Skip to main content

How the organized Left got Covid wrong, learned to love lockdowns and lost its mind: an autopsy

It is hard to destroy your own cause and feel righteous while doing so, yet the American left has done it. After more than two centuries at the vanguard of the struggle for freedom, the American left, broadly defined, executed a volte face and embraced anti-working-class policies marketed as purely technical public health measures.
 
by Christian Parenti
 
Part 12 - California, Virginia, and the political course correction
 
Indeed, as political medicine the Covid crisis worked: Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic helped get him out of office. But then the Democrats and liberal journalists got stuck in an ever more hysterical overreaction to Covid.  There seemed to be no off switch. Even when overly aggressive lockdowns in California triggered a recall election, Governor Gavin Newsom’s victory caused the politicians, pundits, and consultants to double down on Covid hysteria. Asked what his win meant for Democrats nationally, Newsom said, “We need to stiffen our spines and lean in to keeping people safe and healthy. That we shouldn’t be timid in trying to protect people’s lives and mitigate the spread and transmission of this disease. That it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also a motivating factor in this election.” 

Then came the November 2021 debacle of the Virginia governor’s race, where a heavily-funded corporate Democrat was defeated by a Republican in a blue-trending state. The same almost happened in solid blue New Jersey. Mainstream press tended to describe the 20-point swing to Republicans in Virginia as the result of racist whites afraid of critical race theory in the schools. Indeed, education was a top issue, but the Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin’s closing argument, an opinion essay for Fox News, revealed one of the most salient education issues: “Virginia’s excessive and extended school closures ravaged student advancement and well-being.” 

Across the country, the autumn of 2021 saw a rising, right-wing supported, grassroots movement against school boards; 215 school board members across the country faced recall elections – 400 percent more than in a typical year. In many, if not most, of these recall races Covid restrictions were the main issue.

By New Year’s 2022 it seemed that the Biden administration had realized the political danger of the left-liberal Covid fixation. Rochelle Walensky of the CDC suggested cutting quarantine times in half and publicly noted that deaths and hospitalizations were low relative to the increase in case numbers. Biden also told the world that there was “no federal solution” to the Covid crisis. But some key teachers’ union locals were still pushing for school closures.

During his State of the Union address Biden signaled it was time to unmask. Yet repressive mandates that were responsible for firing of tens of thousands of people – almost 3,000 public workers in New York City alone – remain in place as does left support for these repressive measures. Covid will never end, the disease is endemic and the repressive reaction to it can be turned on again when needed. But the left needs to abandon its embrace of repression in the name of Covid.

The public health response to Covid and the left’s inability to offer a critique of it have been catastrophic. Left refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the populist critique of mandates, passports, lockdowns, and censorship is alienating large swathes of the working class. Vaccination rates are not the same as approval rates for mandates. Many people get the shots only because their jobs and thus physical wellbeing are threatened. 

The Lockdown Left, being mostly members of the Professional Managerial Class generally has no idea about such things. Its members enjoyed the lockdown – telecommuting from their second homes, spending more time with the kids, getting into homemade meals. One friend praised lockdown’s new “life-work balance” and described convivial socially-distanced outdoor cocktail hours with neighbors on their sundrenched side street in Berkeley. Lost in its own foggy war against the deplorables, Lockdown Leftists are confused. They think that because they trust Fauci, most everyone else does too.  

Many working-class people have taken vaccines under duress, carry their vaccine papers because they must, and deeply resent the lockdowns, mandates, and high-handed directives from unaccountable bureaucrats like Fauci. Many people feel that their society is being destroyed. One working-class former student at my university, described being forced to take the vaccine (thanks to the union’s bullying) as feeling akin to rape. And many people in similar situations see the Democrats and The Left as responsible.

Where I live in rural New England, I know many level headed people who voted for Bernie Sanders but are now so outraged by the Covid lockdowns that they are prepared to vote Republican just to send a message. This sort of trend is not studied by pollsters but it will contribute to massive defeats at the midterm election of 2022. Signs of the coming wipeout are seen in the many Democrat politicians who are resigning rather than face re-election struggles. Even previously safe seats are being given up.

The presidential election in 2024 also looks ominous for the Democrats.  There is a real risk that reaction to Covid hysteria will help usher in a long period of ironclad minority rule by the GOP.  It is now not entirely impossible that the GOP achieves trifectas in two-thirds of the states and passes constitutional amendments to abolish the income tax; privatize Social Security, the Post Office, and public schools; gut environmental regulations; make it almost illegal to organize a union, and so on. If this comes to pass, all the social democratic left’s desideratum – protecting the environment, reducing inequality, empowering workers, ending prejudice, and increasing access to healthcare and education – will drift even further from our reach. And Covid repression, overreach, and fanaticism will be partly to blame.

Just as disturbing is the fact that populations around the globe have been conditioned to accept new and unprecedented levels of repression if it comes wrapped in bio-medical justifications. From now on, political elites and pharmaceutical profiteers will be eager to re-engage rule by pandemic.

***

Source, links, references, further info:


[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Proof Twitter censored anyone CIA & FBI told them to!

