Part of our core mission?

Exposing the Left's blatant hypocrisy. Help us continue the fight and support the 2020 Year-End Campaign now.

Victor Davis Hanson / Sep. 24, 2020

Civilization Requires Collective Common Sense

Without common sense in government, civilization cannot continue.

Without common sense in government, civilization cannot continue.

After the summer protests and rioting in many large cities, activists demanded a defunding, or at least radical pullbacks, of the police. So-called crime experts often concurred. So some city governments ignored public warnings and diminished their police presence despite a sharp rise in crime in many cities. Looting and arson were often ignored.

If you call 911 in a large American city, there is no guarantee that anyone will answer promptly and send out police to aid the endangered. So gun sales have soared. Some people who never before owned weapons, or even opposed the use of firearms, are now terrified to remain unarmed. Self-protection often outweighs abstract ideology.

According to a recent Gallup poll, most Black Americans favor maintaining or increasing police presence. Often, city officials who support cutting back on law enforcement still expect their own homes and property to be constantly policed. The same is often true of activist elites who live far from the inner city.

Large swaths of the American West are now charred by out-of-control wildfires. Some governors and many federal bureaucrats blame the conflagrations on climate change. But those who actually live within forests, or on mountains and foothills, that are historically vulnerable to wildfires know that the epic droughts of 2013-2015 killed or dried out millions of acres of trees and vegetation.

Yet most of these decaying trees were never removed by authorities. They now predictably provide the fuel for the current wildfire Armageddon.

A few veteran forest managers have been proverbial voices in the wilderness in recent years. They warned that ignoring dead trees, limiting the sort of domestic animal grazing that reduces dead brush and dry foliage, forbidding timber companies from harvesting decaying timber, and preventing periodic controlled burns were collectively a prescription for the very disasters that now cloud Western skies with fires, smoke and air pollution.

In other words, pragmatic people once understood that tens of millions of dead trees were not to be left alone as mulch for premodern ecosystems. In the present, the dried-up vegetation has served as veritable napalm, causing traditional fall wildfires to blow up into biblical conflagrations that consume homes, property and people.

The public trust in science depends on its consistency, its transparency and its divorce from politics and ideology. There can be no left or right, liberal or conservative, blue-state or red-state slant if scientific expertise is to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the very opposite has sometimes occurred.

The World Health Organization initially swore that the virus was not transmissible by humans, did not warrant travel bans or mask-wearing, and was not a significant global threat. The organization’s Chinese patrons had given WHO an unscientific party line. And its director then branded the propaganda with superficial scientific authority.

American experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal health agencies were often inconsistent on travel bans, testing, masks, quarantines and medical therapies, and intolerant of dissident medical research. Authorities rarely could consistently explain to the public how the virus was spread; why children, who were rarely stricken, were kept from attending school; and whether quarantines were aimed at flattening the curve of infection, eliminating it altogether or just waiting out the virus.

The elderly were rightly deemed the most vulnerable. But then, inexplicably, they were often exposed to newly arriving infected patients in their long-term care facilities.

When millions of people hit the streets to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, many health care professionals ignored the supposedly dangerous mass meetings that they had earlier insisted were major public health threats.

More than 1,000 health professionals, sympathetic to protests, even signed an open letter declaring that social activism was, for the moment, more important than social distancing.

When supporters of President Donald Trump then went to open-air rallies, many medical experts suddenly called these assemblies dangerous to public health. In truth, either both or neither types of public outings are dangerous.

For six months, experts have given the American public contradictory and weaponized election-year directives on masks, social distancing, lockdowns, school closures and workplace policies.

All of these matters of public health reveal the disasters that follow when common sense is ignored and ideology reigns.

Most Americans know that only the police can protect the vulnerable in times of social chaos.

Most people instinctively sense that when vast swaths of dead trees are not removed from dense forests, they will eventually serve as kindling for raging firestorms.

And when scientific expertise offers ever-changing, inconsistent and occasionally absurd public health advice, then people turn to their own instincts and innate common sense to protect themselves and their livelihoods.

Experts, not common-sense citizens, have been failing America.

© 2020 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news, 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!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“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 © 2020 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.