by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In 2020, nearly every American in the world had to endure a month or more of shelter-in-place orders depending on where he lived. In states like New York and California, oppressive policies lasted for months after the literal lockdown ended. In Ireland and other parts of Europe, lockdowns have just tentatively begun to end. In Australia, they’re still ongoing.
Through it all, people, businesses, and communities were destroyed because some public health “experts” were dead-certain this was needed to save lives. The predictable irony is they weren’t saving lives at all — just making you miserable and poorer in return for nothing.
The past year should be a humbling experience for humanity, or at least our leaders. We were faced with a problem that didn’t come with an answer at the back of the book, and we flunked it.
Why did we fail? The answer is a vice the ancient Greeks understood well: Hubris. Our leaders believed that nature could be controlled from a government office, and that humanity could be micromanaged like a particularly large game of “SimCity.” …
… In the end, we didn’t crush the virus, but we did crush a lot of ordinary people.
Over our history, we’ve gotten pretty used to this kind of hubris. It’s the arrogance that believes common sense and time-tested policies can be thrown out as leaders chase utopias. It’s the arrogance that makes men think they can shape the economy and tax and spend without inflation. …
… It’s the arrogance that causes people every generation to decide they won’t be held back by dusty old wisdom and tradition, and it’s the arrogance we see playing out every day on our city’s streets, where violent crimes threaten citizens’ lives and property.