Monday, March 30, 2020

Me As The Voice Of Moderation?

We dwell in a world of extremes. Everything is the most extreme thing that has ever happened. We give names to mild winter weather systems. Every political action is EXACTLY LIKE THE NAZIS! Referring to a biological male using traditional male pronouns is basically like setting them on fire. There is no nuance or even simple common sense.

To be honest, I like living on the extremes. I am considered an extremist on many issues and I am OK with that. As Barry Goldwater famously said: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.". The positions I take a stand on are (generally) important and something that is important is deserving of passion. For example, I believe strongly that the right to self-defense and self-determination are inherent, natural rights and that the Second Amendment recognizes those already extant rights and prohibits the Federal government from infringing on those rights. Any infringement on those rights are a violation of a fundamental right of humanity and as such deserve to be opposed and those pushing for such infringements are seeking to impose an inhuman restriction on me as a free man. Therefore I have absolutely no tolerance for those people and what could be described as hatred for them. That sounds extreme and I make no apologies for that.

When it comes to a pandemic? That is different than me being a jerk on social media because the decisions, one way or the other, are going to cost lives and inflict suffering on people.

It seems to me, as a layman, that there is a middle ground between "It's just the flu" and "this is the end of humanity if we don't lock the entire population indoors for six months". Maybe we can recognize it is a serious illness that warrants a significant response and reasonable precautions on the one hand but perhaps does not rise to the level of a worldwide shutdown of the global economy on the other.

I am not an acolyte of Our Lord And Savior GDP but I also realize that people need to work so they can afford to pay rent/mortgages, buy food and simply have above-subsistence level existences. 350 million people can't stay indoors forever months on end with nothing to do but binge watch crappy TV shows. Many businesses won't survive the shutdown and just won't reopen when this finally abates.

However this is a serious disease and it impacts our elderly disproportionately so it might be worth considering reasonable steps to take to minimize the impact on the most vulnerable populations. The people most vulnerable are generally not working due to age or health so they can reasonably be self-quarantined. Maybe we can wear masks in public places like grocery stores. Perhaps there are tangible steps we can take other than locking down the entire population?

Our political "leaders" don't want to be the one who didn't do enough to combat the Wuhan flu so they are generally one-upping each other when it comes to the response they are advocating, many blaming Trump for people dying even though they were the ones telling people to go about their lives, go see movies, attend festivals, etc. (Schumer. Pelosi, De Blasio, looking at you). This post from John Wilder, Another Way Politics Messes Things Up, Complete With A Bikini Picture, is a great look at why politics is useless for serious issues like this. Generally speaking, politicians are not serious people and most of them suffer from a cornucopia of mental illnesses from narcissism to being borderline sociopaths.

I am sure it is way too late for this, but maybe some of us can try to use a little common sense and find a path forward that doesn't involve licking public toilet seats or welding Americans in their homes for 9 months?

Just a thought.

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