Viral videos out of China this week paint a vivid portrait of what happens when insane authoritarian policies are not met with sufficient political opposition and civic power.
In one video shared by Economist correspondent Alice Su, a government drone appears in the sky with this message: “Please comply with COVID restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.”
In another video, an exasperated citizen paces a sidewalk while unleashing at a city official on the other end of his phone:
“You are driving people to death! My parents are locked up by you for two months! How did they live for these two months?! My grandmother lives alone, nobody takes care of her. You locked us up. What does she drink? What does she eat? You are driving someone to death! F*** you! Shanghai city government, are they human? Driving ordinary people to revolt. There is no way for me to live! I have no more money! Every day my business is shut, but my employees need to eat! In two days, my mortgage is due. What do I do? I don’t care anymore. Just let the Communist Party take me! Where is the Communist Party? Where is communism? You bastards! What about the ordinary people? Where is the promised April 5 end of lockdown? The government is lying! Do you understand? How can ordinary people live?! How can anybody live like this?”
I always thought that kind of thing could never happen here. But it did.
Two years ago this month, our local mayors were busy devising a way to unwind the “Safer at Home” orders that had been implemented in March 2020, allowing only “essential” employees and companies to travel and work:
The safer-at-home order directs all residents to stay inside their homes and limit all movement outside beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.
Their “Back to Business framework” was a phased approach, with the severity of restrictions supposedly tied to objective COVID-19 metrics.
In practice, no authority adhered to objective numbers, the rules kept changing (remember the tripwires?), and the process was entirely subjective. The rulemaking process was closed to public review and input. The county’s legislative body had no authority to direct the county health department, and its members could not even access the “task force” led by its enlightened, unelected elites.
Also, the strategy didn’t work. Other than that, it was great.
These failed restrictions are still embraced by many, to one degree or another, even beyond their communist place of origin.
It is vital for the American way of life, our freedom and our economy, that we completely close the door on that mode of operation, and that we pour shame on anyone who allowed it to continue into 2022.
And while we’re getting “back to business,” we should also follow the example of the freedom-loving individuals creating alternatives to (the Daily Wire), or taking over (Elon Musk), the woke corporations that help government spread propaganda and censor opposition.
We have been through too much these past few years to sit on the sidelines. It’s time to speak up. Unleash your soul’s desire for freedom.