January 27, 2023

Progressivism Versus Popular Sovereignty

Our 21st-century civilizational battles are those waged between the popular sovereigntists and the globalist progressives.

On Thursday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a letter, on behalf of 16 state attorneys general, to U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The letter, which pertains to Biden administration policy on COVID-19, is both important on its own merits, insofar as what it urges the new Congress to do, and more broadly significant insofar as the spotlight it helpfully shines on the American ruling class’s insatiable desire to govern via perpetual crisis.

The letter, which cleverly cites President Joe Biden’s own September 2022 admission that “the pandemic is over,” decries the administration’s continued reliance on “emergency” powers to implement various COVID-related policies — especially those pertaining to the “emergency-use authorizations” that have enabled the government to develop, mass-produce and mass-distribute the COVID vaccines despite the fact they have still not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Things have changed,” the attorneys general argue, since “emergency authorization was granted two years ago to get the first vaccines distributed.” They continue: “In short, things have changed. The American people, in their characteristic spirit of resilience, have learned to live with COVID-19. Even President Biden noted that people generally are no longer wearing masks, and mandates to do so have disappeared from all but the most sensitive areas. Schools, shops, restaurants, and businesses are open. City streets are bustling. The idea that we are still in the midst of a medical emergency flies in the face of the facts on the ground. Yet, (Health and Human Services) and FDA continue to perpetrate the myth that an emergency exists to aggrandize their power at the expense of people’s freedom.”

The letter ultimately concludes: “We encourage the new Congress to move quickly to limit HHS’ and FDA’s ability to unilaterally declare an emergency and approve unproven drugs that could cause harm to Americans, override any remaining emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines, consider reforms to the sweeping liability shield created in 2005, and ensure that our liberties and system of government are robustly protected against any such future attempts at medical tyranny.”

The letter follows on the heels of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) similar recent successful petition to the Florida Supreme Court to empanel a grand jury to investigate COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers for potential wrongdoing and consumer fraud. (Notably, former President Donald Trump continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.)

The attorneys general are wise to amplify DeSantis’ recent move with an additional shot across the bow at the “unproven” mRNA vaccines, which are largely defective products that do not prevent viral transmission. Even more important, they are correct to call out the Biden administration’s unyielding desire to govern via continual crisis, as was also evinced by the administration’s farcical recent decision to seek an appeal — nine months after Judge Kathryn Mizelle’s initial district court ruling — to restore the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s feckless, since-discarded public transportation mask mandate.

“This is not about an urgent matter of public health,” Brant C. Hardaway, the lawyer who represented the initial plaintiffs who successfully sued to overturn the mask mandate last April, said upon hearing last week’s news that the Biden administration would now seek an appeal. If this were an “emergency,” he reasonably observed, then the Biden Department of Justice would have acted with more urgency after Judge Mizelle’s ruling last April, including seeking an emergency stay at that time (which, notably, it did not do).

Hardaway is correct that the Biden administration’s actions are not about an “urgent matter of public health” — or any other type of legitimate public “emergency,” for that matter. Instead, the entire act, as this column has previously noted, is emblematic of progressivism’s overarching ethos, best encapsulated by former Obama-era White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s infamous exhortation: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” From the perspective of the American ruling class and the progressive elites who comprise it, the only relevant incentive is to continually — indeed, perpetually — latch onto any “emergency” fig leaf in order to justify “enlightened” rule, typically imposed in top-down, antidemocratic fashion.

This broader societal dynamic, of a sizable (often outright majority) right-leaning portion of the body politic facing constant roadblocks from an insular, progressive elite, is hardly unique to these United States. Just last week, this column highlighted the intense judicial reform debate now roiling Israel’s politics — a shockingly similar situation overall, albeit with elites represented not by the biomedical security state but by an equally unaccountable judicial oligarchy.

Other global examples abound. But whether the means are “enlightened” juristocracy, cloistered bureaucracy or some grotesque combination thereof, progressivism’s loathing of “We the People”-rooted popular sovereignty and zeal for rule via unaccountable diktat has helped define the terrain on which today’s civilizational struggles are fought. Here, there and everywhere, especially in today’s more populist times, it ought to be the goal of conservatives and nationalists to re-politicize as much as possible the law and policy that have been previously de-politicized via administrative or judicial fiat. The re-politicization and democratization of our most pressing societal debates, away from the hands of unaccountable elites, is a worthy counter to globalism’s top-down, homogenizing modus operandi, personified by jet-setting elites’ recent rendezvous in Davos.

Our 21st-century civilizational battles, in other words, are those waged between the popular sovereigntists and the globalist progressives who cling to every would-be “crisis” or “emergency” in a desperate attempt to attain and weaponize ever-more power. I happen to like the popular sovereigntists’ odds of ultimately prevailing. But for now, kudos to the 16 state attorneys general for admirably underscoring the battle lines.


Start a conversation using these share links:

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!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


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

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

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 © 2023 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.