The politicians wore through the good will of the people, and they are asking questions and challenging what they are being told.

April 26, 2021

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

asking questionsJust a couple days ago, the streets of London were packed with marchers who had enough of all the mandates and regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

It received far more publicity on social media than it did on any major news outlets. It’s reported the marchers were peaceful but largely maskless. They were protesting lock-downs and the potential of a vaccine passport.

What’s funny is, no one called it the start of a “super spreader event” as they’ve done in the past with other marches, protests, and gatherings.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but a fair assumption to make is: people are generally willing to be cooperative… to a point. The line for what constitutes “reasonable” or “fair” looks nothing like what government would put on anyone if given the chance.

When people talk about paying their “fair share” in taxes, it’s always easier to set that bar higher on someone else, than on yourself.

Even Bernie Sanders agrees. His rhetoric took a turn from “millionaires and billionaires” to just “billionaires” once he obtained “millionaire” status.

Government wore through whatever goodwill people had. The sentiment of “we’re in this together” thinned out, if not worn completely off.

I discussed how the trust in government has been waning. Government being a faith based system, that doesn’t bode well for the future.

The media and politicians did themselves no favors by turning the whole ordeal into a pageant rife with folly. We saw politicians from strict lock-down states such as California, out and about without masks, while prosecuting small businesses for reopening their establishments.

Even the irreproachable Dr. Fauci was caught with his mask down. It’s clear after a while he and his wife grew sick of wearing one, which is understandable. Many people are sick of wearing them.

There were some hot mic moments where members of the press were caught joking about the pandemic being a hoax. They reeled it in when it went viral, but they said what they said.

The real pageantry started when advertisers rolled out the same templated advertisements:

  • Intro: somber piano music with images of grayish empty public areas like arenas and roads

  • Message about how they’ve been there for you and will continue to be there for the people and their families… now more than ever.

  • Setting the context of times that are: difficult, trying, uncertain, troubling, and unprecedented.

  • Building the image of being apart, but still connected.

  • Outro music: upbeat tempo on the piano, with hopeful images of the sun shining, people smiling, cars on the road.

  • Closing message: We’re here to get through this together.

The message quickly became tedious. Then came reports about Japan and Sweden where masks were not mandated, yet their cases and deaths were not what all the “experts” expected. New York remains locked down as its economy is suffering under these restrictions… but Andrew Cuomo was awarded an Emmy for his “masterful” COVID-19 briefings!

And we thought participation awards were only for kids tee-ball!

Florida lifted restrictions in September. It focused all of its efforts on protecting people in nursing homes. They saw less deaths than New York, despite their higher nursing home populations. Texas reopened in early March; Arizona followed suit a few weeks later.

Despite everyone saying how horrible Florida and Texas were, their numbers told an entirely different story. People are watching these larger economies and the rhetoric is not aligning with the reality unfolding.

More than fanning the flames on public trust, it has many questioning the norms under which they once lived. Do I really need to send my kid to school? Do I really need to drive into work? Maybe some still do, but certainly not all.

If you’re thinking bigger, you might be asking: “Do I need to stay in this city… this state… or this country even?” Or circumstances might’ve dictated that you start that business you were thinking about.

Sufficient to say, most people had a lot of time to think about a lot of things. One of those things is whether these politicians and experts really know what they are talking about or if it’s all just a ruse.

  • These aren’t “unprecedented times”. Humanity has endured pestilence of greater magnitude with far less resources and even less understanding of viruses or hygiene.

  • The idea that the government doing nothing would result in worse than if they do anything is utterly false. Several countries, states, and even historic events demonstrated this. Look at the difference in how President Warren Harding handled the depression of 1921 versus how President Franklin Roosevelt handled the depression in 1929. The former resolved itself in about two years. The latter dragged on for over a decade.

  • Science isn’t final or definitive. Nor is it democratic. It is a working theory. And the experts who work for government are no better than the experts who don’t accept government grants and paychecks. In fact, if they disagree, then the science is anything but settled.

  • A political solution at any cost is a pact with the devil. Machiavellian approaches like this never result in humanity getting greater benefits than having no political intervention at all. In fact, the world in general has become far more economically fragile and vulnerable because of such resolve. The US is approaching $30 trillion in debt. The EU has a clear class of benefactor and beneficiary nations that cannot reconcile the debts between them.

  • Politicians love the power that comes with your dependency, but the truth is they don’t know what they are doing. No different than Venezuela assigning bureaucrats to run their oil industry, and running it into the ground. Have you been following the movement of the goalposts since March 2020? What started as “15 Days to Flatten the Curve” has become 385 days for some places!

  • There is no “cooperation between the public and private sectors”. There’s only cronyism. There’s no bipartisan collaboration. There’s only a political agenda. The TARP bailouts under George W. Bush, the stimulus under Donald Trump, and the stimulus under Joe Biden are all corporatist pieces of legislation. Just like the seasonal Farm Bills and Infrastructure Bills that roll around: they are not cooperative. They are redistributive, and ultimately punitive to the individual and small businesses.

    The cooperation between public and private sectors leads to things like: Vaccine Passports, and other surveillance mechanisms.  And people are seeing this for what it is.

Realizations coming out of 2020 and one-third of the way through 2021 are coming in to focus. People are getting glimpses behind the curtain. Future generations are going to want more than an apology. They are going to want to know what you did. While most folks are in no position to fix everything for everyone, they can make personal choices to better secure their future and posterity.

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