When COVID-19 ends, America’s entrapment by the left should too. The pandemic created a perfect confluence of events for the left, making America their captive audience. The left used the crisis to advance their agenda at the nation’s expense. With COVID-19’s end becoming clearer daily, America must ensure the left exit with it.
The left have always inhabited America; rarely have they been relevant. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they seemed to go beyond relevant to ascendant. It has been impossible to avoid their narrative on issues, from social justice to wealth redistribution.
Currently, Washington is subject to a rare emergence similar to the left’s. Every 17 years, the region’s cicada insects burrow out of the ground for their brief procreative intrusion on our consciousness. They then disappear, from sight and thought, for nearly another two decades,
Like cicadas’ long dormancy, America’s left appear during times of infrequent crisis, such as the 19th century’s economic upheavals and the Depression. Our socialist cicadas see the world through eyes of red, they are loud, ugly, and obnoxious and despoil everything they can reach.
COVID-19 became such a crisis capable of triggering the left’s emergence. The pandemic allowed governments to take unprecedented control over Americans’ lives. Naturally, the governments taking greatest control were those most left-leaning.
Lockdowns greatly reinforced the pandemic’s impact, intensifying it economically. As in the past, such heightened economic dislocation untethered some Americans from their free market moorings, making them susceptible to socialism’s siren song.
Additionally, COVID-19 and lockdowns kept Americans home and, with other outlets foreclosed, toward establishment media. Of course, the left dominate this too.
The result of this COVID-19 confluence is that the left have held greater sway over American society than at any time in our history. In normal times, America is an individual-based society with a free market economy. The Constitution protects the former and, by so doing, it facilitates the latter.
The left cannot succeed under normal conditions in America. For the left to succeed, even temporarily, they require something to undermine the attachment of some to the nation’s foundations. COVID-19 and its lockdowns accomplished this.
Yet history shows that when dislocation ends and America returns to normal, interest in the left disappears too. Already we see COVID-19’s grip relaxing. Lockdowns are also easing and disappearing, with several states moving to curtail their governor’s power to impose them again. No longer trapped inside, Americans will turn off, and away from, establishment media and their ideologically driven narrative — if for no other reason than that they will have better things to do.
The danger that separates the COVID-19 experience from past dislocations is the possibility that the left’s greater intrusion will offer them the chance to change the rules of the game and prevent a return to normalcy. Unquestionably the left are trying to do so by resisting lockdowns ending, changing voting procedures, pursuing income redistribution policies, and legislating social justice into law. Only by doing so can the left hope to continue their hold on power.
COVID-19 gave the left a captive audience. With the nation’s center of gravity upset by unprecedented times, many Americans were willing to entertain unprecedented theories propounding its own inherent evil. With so much out of kilter, they found themselves implicitly accepting that everything was. If normalcy itself could be overturned, what was immutable?
With fundamental things apparently crumbling in their hands, they mistakenly let go of too much. Most important among the relinquished were some obvious truths about themselves and their country. That the left thrive on such disequilibrium is why they so ardently seek it.
The left have not been — and never will be — part of America’s foundation. Examine closely and you will find the left never more than a footnote to American history. And when they are, it is during upheavals such as the COVID-19 pandemic, where distraction diverts Americans from their foundational beliefs.
Regardless, such distractions have never been permanent, and the left’s inroads became dead ends. The same will occur again, so long as America resists the left’s attempts to legislatively extend their agenda beyond COVID-19’s temporary reach.
• J.T. Young served in the Office of Management and Budget and at the Treasury Department.