Covid-19 Realities, Libertarian Limits, and the Refusal to Apologize

The report relates how “U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action. . . .” Indeed, if the report is to be believed, it appears he took slight interest in it until it hit the stock market and he was advised it could be bad for his re-election.

Further, if you read the timeline of Trump’s public statements about the virus, he comes off almost as dismissive, underestimating the threat for too long.

[…]

Similarly, I posted a montage of Fox news hosts initially downplaying and totally dismissing coronavirus reports as liberal hype and attacks designed to take down Trump. They quickly changed their tune and started supporting Trump’s response to how serious it was. There was no acknowledgment of their own error in making accusations completely without knowledge. Special mention goes to Sean Hannity, who literally called the coronavirus story a “hoax,” then only a few days later said his program had always taken the virus seriously and never once called it a “hoax.” Listen for yourself.

[…]

The only way to de-politicize the coronavirus event, however you wish to look at it, is to depoliticize people’s hearts. You are duty bound to start by depoliticizing your own heart. By that, I hardly mean to pretend politics is not important or relevant, even in this event. I simply mean to help stop the polarized, public blame game that serves no good purpose whatsoever and has never persuaded or progressed a single issue, certainly not this one.

I mean hold yourself to the same standards by which you judge others—not just “others” as an abstraction, but the other side, indeed, your most formidable enemies. Do not give yourself or your side one inch of slack that you are not willing to give the other side. Do not interpret others to have deceptive and malicious motives unless you are willing to accept the same evaluation upon your favorite talkers and politicians.

Understanding Power Religion

I have been around a little bit, and I have seen the charades behind a few curtains. What we are discussing here is a real human problem. It is deeply and widely imbedded in human institutions because it is a human problem. It is a problem of true leadership.

What we are witnessing in all of this is at least one aspect of humanistic and power-religion leadership techniques. It is what I like to remind people is the “way of Cain” spoken of in Jude 11. It is a façade that among other things projects power and righteousness, might and fortresses, and victory and self. It does these things because deep down inside it fears being weak and being perceived and rejected as weak. Altogether, it will never, ever admit to error or weakness—never apologizes—unless such things are pretexts for gaining some objective of power or advantage.

As we see with Cain himself, as well as his children, these traits affect the individual, but replicate themselves in the societies built by such individuals. They affect marriages and interpersonal relationships (just look at Lamech—Gen. 4:19–24). As you can see from Lamech, also, the external expressions of these problems compound over time, such that society coarsens generationally under the influence of power.

Leadership in these terms is what the children of Israel expected when they rejected God’s way and instead begged for a “king like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5). Despite being told in explicit terms that this decision would lead them—without regard to whether they were Democrat Israelites or Republican Israelites—into oppressive taxation, military drafts, militarism, compulsory national service, and more, i.e., nationalized slavery, they decided they wanted it anyway. They wanted national greatness and power, and when Saul appeared with his awesome command presence, despite being a coward, the nation cheered him. But what they cheered was a rejection of God and putting their faith in power. The sin and slavery that manifested in their government was nothing more than the way of Cain that already lurked, unchecked, in their hearts.

Saul was just the kind of guy who would disobey God directly, but fear being rejected and losing status and face. So, he begged Saul, behind the scenes of course, to lead a façade of approval before all the people, so he could continue pretending he had nothing to apologize for (see 1 Sam 15).

How to Depoliticize the Coronavirus Event by Joel McDurmon

Some good thinking here.

It should be noted that I innately distrust National Emergencies. They tend to be generated solely in the interest of creating a useful crisis, to expand State power.

So, I can certainly sympathize with the initial reaction of the Trump team.

Still, the coronavirus is a genuine disease, and some Americans, generally older, will indeed die of it: general estimates range from 500,000 to two million. I have my doubts, but these numbers are within the range of the possible: it really can get that bad.

The problem is not that Trump & company were suspicious of the medical claims.

It certainly isn’t the fact that they changed their course, from dismissive to active.

It’s that they refuse to apologize, or even admit that they changed their way of thinking.

THAT is “the way of Cain.”


It is difficult enough as it is to accept how this process proceeds exactly the same way on both sides—liberal or conservative. It is greatly intensified when you have more of a third-party or libertarian mindset, and the “other side” is composed of the overwhelming bulk of the mainstream, both Dems and Reps, and your side is composed of about maybe 3 percent of voters. This is where many of us find ourselves. Maintaining a façade of right in this us-vs-them game is difficult to do without succumbing to a mentality very close to self-righteousness if not running all the way into utter narcissism. There are many in such debates on all sides who are only there because they are self-righteous or narcissistic to begin with.

How to Depoliticize the Coronavirus Event by Joel McDurmon

I can certainly see this kind of attitude occur. It’s a shame, though: active libertarians should naturally just focus on local responses in their community, seeing who can help who, and helping people navigate the latest maze of self-contradictory rules and regulations. As opposed to getting involved in debates and arguments, to prove that We Were Always Right.

“Service to others, not power over others.”

Likewise, he said that if we wish to follow him, we must take up our cross like he did his (Matt. 10:38).

But I do not see many crosses today—save the ones we fasten for our enemies. And to the extent that that is true—that there are no more crosses—to that extent there are no more true Christians, either.

If you find yourself politicizing the coronavirus news, or fighting against someone else’s politicizing of it with your own brand of contra-politicizing, you may be in need of revisiting this lesson. God does not need another Saul. He calls us to be sacrificial givers, faithful workers, honest speakers, and full of both mercy and integrity. The path to depoliticizing the Rona news is the path to depoliticizing the rest of it, which is all badly needed.

How to Depoliticize the Coronavirus Event by Joel McDurmon

Don’t worry too much about Being Right.

Instead, worry about looking out for your neighbour.

You can’t go too far wrong, along that path.

Long Term Readiness

I am not so fearful of the current wave of coronaviruses.

The problem is the trillions of cash to be wasted on bailouts, and the national bankruptcy they point to.

And when the post-bankruptcy even-more-aged, even-more-dependent population, tied to a bankrupt government medical care package meets the “new, improved 202X/203X Coronavirus”?

It’s simply too late to argue politics: that die is cast.

Don’t waste time on it.

It’s time to get ready for the coming storm, where you live.

Strive to protect the elders and yourself.

But protecting and guiding and strengthening the kids come first.

Now – and for the rest of the decade – is a good time to pray that God will protect the young from the coming Great Killer, as He has protected the young from today’s first wave of Death.

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