It's Time to Reopen the Republic
Man is by nature a social and creative being. Work is a central aspect of a good life. Because of the lockdowns, millions now find themselves unemployed and socially isolated. In most circumstances, it is not in the common good of the society to prohibit something so central to the lives of the people. During the initial spread of the virus, it was prudent to temporarily lockdown society as a safety precaution. News of overwhelmed hospitals in Italy and China gave good reason for caution. If millions upon millions were going to die, it would be in the common good of society for the government to create some policies to reduce deaths.
Slogans like “15 days to slow the spread” and “Flatten the curve” had wide public support. This original response to the pandemic was a sensible policy. These slogans embodied the proper American response to this new threat. A precaution against societal chaos and mass death. Protect hospitals from overflowing while waiting for more empirical data.
Against the wishes of many experts and the media, Trump did not declare a national shutdown. Instead, he maintained proper constitutional order. States, which possess police powers, had the constitutional authority to institute lockdowns in times of national emergency.
15 days to slow the spread soon turned into 45 days to slow the spread as new models predicted that millions of Americans could die. Now, over two months later from the initial shutdowns, many communities are still locked down. However, during this prolonged shutdown it has become increasingly clear that the original fatality predictions were significantly overblown. The infamous Imperial College model predicted that upwards of 2.2 million Americans could die.
At the time of this writing, about 100,000 Americans have succumbed to the virus. Although 100,000 deaths alone are a tragedy, it is a far cry from the millions of deaths predicted by the experts. About a third of all deaths come from just two states, New York and New Jersey. Likewise, a third of all coronavirus deaths come from nursing homes. Meanwhile, hospitals have not been overwhelmed.
While many states have begun to reopen, some governors, drunk with power and trapped in their self-constructed ideologies, have suppressed their citizens instead of releasing them. Over time, Democrat governors created a new deal that fundamentally changed the purpose of the lockdowns. This new deal included new slogans like “if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy” from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The purpose of the lockdowns transitioned away from avoiding overwhelming hospitals and towards ideologies of reducing the spread altogether until a vaccine is available, regardless of the economic impact. This completely ignores that the economy is made of people and that work is a necessary component of life and society. The new deal neglects to factor in the economic and social consequences of prolonged lockdowns.
Throughout the pandemic, President Trump has been a voice of optimism and strength. Trump understands the importance of public image and has refused to be seen wearing a mask, much to the fury of the press. Declining to wear a mask is a much-needed display of normalcy.
As the media attempts to induce panic throughout the nation, Trump has remained calm. He, more than any other politician or the media, has shown American strength. The President sought the opinion of experts but refused to let them dictate national policy. The people’s representatives run the nation, not the experts. The goal of the lockdowns was to prevent an overwhelming of the healthcare system. Trump remembers that purpose and his rhetoric reflects that. Recently, as many states continue to block churches from reopening, Trump has called for states to begin treating Churches as essential. Instead of seeing this crisis as an opportunity to grab power and expand the federal government, Trump has adhered to the constitution and federalism.
The genius of the founders is reflected in this pandemic. Instead of uniform national regulations, states and local communities have power over local lockdown policy. This allows communities to evaluate for themselves the level of danger and respond accordingly. New York should not have the same lockdown policies as Texas. People know how to run their community better than the President or experts in Washington DC.
Governors should remember the original purpose of the lockdowns. The healthcare system is not and has not been overwhelmed. It’s time to reopen the Republic. It’s time to release the American imagination.