The Jimmy Dore Show   When Viktor Shokin, a former Prosecutor General of Ukraine and notable target of onetime Vice President Joe Biden, wrote a book about his experiences in office, there were powerful individuals within the U.S. Government who didn’t want people reading this book, or even becoming aware it existed. And that’s why government agents insisted Twitter censor accounts promoting Shokin’s book, along with countless others in the tsunami of demands for censorship from government agencies that were flooding into the social media company prior to the 2020 election. Guest host Aaron Maté and journalist Matt Taibbi discuss the very dangerous precedent established by this unseemly private-public censorial partnership.

January 21, 2010: The day corporate dictatorship destroyed the last remnants of US Democracy

globinfo freexchange     As we described many times in this blog, corporate power grew rapidly since the early 70s with the rise of neoliberalism and its subsequent establishment as the dominant culture, especially in the West.  In the motherland of neoliberalism, the United States, corporations essentially legalized corruption in politics during the 70s in order to capture the entire political system and put it under their complete control. As David Harvey describes in his book A Brief History of Neoliberalism :                          The supposedly ‘progressive’ campaign finance laws of 1971 in effect legalized the financial corruption of politics. A crucial set of Supreme Court decisions began in 1976 when it was first established that the right of a corporation to make unlimited money contributions to political parties and political action committees was protected under the First Amendment guaranteeing the rights of individuals (in this instance corporations) to freedom of speec

Can we save Julian Assange? Intellectuals & journalists speak out!

acTVism Munich   To close out the year, we summarize our work on the Julian Assange case by compiling excerpts of statements we recorded from Edward Snowden, Noam Chomsky, Stella Assange, Jeremy Corbyn, Glenn Greenwald, Paul Jay, Jill Stein, Nils Melzer, Chris Hedges, Tariq Ali, John Pilger, Jennifer Robinson, Srecko Horvat, and Angela Richter. We hope to continue our coverage of this case next year!  

Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges & Vijay Prashad expose NATO

acTVism Munich    

Jeremy Corbyn on freeing Julian Assange, the working class, Brazil, Peru & ending Ukraine War

Democracy Now!   In Washington, D.C., human rights and free speech advocates gather today for the Belmarsh Tribunal, focused on the imprisonment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has been languishing for close to four years in the harsh Belmarsh prison in London while appealing extradition to the United States on espionage charges. If convicted, Assange could face up to 175 years in jail for publishing documents that exposed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five major news organizations that once partnered with WikiLeaks recently called on the Biden administration to drop charges against Assange.    British MP and former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is in Washington, D.C., to participate in the Belmarsh Tribunal, speaks about Assange and freedom of the press. We also speaks about the state of leftism around the globe, from labor rights in the U.K. and Europe to the war in Ukraine, to political unrest in Brazil and Peru. 

Economists Radhika Desai & Michael Hudson explain multipolarity, decline of US hegemony

Geopolitical Economy Report   Introducing Geopolitical Economy Hour: This is the first episode of a show being hosted every two weeks by economists Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson. They present the program and discuss the rise of the multipolar world and decline of US hegemony.

Free Julian Assange: Noam Chomsky, Dan Ellsberg & Jeremy Corbyn lead call at Belmarsh Tribunal

Democracy Now!   Former British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, famed linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky and others gave testimony Friday at the Belmarsh Tribunal in Washington, D.C., calling on President Biden to drop charges against Julian Assange.    The WikiLeaks founder has been languishing for close to four years in the harsh Belmarsh prison in London while appealing extradition to the United States. If convicted in the United States, Julian Assange could face up to 175 years in jail for violating the U.S. Espionage Act for publishing documents that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Friday's event was held at the National Press Club and co-chaired by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman.   

Julian Assange and the rapid decline of liberal Democracy

by system failure We are now in 2023, and after 1362 days, Julian Assange is still in prison. If you seek something to measure the decline of liberal Democracy in our days, the Julian Assange case will help you a lot. And it's most amazing that in the era of information overflow (with plenty of means available to transfer it almost instantly in every corner of the planet), there are still many people who are unaware of the Assange case.   The origins of this deterioration go back in 1968 when the Left made a disastrous compromise with the powers of the establishment. Since the early 70s and after Nixon's shock , the cultural domination of neoliberalism paved the way for the restriction of certain types of liberties in Western societies.  The 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 became the perfect opportunity for the establishment to abolish instantly a significant portion of the civil liberties that came out of the 1968 compromise. The liberal Democracy in the West suffered a heavy

New JFK/CIA revelations & our alarmingly secretive security state

Glenn Greenwald   Allen Dulles was probably the second or third most powerful person in Washington - maybe the most powerful in 1950s - when he ran the CIA until JFK fired him in 1961 because he blamed Dulles for the failed fiasco in the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. And Dulles had every reason in the world to want to kill Kennedy, as did a lot of people in the CIA.  

China pushes de-dollarization with gold reserves, Argentina yuan currency swap deal

Advancing global de-dollarization, China’s central bank is boosting its gold reserves while signing currency swap deals in yuan with countries like Argentina, encouraging the use of renminbi instead of US dollars.   by Ben Norton  Part 4 - China uses currency swap lines to help debt-burdened countries, while advancing de-dollarization China began conducted currency swaps with Argentina back in 2009, under left-wing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Deals have been repeatedly renewed since then. But the South American nation is not the only country that has worked out a system like this with the East Asian giant. In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing’s central bank is using an “ unusual channel ”: “ currency-swap lines to support governments that borrowed heavily from Chinese banks ”. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has given hundreds of billions of dollars worth of yuan to dozens of countries in exchange for their domestic currencies, the newspaper repor