COVID’s Dirty Secret: Our elites have no idea what they’re doing
US President-elect Joe Biden puts on his face mask as he announces key candidates for his business and jobs team at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware on January 8, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson spent his entire adult life as Winston Churchill but is almost certain to go down next Anthony Eden: a talented, ambitious politician who got exactly what he wanted, but at the worst possible time.
Poor BoJo. It should be that easy! All he had to do was end Brexit. Then he could be courting his old journalists in a pub on Fleet Street for the next ten years. He grabbed his crotch and shouted, “Here’s an exclusive from number 10 guys!” while a chorus of hacks The sun laughed silly. It would have been lovely.
Instead, the Prime Minister’s press team combats rumors that he is occasionally napping.
The mood is basically the same. Mr. Johnson – the first Prime Minister to openly keep a mistress at 10 Downing Street, whose Wikipedia page claims he had “at least six” children with as many wives – wants everyone to know he is still one the boy is. It can boot and restart with the best.
Boris Johnson is like most politicians: he loves everything about government, except governing. He’s there for the private planes, the fancy dinners, and the endless armies of flatterers who line up to kiss his bum. It reminds you of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the dictator of Turkmenistan, who spent his entire reign making horrific music videos with his grandson, and who built an entire city out of marble just because of the strange aesthetics.
That said, Mr. Johnson is not what bullies are made of. Whatever you think of UK anti-COVID regulations, they’re not his idea of a good time. In the UK as a whole, no one has suffered more personal lives than Mr Johnson’s.
What drives the draconian politics of his government? Let’s ask him.
Back in November, Mr Johnson asked Parliament to support a new nationwide lockdown ordinance. It would have ruined (and indeed did did Ruin) Christmas for millions upon millions of Britons – including Mr. Johnson. But as he explained to his colleagues, “Given these recent figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at national level … and I reject any suggestion that we take action more slowly than our European friends and partners. ”
There you have it.
Of course there was an alternative. The alternative has been to accept that the COVID pandemic may – just maybe – be beyond the control of our governments. It takes years for scientists to fully understand how a novel virus works (and that assumes it doesn’t keep mutating like COVID did). Sure enough, “experts” have been waffling about the best public policy response to the coronavirus. Herd immunity or bans? Masks or no masks?
Don’t get me wrong: when it comes to COVID, I’m a big brain centrist. If wearing a mask helps stop the spread, I’ll wear a mask. I don’t really care. My point is simply this: in the past, statesmen like Mr. Johnson would have responded very differently to a virus pandemic. He – a Priap newspaper columnist who once promised that “choosing Tory will result in your wife having bigger breasts and increasing your chances of owning a BMW” – would not have felt personally responsible for eradicating COVID-19 .
What has changed? Not our politicians. If anything, Mr Johnson is a living rebuke to those who believe the global elite is using this pandemic to gain greater control over public life. BoJo doesn’t want to rule Britain. he doesn’t even want to rule himself
The difference is that we are human Demanding that they rule us with an iron fist.
Mr Johnson knows that if he is re-elected in 2024 he will be personally held responsible for the UK’s COVID death toll. Its constituents are not going to blame their hospitals, virologists, drug companies, or public health services – people who, you know, have real expertise on the matter. They won’t change doctors, but they can change governments. Because the British think their government is all-powerful – or at least it should be. Like everyone else in the developed world, they believe that their politicians should be able to solve all problems in life to the death.
I cannot stress enough that I am completely agnostic about COVID. I have no idea what’s going on. But nobody else either. Nobody was angry or even surprised that it took Pfizer and Moderna almost a year to develop their COVID vaccines. And no one will blame them if the virus mutates too quickly for their vaccines to work. In summary, we understand that these are infinitely complicated technical questions with a hundred thousand moving parts. However, we expected the government’s response to be 100 percent efficient from day one.
Heaven knows I am not asking anyone to be kinder to our elected officials. On the contrary: I hope that we will all get a lot tougher. We have set these absurdly high expectations that they may not be able to meet. However, if they want to win re-election they have to try. And so they resort to increasingly extreme regulations. Eventually, the government will ban breathing in public and most of our compatriots will shout, “It is time!”
I know this is immensely frustrating for the anti-maskers and COVID truth-makers among you. Believe me, we’d all rather blame a cabal of powerful bureaucrats and financiers. At least that would mean someone is in control. It would also mean that there are simple answers to the pandemic, even if those answers are hidden from the public.
However, this is the fundamental deception underlying every conspiracy theory, from the moon landing to September 11th, from QAnon to COVID. It is the myth of the competent elite. The truth is much simpler and much more depressing at the same time: our masters have no idea what they are doing. You never have, and probably never will.
Our own government has tried and failed to occupy Afghanistan for 20 years. It can’t even level the streets. How does anyone seriously believe it could orchestrate a global pandemic?
My anarcho-monarchist colleague J.R.R. Tolkien put it very well I think:
If we could go back to personal names it would do a lot of good. Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be punishable to write it with an uppercase G or something to refer to people. If people had the habit of referring to “King George’s Council, Winston and his gang” it would go a long way in clearing up thoughts and reducing the terrible landslide into the Theyocracy.
As the Gipper once said, “The nine most terrible words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” But certainly the nine most ridiculous would be, “I’m from Donald Trump …”
That would be all right and good if it only meant that once the pandemic is over, we will all see our elites for what they are: moronic, selfish bastards. I doubt that will happen. But I’m pretty sure they’ll spend the rest of the pandemic digging deeper and deeper holes for themselves.
Here is an example from this side of the pond. The cornerstone of Joe Biden’s campaign was his complaint that Mr. Trump had not taken COVID seriously enough. He had been too careless about bans and mask mandates, botched the vaccine rollout, etc., etc. Mr Biden promised that if he was elected, “the adults would take back command”. You would “believe the science. “He even promised to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office.
Well, Mr. Biden is about to have a rude awakening. The day after he was made president, a reporter asked him if there were 1 million vaccines in 100 days ambitious enough. “Come on man, give me a break,” Mr. Biden whined. “It’s a good start.”
No Sorry Joe. Nobody gets a break in politics. There is no such thing as a “good start” in government. You’re our papa-in-chief now. It’s your job to keep all of the little manbabies you’ve chosen safe and warm. Don’t leave a boo-boo unkissed or a blanket open. Otherwise, your voters will turn you on in a hot second.
Mr. Biden quickly raised the stake. “With the grace of God we will be able to bring that to 1.5 million a day,” he announced in his first official press release. At the time of writing, reporters had not fully consulted their Ouija boards to determine if 1.5 million is a more acceptable amount.
One thing is certain: Mr Biden, like every other president before him, will soon realize that he has been charged with an impossible task: effectively governing the American people. And in 2024, Mr. Trump will be back to rub his failure in the face. If he does that, let him remember that no one forced him to run for president. He asked for it.
And I’m sure he’ll just be stupid enough to ask for a second term. If the bans and mask mandates are not over by then, Mr. Trump advises the country: “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life” – could appeal to more voters. As for all remaining manbabies, them will check Mr. Biden’s file and her will find it want. “Come on man, give me a break, it’s a good start” won’t change it.
I wish you well, Mr President, as all patriotic Americans should do. I hope you succeed beyond Jake Tapper’s wildest fantasies. You will surely be in my prayers. Let me give you one final piece of advice: Donald Trump will invite you to his second inauguration, but no one will blame you if you stay home.
Michael Warren Davis is the author of the upcoming book The reactionary spirit (Regnery, 2021).