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John Tamny

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Never Again


In a recent piece for the Washington Post, Ramesh Ponnuru wrote that “the public is not going to accept restrictive coronavirus mitigation measures again, regardless of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other public health authorities say.” Ponnuru adds his speculation that “we’re not going to return to social distancing or shut down schools.”

Bad news for government, but great news for the US. If there’s an upside to the lockdowns that never, ever made sense (Ponnuru’s National Review formerly thought they did), it’s that government has forfeited a great deal of the little credibility it had.

Why did the lockdowns never make sense? They didn’t simply because reality travels exponentially faster than government bureaucrats, along with health agencies staffed by government bureaucrats. It’s all a reminder that the more threatening anything is, including a virus, the more superfluous is government action of any kind. To say that government must arrogate power to itself in times of what it deems “crisis” is to suggest that left to their own devices, people free of government guidance will do stupid things, including stupid things that threaten their health and lives.

Actually, it’s when crises are greatest that government must sit on its hands the most, and for obvious reasons. Crises imply an information vacuum that can only be filled insofar as people are freely arriving at all manner of decisions that create the essential information without which we operate blindly.
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