While the coronavirus has been certainly a matter of some concern, I still believe that the reaction to it was disproportionate to its dangers, and that restrictions imposed upon the economic life of the country have been devastating.
As I said in my last post, there is always a proportion involved between the preventable deaths of the citizens and the common good of society. I mentioned the 40,000 people who perished on the roads last year, which deaths were easily preventable, but which were tolerated in view of the common good of the economy. Likewise, if the country were to be placed on a lockdown every winter for three months, we could prevent very many of the 30,000 or so deaths that occur every year from the common flu. We tolerate these deaths, however, so that the country can carry on its daily business. There are many other examples that could be given.
In addition, there is substantial doubt that the virus is as deadly as it seems. The University of Stanford in California (the equivalent of Harvard in the West) did a study in Santa Clara County (San Jose area) and discovered that the number of infections was anywhere from 50% to 85% more than the reported number. If this is true, and if Santa Clara County is representative of the rest of the country, it means that the mortality rate is far lower than reported, that is, about one tenth of one percent of those who contract the disease. This mortality rate is not worse than the common flu. Dr. Birx said, as well, that many people are being listed as dying from coronavirus, who are in fact dying only with coronavirus. In other words, there are so many underlying conditions in the patient that the coronavirus becomes merely an occasional cause of death, but not the real cause of death. By analogy, if a strong wind blows down an abandoned barn, the real cause of the demise of the barn is the weakness caused by neglect, for the wind could never take the barn down if it had been maintained.
This virus will pass, and so will the panic, but what will not pass is the death of personal freedoms which took place in this panic. Gradually the most fundamental freedoms of individuals, their freedom to work, to move around, to congregate, to go to church, even to visit friends and relatives, were stripped from the population. By what authority? No justification was ever given for this suppression of basic freedoms. No documents of empowerment were ever produced.
In Michigan, for example, the leftist and Stalin-like governess forbade the citizens from traveling to their properties in the north. Their own properties! They were forbidden to leave the state by land. I know of a case of a parishioner who tried three times to drive to Ohio, but who was turned away by the Michigan police.
The essence of the American way of life is that government exists for its citizens, and that it must respect their fundamental freedoms. It also pertains to the essence of America that the powers of government are clearly limited and defined, so that, precisely, no one can have dictatorial powers.
These limitations and definitions were enacted in response to absolutism, both on the part of kings and of parliaments, which was the result not of Catholic but of protestant principles of authority. By removing the authority of the Church in society, and handing it over to the monarch, or worse to a parliament, the Protestants made the State the all-powerful and all-embracing authority. The American Constitution was the antidote to absolutism, and overall it succeeded in preserving a way of life in the United States which is unlike that of any other country, which way of life is responsible for its prosperity and stability as a nation.
Unfortunately, the good motives of limiting and defining the government were overshadowed by false principles of the Enlightenment. Consequently, the idea of the separation of powers was inserted into the Constitution, a concoction of the liberal free-thinker Montesquieu, which makes no sense at all. In recent decades we have seen turmoil among the three branches of government, and the usurpation of legislative powers by the Supreme Court, perhaps the worst of all the abuses. Nor did the Founding Fathers foresee the development of political parties (a horror in the eyes of George Washington) and particularly did not foresee the deterioration of the parties into a two-party system. Worst of all, however, the Constitution introduced the leftist (at the time) principles of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Freedom of religion, in particular, created a government which had no moral compass whatsoever. The Constitution does not even guarantee the observance of the natural law. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press have given rise to the modern mantra of the media, which control the politics of this country. These are fatal flaws.
I fear that the dictatorial and tyrannical rule that has been exercised by the federal government and the state governments will set a very bad precedent in the future. In my opinion, constitutional amendments must be passed which would limit and define what a national emergency is, who may declare it and under what circumstances, and what powers the government has in imposing suspension or limitation of the freedoms of the American citizens, if any.
If such legislation is not enacted, I fear that life in the United States, as we have known it for the past 244 years, will change radically for the worse, and that the “stalinization” of daily lives will be gradually set in place.