Angelo Codevilla, whom we've met in these pages several times before, is one of the most astute observers of US and world events. He's taken a stand and called the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic has been (mis)managed "a coup d’état". Here's what I think are the key points from his very long (and very illuminating) article that he titles, "The COVID Coup". Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
In sum, the lockdowns have been perpetuated and prolonged by people who care more about your compliance than your health.
They are about increasing the Democratic Party’s chances in the 2020 election.
The 2016 U.S. election confronted the U.S. ruling class with the possibility that the presidency’s enormous powers might be used to dismantle its network of prestige and privileges. The public is just beginning to understand the extent to which all manner of bureaucrats and allies used their powers to try defeating the challenge of 2016, and then instituted the socio-political equivalent of basketball’s “full court press,” treating anything and everything about the Trump administration as illegitimate, running official investigations not to gather information but as pretexts for feeding slander to their media associates. They tried to catch Trump in perjury traps. They toyed with the idea of leading him into statements that might be construed as bases for removal from office. But the U.S. economy boomed. Trump’s ratings rose. As 2020 dawned and Trump seemed a cinch for re-election, the Democratic Party et al. were grasping at straws for ways of getting at him.
By the time COVID came over the horizon, thought of using it had already crossed [the] ruling class’s minds. No conspiracy was necessary or possible. The existing party sentiment and like-mindedness were enough to produce the unanimity and uniformity with which the ruling class has used the COVID-19 event to produce, stoke, and maintain fear, to energize its constituencies’ agendas in pursuit [of] its power.
In January 2017 Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking at Georgetown University, said he had no doubt that the Trump administration would face a “surprise outbreak” of “infectious diseases.” A few days earlier, The Atlantic published an article titled “How a Pandemic Might Play Out Under Trump,” which wished out loud that Trump’s handling of such an event would undermine his presidency. Yet earlier, NYU professor Arthur Caplan had published an article along the same lines: “The End of Civilization and the Real Donald Trump.” In short, weaponizing a public health event had crossed eager minds.
The prospect of locking down the country, ostensibly to save it from COVID-19, offered a near monopoly of communications. Trump’s rallies were shut down. Above all, churches were shut down, as well as the countless meetings of clubs, businesses, friends, etc. that are the lifeblood of what one might call the country class. Nor may people congregate as they wish for political purposes: the strictures that North Carolina’s Democrat governor put on the Republican National Convention made it impossible to hold it in that state.
Without face-to-face contact, television became the chief means by which communication took place—but it was one-way communication, whose programming and corporate advertising—immediately—began telling the people the joys of obedience: “we are all in this together,” “ Alone, together.”
It reeks of Orwell. The companies whose advertising pays for this are household names: Adidas, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Bank of America, BMW, Burger King, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DHL, Disney, eBay, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, Walmart, Warner Brothers and YouTube. The ruling class.
Driven by the politics of partisan identity, the ruling class used the COVID-19 event to collapse American life. A glance is enough to reveal the perverse enormity of what it caused.
. . .
All of the above served the ruling class’s overarching interest in its own power. Are there any categories of people who benefited from the shutdowns? Government gained. We know of no employee of federal, state or local government who was furloughed or had his or her pay reduced. On the contrary, all got additional power. The federal government created trillions of dollars, the distribution of which is enriching the usual suspects involved in administration. The teachers’ unions gained the power to extort concessions as a price for reopening schools. Among them, restrictions on or elimination of charter schools.
And as independent businesses were throttled, big ones grew. The biggest, Amazon, was the biggest winner. The news media, unrestricted and at the service of the powerful, themselves exercised unprecedented power. The social media platforms seconded the coup by censoring dissent from the “line” of their own most aggressive bureaucrats and officials. Try getting figures for COVID deaths and how they are counted from Google. YouTube deleted a video gone viral of two medical doctors who pointed out the truth about the COVID-19’s true lethality as dangerous disinformation, and Twitter appended a note to President Trump’s objection to voting by mail for facilitating fraud, accusing it of falsehood.
Prohibitions such as of playing in the park or swimming in the sea are mere devices to train the public to accept unlimited bureaucratic discretion. You may congregate at Costco, but not at church. Failure to obey regulations will land ordinary citizens in jail, while the jails release robbers and child molesters. You may not exceed limits on occupancy or fail to wear a mask. You may not even sing in church. But if you and friends loot and burn the neighborhood store, the police will just stand by. Yet all Democrat governors celebrated and some joined masses of “protests”—forget about masks and social distancing. They did this not for anybody’s health but to to secure another few percentage points of the black vote for their party and to leverage their seizure of power over police forces.
We are supposed to believe that all this is dictated by “Science.” In June, 1,200 “health experts” signed a letter approving the BLM protests because, it said, “white supremacy is a lethal public health issue.” But it cautioned that “this should not be confused with a permissive stance on…protests against stay-home orders.” In short, Coronavirus restrictions, like the rest of political correctness’s commandments, are pure political weaponry—nothing short of an inversion of the American people’s priorities, accomplished by nobody’s vote. Ruling class presumption. In short, we are living through a coup d’état.
. . .
It should be clear that the COVID event in America is only tangentially about health. It is essentially a political campaign based on the pretense of health. Mere perusal of news from abroad is enough to see that this is true as well throughout the Western world. Throughout, the campaign by governments and associated elites has essentially smothered social and economic activity. Not least—and by no means incidentally—it has smothered the overt political opposition which had increasingly beleaguered said governments and elites throughout the Western world.
There's much more at the link. Highly recommended reading.
I think Prof. Codevilla makes a very strong case. The question is, will the ruling class succeed? Right now, all the opinion polls line up solidly behind a "blue wave" election in November, where conservative and constitutional voices will be overwhelmed by a majority that wants Big Government to be its shield and protector. If that happens, I say most sincerely, God help America - because nobody else will. If that happens, I don't know that our constitutional form of government can survive. It would be trampled underfoot by those who regard the constitution as a "living document", to be reinterpreted at will according to the zeitgeist of the age.
Antifa, BLM, socialists and progressives would dictate what happens in and to our society and everybody in it. Individual rights would be submerged in the focus on the group. The rest of us might disagree profoundly, but we'd have only two options: submit, or fight back. I fear the latter option might consume us all.
Let us pray that doesn't happen.