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The Virus And Its Discontents

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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933.

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Responding to calls for panic from the usual suspects, our old friend Dr. Angelo Codevilla channels Machiavelli. “Whoever controls the people’s fears becomes master of their souls,” said power’s most able advocate. A century later, Thomas Hobbes upped the ante. A people obsessed with fear of an untimely death must surrender all their rights to an all-powerful Leviathan, who would then protect them — maybe.
A people afraid? Maybe somebody else, but not us, right? Not even with the Wuhan Virus breathing down our necks? Well, some thirty years ago Russell Kirk argued that a freedom-loving people, if forced to choose between chaos and security, would always opt for security. “Great nations have ended in slime,” he wryly observed to a crescendo of applause.
So, returning to those fomenting “fear itself,” Codevilla zeroes in: “Why then do so many in high places advocate this global shutdown so vehemently? And does the question answer itself?”
Codevilla is a longtime critic of the elites. In “America’s Ruling Class,” a groundbreaking essay written ten years ago, he described the fundamental battle between the elites and their inferiors, whom he called the “Country Party” (comprising those whom Hillary Clinton helpfully branded the “Deplorables”). And, speaking of the Ruling Class and its role in the Wuhan Virus crisis, he asks, “Why then do so many in high places advocate this global shutdown so vehemently? And does the question answer itself?
“The shutdown . . . does not hurt everyone,” Codevilla continues. “For government employees, for most people in the media and for professionals it is more like a paid vacation than anything else. . . . Big businesses, like big government, will be largely unaffected. But for much of the rest of Americans, the shutdown is sure to be a disaster that no one has begun to think about undoing.”

Masses “Not Essential,”
Abortion “Essential”

In recent days that disaster has become increasingly visible. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam has issued Executive Order Number 55 banning any gathering of over ten people. A random assortment of establishments can stay open — grocery stores but not restaurants, doctor’s offices but not dentists, liquor stores but not churches. And of course, for Governor Infanticide, abortuaries are “essential,” no matter how many people are packed in at close quarters, no matter how slovenly the hygiene.
Prompted by Codevilla’s raised eyebrow, we note that Northam’s edict lasts until June tenth. It’s only by chance, of course, that the Republican primary for national Senate and House seats was to have taken place on June ninth. Elections are “unessential”? “Nothing personal,” I’m sure, Governor Blackface.
Well, it is personal. For years, the pro-abortion Left has been at war with Donald Trump. The wiretapping, the Dossier, “Russia,” Mueller, Kavanaugh, impeachment — they all failed. But what were skirmishes have now become an all-out war, in which the “mainstream media” have played a critical role
In the 60s, Walter Cronkite would play “actualities” — that is, videos of politicians speaking their own words. These excerpts would often last for 30 or 40 seconds. In other words, viewers were allowed to hear the elected officials speak for themselves. In recent years, those actualities have averaged only a few seconds in length. The “commentator” then takes over and provides the required “spin.”
Today, when it comes to the daily briefings of the White House Wuhan Virus Task Force, the media have decided that it is too dangerous for their viewers to see them at all. Instead, the talking heads take charge, launching a ceaseless barrage of attacks on Trump and calling it news.
Curiously, the media have also become big fans of the Chinese Communists. Is that in spite of, or because of, the CCP’s forced abortion policies, bulldozed churches, and reeducation camps? Does the American Left really want Bernie Sanders’ revolution now?

Will The Scandals Never Cease?

“The outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has impacted the lives of hundreds of millions around the world, and is spreading here in the United States,” wrote Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, on March 13.
But just two weeks later, commenting on Congress’ $2.2 trillion bailout legislation, Archbishop Coakley lamented that “relief was not extended to the undocumented, and extremely concerning that testing and access to health care coverage was denied to certain immigrants.”
To borrow Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson’s memorable phrase, this “obdurate performance” seals our shepherds’ dismal fate.
They are simply not going to apologize.
“Apologize for opposing racism and bigotry,” they might say?
No, apologize for their longstanding demand that millions of illegals should be allowed into the country without being screened by competent health personnel at the border.
Will the Wuhan Virus finally convince bishops that their open borders policy has been a disaster? The rest of the country sure knows. And they don’t?
Curious: Bishops nationwide prevent us from going to Mass because we might catch the Wuhan Virus. But for years they have turned a blind eye while uncounted millions of illegals have brought tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, and mumps back to the U.S., where they had been eradicated for decades. One wonders why.
Obvious: Voluntary donations to the bishops had dived long before the Wuhan Virus shutdown. That’s why the USCCB’s need for federal government funding is more desperate than ever. We know now that only ten percent of Peter’s Pence collections goes to the poor: The rest goes to the Church’s bureaucracies. And we know now that the CRS collection pays thousands of bureaucrats, lawyers, and lobbyists. How much actually goes to the “poor and forgotten”? The USCCB will not divulge the financial details.
What scandal will come next?

The Unknown Future Awaits

The Wuhan Virus crisis will clearly inaugurate a period of change. Politically, the Left wants to use it to pass the Sanders-Warren socialist platform without an election. That will be much easier, alas, when the nation’s economy is brought to its knees.
But the American Church faces tougher times as well. The virus identified by The Wanderer thirty years ago has now ripened to infect a majority of the hierarchy. Our bishops entered the year severely weakened by scandals involving abuse, financial corruption, and countless lawsuits that have bankrupted diocese after diocese.
In spite of twenty years of saying “it’s behind us,” the worst is yet to come. It will last a lot longer than the Wuhan Virus. Catholics have watched their shepherds react to a worldwide crisis, and they will draw their own conclusions.
Whatever comes to pass, it is clear that things will not be what they were. Only God knows the future, but for our Church and for our bishops, all the momentum is going the wrong way.
Just one more thing. It’s increasingly likely that “Catholic Joe Biden” won’t be the Democrat nominee. Even under the most controlled circumstances, he lapses into incoherence. He also has a serious “me too” sexual assault allegation to answer. It deals with an allegation of a rather aggravated sexual assault, much stronger and more strongly supported than the flimsy concoction lodged by Democrats against Judge Kavanaugh.
The feminists aren’t the only ones who won’t let him off the hook. The media can’t cover up for him until November, and he can’t hide in his Delaware basement quarantine for seven months, either.
May God help us through these troubled times.

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