To paraphrase a former White House chief of staff, “Never let a pandemic go to waste.”
Ex-President Barack Obama’s top policy enforcer offered his glint of wisdom at the height of the 2008 economic catastrophe that the U.S. is still digging out of today.
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel said shortly after Mr. Obama was swept into office on rosy, glowing promises of “hope” and “change.”
Often left off is the second part of his quote.
“And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before,” the budding Machiavelli explained.
In other words, victims be damned. Never waste a good crisis that can be exploited to ram through all sorts of dangerous and unpopular public policies that could never be enacted in the plain, calm light of day.
Treat every crisis the way they treat school shootings, which for them are merely opportunities to round up the lawful guns of law-abiding innocent taxpayers.
This evil theorem is not to be confused with finding the silver-lining in all things, good or bad.
A great silver lining to the present Chinese pandemic, for example, is that all these quarantines and “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” means we get to spend huge amounts of unexpected new time with our families.
Children are home from school. Sports are canceled. College students have vacated campuses. And young people have fled the big cities where they work.
Trying times, to be sure. But also: How awesome is it to suddenly have all your kids back home bickering around the table like they are all still in grade school? You actually appreciate it in ways you failed to the first time around.
Another silver lining, for example, is that Americans who have for whatever reason failed to get properly armed are going back to gun stores in droves. Any excuse to harden home defenses is a good excuse.
Of course, the central planners like Rahm Emanuel and his political minions see these long lines at gun stores as a terrifying turn. But then again, they don’t think much of American self-governance in the first place.
There are other ways as well that we as a country must take full advantage of the Wuhan flu crisis. If nothing else, it has laid bare just how dangerous and deceitful an enemy the communist regime in China really is.
They lie about everything. They make people disappear to cover up anything embarrassing. They spark wild conspiracies to muddle the truth about what actually caused this Chinese pandemic.
Far more concerning is how deeply dependent American politicians have allowed our country to become on China.
After decades of appeasement, America sits hostage to China for so much manufacturing of vital goods, including the very types of drugs required to protect American citizens from the crazy infectious diseases that spring from China’s dirty “wet markets” and wildlife trade.
Hopefully, this current Chinese infection passes in short order and Americans can get back to their normal, healthy lives.
But it is just as important that in the months and years to come, American politicians remember: This crisis has clearly shown how critical it is for us as a country to break our dependence on such a dishonest and dishonorable enemy.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com or @charleshurt on Twitter.
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