only going to get worse. At this point he’s little more than a puppet on a string, though who’s holding that string is up for debate. Whoever is responsible for trotting this decrepit dodderer out onto the campaign trail is certainly at fault for elder abuse.
At Power Line, John Hinderaker points out what’s glaringly apparent, that this is disqualifying:
I’m not saying Biden shouldn’t be president. That has always been true. I am saying that he lacks the physical and mental qualities necessary to to the job — not to do it well, but to do it at all. Biden’s mental status has slipped badly over the last few years, and he appears physically frail as well. Both his handlers and the press try to shield him from public scrutiny and hide his decline, but under the bright lights of a presidential campaign, it can’t be done….
The Democrats apparently think they may be able to drag Biden across the finish line, but November is a long way off. I am not sure he can make it that far. If he does, best case, he will be an even worse candidate than Hillary Clinton.
The interesting piece will be when the same media which has so grievously wounded our economy and our civic life with Wuhan virus scare-mongering, something the public will fabulously well understand when this epidemic fizzles out as less than the plague it’s been made out to be over the next several weeks, then turns around and attempts to calm us with tales of how razor-sharp Joe Biden is. What effect on what’s left of their credibility do you think will come then?