the day that courage failed
and america succumbed to the tyranny of superstition and pseudoscience
there is a rousing scene in lord of the rings where aragorn rides his horse before the armies of men. he gives a speech worthy of henry the fifth.
“a day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. but today is not that day.”
but the birx video above, the day 2 years ago today that “15 days to flatten everything but the curve” began and america succumbed to the tyranny of superstition and pseudoscience from which it only now sputters to recover after countless cost to lives and livelihoods?
that was that day.
the day when america’s courage failed.
craven cowardice was cast as a community value and epigrams elevated to epidemiology.
we turned our back on 100 years of evidence based pandemic preparedness and decided to panic into disaster instead.
the world has few moments upon which so much history hinges but this was one of them.
had we stood instead and kept calm and carried on, how different might things be.
lockdown bought us nothing but pain and penury, disruption and dissociation.
contrary to claims in common currency this was known and knowable. every bit of standing science and guideline stridently stated: DO NOT DO THIS.
it was not only ignored, it was inverted.
acting like it was some unprecedented event and that there had never been a respiratory virus loose in the world before so let’s toss everything we ever learned about disease and disease spread out the window was rash to the point of insanity.
choosing to measure it using hallucinatory yardsticks unsuited to purpose and deranged definitions inflating counts to incomprehensibility was madness.
but once that ball was rolling, there was no stopping it.
2 weeks became 2 years became “we’re not going to stop having spasms from this debacle for a decade.”
the results were instant and obvious failure. anyone could see it. but those in charge sought to double down rather than admit mistakes. they failed in their jobs and they failed us.
and this is why they cannot be trusted.
this joyride with the world’s basic freedoms was as intolerable as it was ill founded.
so let us never tolerate such things again.
you have seen what yielding the first inch gets you.
never yield it again.
they will not be better or smarter.
so we must be.
they will not be braver or clearer of vision.
and so we must be.
they will not be more fit to govern and dictate to us.
and so we must be ready to be ungovernable and to claim the right of individual agency as ours not theirs.
it’s easy not to fight.
but the stern reality of the world is that you will retain only those rights that you will fight for.
it’s easy to accede to small ask after small ask and the never-ending grind of “one more thing.” this is WHY they frame it that way. it’s “nudge” based behavioral economics retuned as societal weapon.
it’s always about “just this last demand to make everything else you have given worthwhile.”
it’s pitiless, manipulative technocratic snake oil.
once given purchase it is a far more difficult entanglement from which to escape.
the real fight is to avoid the original entrapment.
and that means we must meet their nudges with shoves.
if you learn anything from this two year span, learn not to give that first inch.
the society you save may be your own.