From the left, a chilling realization that science itself (not Trump) is culpable for COVID
Somehow, a concept formerly known as a conspiracy theory is generally being accepted as fact.
Even the Facebook Ministry of Truth has given it some acknowledgment, reprogramming its robotic detectors of wrongthink to lighten up a bit on the censorship.
The fact is related to a recent article in the famously left-wing Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists suggesting what you probably know by now: apparently, the coronavirus was human-engineered and somehow got out of the research lab in Wuhan, China. Potentially deadly viruses tinkered with at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had containment protocols no greater than those of a standard dentist's office, the article says.
While Democrat legacy media, for the most part, are downplaying emails linking Dr. Anthony Fauci to the Wuhan institute and the worldwide tragedy that followed, Thomas Frank, a former Wall Street Journal editorial page writer of an oddly left but independent bent, in a piece for the left-wing Guardian, describes recent events in ways similar to the shattering of a religious faith.
There was a time when the Covid pandemic seemed to confirm so many of our assumptions. It cast down the people we regarded as villains. It raised up those we thought were heroes. It prospered people who could shift easily to working from home even as it problematized the lives of those Trump voters living in the old economy.
Like all plagues, Covid often felt like the hand of God on earth, scourging the people for their sins against higher learning and visibly sorting the righteous from the unmasked wicked. "Respect science," admonished our yard signs. And lo!, Covid came and forced us to do so, elevating our scientists to the highest seats of social authority, from where they banned assembly, commerce, and all the rest.
Frank's assessment of the left's view that this is The Way Things Are Supposed Be found itself punctured by the news of the Wuhan lab foul-up. Frank was just being the messenger in this case, but he reported the thinking of the left well.
Instead of the "populism" of the despised Trump and company destroying the world through their ignorance and foolishness, Frank writes of this realization with a shiver: "What if science itself is in some way culpable for all of this?"
And, as the 2008 international financial crisis undercut faith in capitalism and globalism, Frank is concerned that millions will join him in questioning their allegiance to science and to leftist causes in general.
In reaction to the fool Trump, liberalism made a sort of cult out of science, expertise, the university system, executive-branch "norms," the "intelligence community," the State Department, NGOs, the legacy news media, and the hierarchy of credentialed achievement in general.
Now here we are in the waning days of Disastrous Global Crisis #2. Covid is of course worse by many orders of magnitude than the mortgage meltdown — it has killed millions and ruined lives and disrupted the world economy far more extensively. Should it turn out that scientists and experts and NGOs, etc. are villains rather than heroes of this story, we may very well see the expert-worshiping values of modern liberalism go up in a fireball of public anger.
Analyzing what happened, Frank says the ultimate cause of the disaster was a lack of critical thinking. Noting recent setbacks, including the Iraq War, the housing bubble, the Hillary Clinton campaign of 2016, and more, "all of these disasters [were] brought to you by the total, self-assured unanimity of the highly educated people who are supposed to know what they're doing, plus the total complacency of the highly educated people who are supposed to be supervising them."
Frank's candor is surprising. Leftists don't speak this way — especially for readers of the sharply left Guardian of the U.K. To be fair, Frank has been known to stray from time to time from rigid political orthodoxy, criticizing fellow leftists and even wondering how he and Steve Bannon could on occasion have the same thoughts. But the language of his recent Guardian column regarding science, the left, populists, Trump, and other things betrays part of his true thought processes, and he dares to reveal the pain of his shattered faith in liberal consensus: "these days the consensus doesn't consense quite as well as it used to."
Welcome to one aspect of a conservative viewpoint, Mr. Frank, although it's doubtful you'll stay here. And please note that despite the Wuhan fiasco, we're still surrounded by ongoing Soviet-style droning to be sure to get our vaccinations. As dictated, of course, by the science.
Mike Landry writes from Northwest Arkansas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.
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