Ben Shapiro / Apr. 1, 2020

Stop Pretending Pandemic Politics Are the New Norm

"There are no libertarians in a global pandemic." So goes the smug punchline of large-government advocates who point to the necessity of collective action in the face of an unprecedented global crisis. Without government, they say, we'd all be dead.

“There are no libertarians in a global pandemic.” So goes the smug punchline of large-government advocates who point to the necessity of collective action in the face of an unprecedented global crisis. Without government, they say, we’d all be dead.

Few libertarians would disagree. The hardcore libertarians at Reason magazine aren’t spending their days fulminating over the evils of government-required lockdown orders in the face of a fast-spreading, deadly disease. That’s because they, like all other sentient human beings, recognize that collective action is sometimes necessary.

But here’s the dirty little secret: Institutional failures during this pandemic are more indicative of what our politics should be during nonpandemic situations, not the blunt-force ability of the government to shut down the global economy and force us all to stay home. The question isn’t whether government has power. Government is power. The question is how and when to apply that power. And what we’ve seen is that government sucks at everything, even the most basic things it is supposed to do well.

Democrats and the media like to pretend that government’s failures in this process aren’t endemic to government control. They like to blame such failures on Republicans, and on President Donald Trump specifically. But that’s just not the case. Human beings are fallible, stupid, gullible and self-interested. Human beings who have the power of government to back them are not less human for having that power. Their humanity just has direr consequences, which is why in nonemergency circumstances, checks and balances are absolutely necessary.

Take, for example, the early days of the pandemic. Democrats say Trump was slow to respond to the incipient threat. But so were Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently declared, “As Trump fiddles, people are dying,” but in late February, she was walking the streets of Chinatown, encouraging citizens to join her. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio has ripped Trump for his supposed downplaying of the virus, but De Blasio spent a month poo-pooing its threat. When confronted about that simple fact by CNN’s Jake Tapper, De Blasio conveniently suggested that stop looking backward.

Why should we trust these people, exactly?

Or take the roots of America’s inability to provide the health care resources necessary to hospitals across the country. While state and local governments were frittering away billions of dollars on useless government spending, they did precisely nothing to prepare for exactly the sort of black swan events for which governments were presumably invented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent a month failing to produce useful tests and prevented physicians in Seattle from performing proper testing, even after President Trump issued a travel ban on China. For years in advance, members of the federal government of both parties had been warned about the need for ventilators and masks. No one produced or stockpiled them. The Food and Drug Administration’s red tape prevented the quick development of new measures to deal with the novel coronavirus.

Why should these people control our lives, when the threat of the red death isn’t hovering on our doorstep?

The government is a giant, lumbering idiot. Sometimes we need a giant, lumbering idiot. Almost always, we do not. And those who have used this pandemic response — one of the rare times we need a giant, lumbering idiot to intimidate people into preventing mass infection of one another, and to borrow the money necessary to redress the injuries thus incurred — as a rationale for a government-run “new politics” should have their heads examined.


Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.