The panic and the epidemic

pan•demic (pan dem'ik) adj. Contraction of the words "panic" and "epidemic". 

I realize that using the word that way changes its definition.  In the past, it was used to describe an epidemic that has infected most or all of the world.  In its latest use, the World Health Organization has declared a pandemic, but the World Health Organization is carrying water for the Chinese communists these days, which cuts into the validity of the declaration.  In this case, the panic is supplied by the media, and the epidemic is supplied by the Chinese communists.

Some people have noticed that their constitutional rights are slipping away.  They are in a lockdown and are forbidden to travel, work, or worship in groups.  The justification for all this is that there are some crises that are so bad that it is necessary and thus permitted for various and sundry governing bodies such as states and counties and cities to suspend the constitutional  rights of their citizens.

The common example is war.  There is precedent in the case of war.  No question about that.  

I've seen war, and I've seen circuses, and this crisis is more like a circus.  Wars don't have all that many clowns.  In this case, some of the clowns are governors and mayors, and some of them are proving to be petty tyrants.  I believe that tyrants are just bullies who have been given too much power.  I also believe that all bullies are cowards.  So it is probably all right to laugh at the clowns.

In considering these precedents, we must note that there are no "except when" clauses in the Bill of Rights.

We should speak of fear now.  There are no clauses in the Bill of Rights that say you have these rights except when you are afraid.  It doesn't work that way, and it really isn't laid out in words as to how it does work.  You lose your God-given rights when somebody takes them away from you and you don't fight to get them back.  Ever thus.  

In the current pandemic, the mainstream media have bent over backward to report the numbers of cases and deaths we have suffered and the predicted number of cases and deaths by various models that we shall suffer in the near future.  These models are respected because we really don't know what they are, how they work, or how well they work.  It is a human failing that we tend to respect anything that comes out of a computer or, worse yet, the mouth of a person who claims to be an "expert."  The media spread fear among the people.  They do this because they are believers in bigger and bigger government.  They stoke the fear in the hope that the people will surrender their rights to bigger and bigger government in the belief that the bigger the government is, the more likely they are to be saved.  Fear is what makes this thing work.

But back to the clowns.  The way things are set up, we have the concept of federalism, which in this case gives the power and responsibility to the states and local governments.  Another part of human nature is that tyranny is located just under the lid of Pandora's box.  Crack the lid to peek in there, and out it comes.  The Bill of Rights was specifically designed by the founders to deal with this problem.  The Bill of Rights protects us, but what or who protects the Bill of Rights?  Well, that would be we.  If we panic and run to the bigger and bigger government for protection, the precedent that is established causes us to lose our rights.  The founders didn't intend that.  That's just the way it works.

In spite of the low quality and simplistic fiction offered by the entertainment media, there is no shame in being afraid.  It is a perfectly natural part of the fight or flight response, but there are two little known concepts that should be taught to every man, woman, and child regarding fear.

1. There is no courage without fear.  

2. Courage is not about being unafraid.  Courage is about what you do while you are afraid.

Mass panic is worse than an epidemic.  There is much to be lost.  We need to fight this epidemic without losing our constitutional rights.

Jerry Powlas has been a naval officer, engineer, and publisher and is the author of Red State Rebellion (available through Amazon).  "Everybody should read this book and tell their friends."  He lives in the burbs of Minneapolis with his wife Karen.  When not there, they can be found sailing their boat somewhere on Lake Superior.