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November 3, 2022

A Pandemic Amnesty?

The appeal for amnesty is all because a significant number of suburban women are shifting toward Republicans for the midterms.

With Democrats facing the wrath of voters in next week’s election, leftists desperately want to sweep the government’s overreaction and tyrannical response to the COVID pandemic under the proverbial rug. In an article for The Atlantic, titled “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty,” economist and academic Emily Oster says we should just let bygones by bygones. She suggests that any deep dive into how poorly COVID was handled needs to be dropped. “Dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop,” she writes, so “let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward.”

This is an ironic position coming from the Leftmedia, which has repeatedly defended the cancellation of significant historical figures from America’s past over the grievances of modern leftist wokescolds who have no room for forgiveness and can’t move beyond the distant past. Now, suddenly we can’t hold present day authorities accountable. It’s also ironic given how endlessly the Leftmedia hectored Americans who declined to follow The Science™ when it came to specific COVID response measures.

Oster starts by admitting: “In April 2020, no one got the coronavirus from passing someone else hiking. Outdoor transmission was vanishingly rare. Our cloth masks made out of old bandanas wouldn’t have done anything, anyway. But the thing is: We didn’t know.”

Sure we did. Nobody but nobody recommended masks until it became politically expedient to do so. At the very beginning, Dr. Flip-Flop himself, Anthony Fauci, observed, “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus.” Of course, he later flipped his statement, claiming that he was actually lying out of concern for preserving enough PPE supplies for frontline healthcare workers. Later studies would once again affirm Fauci’s initial observation, concluding that most masks (N95s excepted) do almost nothing to prevent infection.

Oster asserts that ignorance was high, but why then in light of this reality is she not condemning those political leaders who demanded the enforcement of mask wearing and school closings with no evidence supporting and often with evidence contradicting such drastic measures?

Humility rather than hubris is what Americans deserved from their leaders, as humility would have precluded the overly aggressive actions that were taken in ignorance. Protecting the rights of individuals to make those decisions for themselves was the proper response to the pandemic, as was demonstrated by Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’s Greg Abbott.

Furthermore, from a completely practical position, how can one learn from mistakes if those mistakes aren’t thoroughly exposed and addressed so as to avoid them in the future? Those who avoid addressing mistakes effectively aren’t really interested in learning anything or changing accordingly.

So why call for pandemic amnesty now? If the Left’s demanded actions — school and business closings, mask and vaccine mandates, and the like — had proven to be the right answers, there would be no article calling for “pandemic amnesty.” Indeed, there would be a nearly endless litany of articles titled, “We Told You So.”

The answer likely lies in the fact that suburban white moms are fleeing the Democrats.

The pandemic exposed Democrat leaders’ authoritarian instincts, especially when it came to schools. The revelations of the utter failure of the education system have awakened the proverbial momma bear. This reality was first exposed with Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year, and it may be a key factor in next Tuesday’s elections.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll observes this trend across the nation. The survey shows “that white women living in suburban areas, who make up 20% of the electorate, now favor Republicans for Congress by 15 percentage points, moving 27 percentage points away from Democrats since the Journal’s August poll.” That is a massive swing, and while economic concerns (the price of groceries, for example) and rising crime are the leading reasons given for the shift, a profound dissatisfaction with the direction Democrat leaders have taken the country is also a major contributing factor. As one woman put it, “Right now I feel the Democrats are ruining our country.”

Back to the call for pandemic amnesty. For two years, the Leftmedia was busy browbeating anyone who dared to point out obvious problems with the government’s (mostly Democrats’) heavy-handed edicts. It was clear that these Democrats didn’t want to hear any objections to their one-size-fits-all “solutions” that are proving to have created more problems (both economically and socially) than they solved. It has genuinely become what many conservatives warned about from the very beginning — including our own Mark Alexander on the day much of the country went into lockdown in March 2020 — the “cure” might be worse than the disease.

That’s exactly what happened, and now many leftists are begging Americans to forget about the abuses of the last two years and go vote Democrat. We think the better solution would be social distancing from the party that caused the pain and spread the disease of tyranny.

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