In the ultimate manifestation of extreme ‘cancel’ culture meets the domino effect, Americans have decided to cancel seemingly everything, everywhere, because of the coronavirus epidemic. My gut (and hope) says this is all cartoonishly overblown and we’ll look back on some of these extreme measures and laugh, but the rest of the world seems to have decided that it’s the next bubonic plague, or something, and is taking action accordingly.
The purported logic is to slow the virus’ spread so medical facilities aren’t overwhelmed, and there is soundness to it. Even with a more than slight percentage chance of older and sicker folks who contract it dying and/or needing hospitalization, the death toll could be staggering if the spread isn’t contained.
To be fair, I’m not blaming left or right for this brand-new kind of ‘cancel culture.’ Both seem to be equally dedicated to doing whatever it takes to stop this virus, but while the right is doing it reluctantly, there is almost a sense of glee from the left, whose motives are obviously by definition suspect. The politicians are all saying politics shouldn’t be a factor, of course, but isn’t politics always a factor? After all, didn’t we hear speeches last week by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders telling us this crisis is larger than politics, before proceeding to bash the president? Indeed, nothing whatsoever about this is good for an incumbent president the left hates and hopes to remove in November. And sadly, it seems of late that the political left are the only ones who benefit from every economically detrimental action we take in our efforts to stop the spread of this virus.
First they criticized Trump for banning travel to and from China in early February when most had no idea the extent of what was coming. It was “racist” and “xenophobic,” so they told us. Then, once the virus arrived, they criticized him for supposedly not doing enough. Sure, there are a few things he could and should have said differently along the way, but let’s face it, if President Trump walked right into a research facility tomorrow, donned a lab coat and proceeded to find a cure for coronavirus himself on live television, the left would still find fault. So yeah, there’s little doubt that leftists, particularly the media and politicians, are manipulating this crisis to maximum effect in order to hurt President Trump’s chances of getting reelected. And why wouldn’t they? Isn’t that right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook, to never let a crisis go to waste?
So here’s a thought. Why can’t the right also use that particular play from the Alinsky playbook, except for good instead of evil? Why can’t the right use this crisis to fight for the things we believe in, things we know will make this country a better place for everyone? Sure, of late it seems like everything has favored the Trump-haters, but all the while there’s been one thing that’s becoming increasingly clear to more and more people as we fight the Chinese coronavirus pandemic - the fact that borders matter.
To put the left’s complete idiocy in perspective, you won’t find anyone on that side of the political persuasion disagreeing with any sort of social distancing proposals, right down to declaring martial law and banning all nonessential people movement on pain of felony. They’re perfectly happy to shut down the entire U.S. economy in the name of fighting coronavirus for as long as necessary, with absolutely no regard for the people THAT action will hurt. However, there IS one thing no true leftist would ever agree to do, under any circumstances, no matter how dangerous the costs could be for not doing so - close the U.S. / Mexico border. Evidence of their staggering insanity on the issue was captured last week during a Fox News town hall with socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders when Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked, “If you had to, would you close down the borders?”
“No,” Sanders said after a short pause during which he likely thought ‘I know that’s not true, but the political correctness of 2020 that I must adhere to in order to maintain my base requires that I give this insane answer.’
“What we don’t want to do, we have a president who has promulgated xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiment from before he was elected,” he continued, because “X is racist” has become the leftist retort to everything, especially if they know deep down that they’re making a ridiculous point. “What we need to do is have the scientists take a hard look at what we need to do,” Sanders claimed.
Come on, Bernie. You know the scientists could all sign a petition tomorrow begging us to close the border and you still wouldn’t take that position. Sanders went on to say that self-quarantines and “not having public assemblies” were an option before laughingly neglecting to offer any sort of rationale why closing our border would be a bad move.
Even Mexico, which has spent the entire Trump administration lecturing us about how nothing good can come from the United States controlling its border, has all of a sudden changed its tune now that thousands of Americans have come down with coronavirus. So has Guatemala, of all countries. They’re perfectly happy to send any of their citizens packing, but are saying a quick “no, thank you” to the idea of any Americans coming there.
In truth, notions like borders and travel bans tug at the “permanent Democratic majority” dreamed of by leftists who depend on an endless influx of poor foreigners to maintain and grow their power. Thus, anything that could result in fewer future Democratic voters on our shores is automatically judged as bad and labeled ‘racist’ to keep a well-meaning but often-ignorant public in line.
Consider early February, when President Trump first issued his ban on travel to and from China. Former Vice President Joe Biden was critical at the time and has maintained his position to this day, claiming just last week that a “wall will not stop the coronavirus,” nor will “banning all travel from Europe, or any other part of the world.” He then called for a “plan to combat it,” as if Trump is sitting there twiddling his thumbs.
Uh, there is a plan, Sleepy Joe, but instead of providing support you’ve got to find fault. It’s hard to beat what Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw said in response: “Walls quite literally stop a virus. It’s kind of the whole point of a quarantine, for instance.”
I’ll end with what Dr. Anthony Fauci told Face the Nation yesterday: “So what we've got to do is a couple of things, and we're doing it. One is preventing new infections from coming in, hence the travel restriction. And the other is doing containment and mitigation within the country.”
By logic, one would seem to work hand in hand with the other. But when has logic ever gotten in the way of the left’s endless quest for power? They’re perfectly fine with tanking the economy, but closing the borders is a bridge too far, coronavirus victims be damned.
Follow Scott on Twitter @SKMorefield