When Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before,” one could get a sense of Democrat thinking… exploit the pain and suffering of the American people for ideological purposes and political gain. That was 2008, in the midst of the Great Recession and the beginning of the Obama administration. In 2020, the must-exploit crisis was the Covid pandemic. The predicament was different, but the playbook was the same – leverage the anguish of the public, manipulate the reality of the situation, encourage doubt in the effectiveness of limited government, and promote a massive increase in government spending and growth in the size of the federal government.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is a quote first attributed to Winston Churchill as he approached the Yalta Conference toward the end of World War II. The value in the wisdom of the words are immense – look for the opportunities presented by the crisis and use the crisis as an engine of improvement. However, when Emanuel says, “…it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before,” it is a statement of opportunism, and an opening to promote an ideological agenda. President Obama used the Great Recession as the impetus to pass a massive stimulus spending package, nearing $1 trillion, and strangle the American economy with a massive regulatory burden. The woke liberal leadership today is using the Covid pandemic to similarly push an economic agenda that would never have been acceptable in the past, and probably wouldn’t even today if the public had not been continuously misled by the mainstream media and Democrat leadership.
In April of 2020, in the early period of America’s fight against Covid-19, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared his affinity for crisis exploitation, “There is opportunity for reimagining a progressive era as it pertains to capitalism, a new progressive era and opportunity for additional progressive steps… So yes, absolutely, we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.” With this open admission of the left’s strategy to use the pandemic to curb individual liberties, expand the role of government in the lives of the American people, and irresponsibly spend taxpayer money on leftist wish list policies, is there any reason the American people should not rise up against this oppression? If it takes a crisis of almost unimaginable magnitude for people to surrender to certain policies, we should grasp the reality that they are probably not good policies. Desperation can bring about poor decisions, made unwittingly under the weight of false narratives and misleading data. If it is only utter desperation that gives rise to the acceptance of policies - much as 9/11 led to Americans accepting infringements on their individual liberty, the Great Recession led to explosive increases in the national debt, and the Covid-19 pandemic led to government oppression of constitutional rights – we must beware the manipulations of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The Democrat party, especially when dominated by prevailing leftist machinations, has been exploiting the miseries of the American people for centuries. The party of the woke racial renaissance, during its extremely racist past, regularly used false accusations against black men to engender hatred of the entire race and reprisals against entire communities of black Americans. President Franklin Roosevelt used the Great Depression to establish the modern American liberal welfare state, turning away from the limited government prescribed by the Constitution upon the desires of the founders, and under the cover of economic calamity instituted a massive government bureaucracy that now hinders rather than secures the rights of the people. President Lyndon Johnson exploited outrage over the Gulf of Tonkin incident to deploy the U.S. military in Vietnam and escalate the conflict. Republicans have also been guilty of exploiting crises for political gain; this is not a partisan strategy. However, with Democrats, crisis exploitation always involves the expansion of government power at the expense of individual liberty.
The Covid-19 pandemic, a plague knowingly unleashed upon the world by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was only the latest opportunity for the left to grow government and shrink the individual. Under the guise of public safety, state and local governments have enacted sometimes oppressive measures. Mask mandates, full or partial lockdowns, travel restrictions… some measures may have been acceptable, or even necessary, for a time, but what about now? The government basically declared emergency powers to battle the pandemic - forcing businesses to close, limiting individuals’ rights to free assembly, restricting movement, censoring speech it deemed subversive to its overreach. Yet, now with hundreds of millions of vaccinations, hospitals no longer burdened by severe Covid-19 illness, and fewer and fewer deaths, why does the government continue to hang on to these emergency powers? Why do certain states continue to mandate masks for those who are vaccinated? Why are there still limits on restaurant capacity in many localities? Why is the president continuing to act as though he has the power to keep families from celebrating the Fourth of July together? The answer might not be clear to everyone, but it doesn’t seem too much of a reach to assert that the left has simply been following Rahm Emanuel’s playbook and fulfilling the vision that most liberal socialists share with Gavin Newsom. Covid-19 was not just a crisis in which the government had to protect the American people, but also an opportunity, as Newsom declared, for taking “additional progressive steps” and “reimagining a progressive era.” It is not about the well-being of the American public, but about the propagation of socialist policies, profoundly altering the American system of capitalism, reshaping the Constitution to empower government and disempower citizens, and fundamentally transforming American society. The pandemic was a convenient excuse to push their destructive anti-American policies on the desperate American people, the people who were made desperate by the repeated lies, distortions, and misrepresentations of Democrat leaders and their allies in the press. Emergency powers are effortlessly distributed, but difficult to rein in. They live on as new legislation and regulations and provide precedent for future incursions on the rights of citizens.
In 1964, Ronald Reagan framed the presidential election as a proverbial fork in the road, questioning, “Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.” Today, we stand in that same place, asking the same question Reagan asked almost 60 years ago, with the same choices to make – self-determination versus dependence, freedom versus oppression, individual rights versus government power. The “reimagination” of the American republic that Newsom so heartily declared is much more a transformation from a republic anchored in the principles of the American Revolution to a state devoted to the doctrines of Karl Marx. The pandemic provided the leftist counterrevolutionaries with the opportunity to fundamentally alter the balance of power between the people and the government. Covid has temporarily distorted the dynamics in American politics, with the misled public allowing infringements on their constitutional rights, expanded governmental powers, and a striking move from individualism to conformity. The government will continue to grow, and the individual will continue to shrink; independent thinking will continue to fade into oblivion as indoctrination takes its place; individual rights will continue to be replaced with government mandates… What kind of America will we leave our children and grandchildren if we do not stand up to the liberal reimagination of our American future? Ben Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." If the American people allow the leftists to continue to expand government powers and magnify its control over our lives in the name of safety, then we are dooming ourselves to an ignominious fate, and deserving of the future we allow them to create… An oppressive socialist state where the freest republic in the history of the world once stood. Reagan warned, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” We are that generation. Future generations will only be free if we rise to the challenge today, exterminate liberal socialism, and “reimagine” a new republic even more attuned to the founding principles. We have survived the plague of opportunity, but we now must determine if the diagnosis was accurate, and if the cure was actually worse than the disease.