by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Thomas Buckley writes for Issues and Insights about interesting developments in the COVID-19 story.
When it comes to all things COVID, it seems as if the worm is turning.
The past few weeks have seen the release of a “gold standard” report essentially saying the mask mandates did nothing, a pair of government agencies now say the “lab leak” hypothesis is most likely the correct COVID origin story, the “Twitter Files” are forcing society to look at the reality of government-induced censorship, and the legacy media is actually starting to run stories that maybe – just maybe – the whole lockdown thing may have been a teensy bit misguided.
In other words, everything that got people banned from social media and polite society last year is no longer misdisconspirafomation but are reasonable arguments that should be discussed rationally.
And that is very good; at least it’s a start.
But the past three years have taught those paying attention to look beyond public pronouncements and to ask “why the change?” and “why now?”
Why the change is relatively simple and a bit heartening: lies cannot live forever, especially when those being lied to stop believing. Homer Simpson made an excellent point when he said “It takes two to lie – one to lie and one to listen.”
But the “why now?” is more complicated and, as everything else is today, politically motivated.
It is because we are right now in a political “dead zone.” Any action even vaguely controversial – or making a policy flip-flop of unimaginable proportions like the current COVID “softening” – is almost always dealt with earlier in an election year or, if possible, handled in a year without an election. This creates distance between when the publicly problematic decision and/or “change of heart” is made and when the public can vote people out of office.