by Bob Barr
Underlying virtually every policy of the Left is the notion that, with enough laws, society will be ordered, and that from order will emerge safety, security, and happiness. The problem is, the well-ordered utopia long sought by leftists over the centuries, including our own, is a pipe dream that always comes at the cost of individual freedom. Still, social engineers from Washington, DC to Canberra, Australia continue their drive to force socialism upon us.
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has provided an endless supply of excuses for Big Brothers of all stripes to find new ways to control our lives – a situation that in many respects is worse than the virus itself – and the results can be bizarre.
In Australia, for example, government officials are shooting rescue dogs as a way of preventing people from traveling during COVID to adopt them. Closer to home, elementary school children in districts across America are being forced to wear masks (even outdoors) that restrict their own breathing, despite the overwhelming data that the COVID risk facing these youngsters is virtually nil.
The illusion of ordered safety has come to trump facts, common sense, and even basic human decency.
Over the course of our nearly two-year long COVID journey, we have moved from temporary measures designed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, to myriad legal mandates and economic restrictions wielded, rescinded, and then reimposed by public officials whenever they feel the situation warrants.
It is only our Constitution — and the fact that there remain Americans who still understand and defend its guarantees of individual liberty — that has thus far protected us from suffering Australia’s version of what amounts to COVID martial law. But officials here are trying mightily to change that.
The many absurd COVID mandates that are troubling in and of themselves. But it also is the way in which the deception practiced by government officials is undermining the “social contract” between the citizenry and the government. This includes the credibility of government policies and actions that is essential for the proper functioning of any democratic society.
Throughout the current pandemic, we have seen these problems on full display. It began with the onset of COVID, when Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC intentionally misled the public about the need for masks, presumably to conserve the limited supply of the paraphernalia for frontline healthcare workers. While this “little white lie” may have been considered at the time to be harmless and necessary, it quickly undermined the public’s trust in the CDC. Subsequent government recommendations became increasingly difficult to enforce, which in turn justified transitioning from “recommendations” to “mandates” so as to ensure compliance.
Fauci now looks down from his Ivory Tower and mocks those who might say they would rather take dangerous livestock medicine than a proven, safe vaccine, but this is a situation he and his government cohorts created. It was their lies that undermined the credibility of the CDC at the outset; their punitive rules and excuses that turned a public health crisis into a political football; and their irrational drive to attain the elusive goal of complete and total “public safety” that led to an ever-widening rift between the people and the government.
Public health policy now has devolved into repetitive shows of force by the government pursuing the delusion of perfect order.
Rather than forcing more mandates, more laws, and stricter punishment on a society barely holding it together after a year of fear and restrictions, the country should be asking itself, why is it that, after spending trillions of dollars on COVID relief since early 2020, is it deemed necessary to feed American citizens the same pap about masks and “social distancing” that constituted the knee-jerk solution to a then-unknown virus almost two years ago?
In some ways, the government’s response to COVID-19 feels much like the parable about the scorpion and the frog. Successfully handling a health pandemic requires trust and transparency between citizens and government, or else chaos ensues. Could it be that the absence of those essential factors of trust and transparency simply provides the justification for further government control – to bring order to the chaos it birthed? Is one to be viewed as a conspiratorialist for considering such a scenario? Or do what we know about the facts, history, and the nature of the Left provide plausibility?
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.