Using the pandemic for political advantage

I’m seeing an emerging understanding, a deliberate coming together to harness the coronavirus pandemic to the advantage of left-wing, progressive politics at any cost, no matter what lies and deceptions have to be perpetrated to do so.  There seems to be an attitude of, as Rahm Emanuel put it in 2008, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”  We saw that on very blatant display in Nancy Pelosi’s recent porkulus aid bill, which was fortunately swamped by the weight of very pronounced public opinion;  but that was just the start.  She’s already talking about inserting precisely the same left-wing priorities, and even more, in the next relief bill.

David Foster ponders the problem.

… for many politicians and journalists, the well-being of America and of Americans doesn’t seem to enter into the equation at all compared with the search for political advantage.

The obsession with political power, and with the denunciation of opponents, is not today limited to politicians, journalists, and ‘activists’…it has spread to a large proportion of the population.  Millions of Americans, it seems, are in a state of visceral rage against not only Trump, but against any and all of his supporters.  There is no activity, of any sort, that is safe from volcanic overflowings of political rage…not even knitting, as strange as that may seem.

It often seems impossible to find any point of entry for an attempt to get Progs to reconsider their beliefs, in however small a way.

. . .

In attempting to debate with “progressives,” one often encounters … closed-system thinking:  there is absolutely no way you are going to change their minds, whatever the evidence or logic.  (I don’t think this is true of all “progressives”–otherwise the situation in America today would be even more grim than it actually is–but it’s true of a lot of them.)

But today’s Progressivism is not a coherent intellectual system with definable axioms like Marxism or a Christian theology; it seems much more a cluster of emotional reactions.

Certain Progs have gone so far out on the limb that there seems no hope they could ever come back … What I see is more people who are so completely aligned with their ‘side’, that they view events largely through the light of how they can be interpreted to support that side.  These are often people who were not particularly interested in politics or political philosophy prior to recent years.

There’s more at the link.

A classic example of this closed-minded approach may be found in an op-ed by the founding editor of Politico, John Harris, about the President’s performance in dealing with the pandemic.  It’s headlined “Trump’s Breakdown“.  It’s a long, dispassionately vitriolic screed intended to undermine President Trump in the eyes of his readers.

Donald Trump during the pandemic is giving a new generation reason to wonder whether he—like other presidents who suddenly find currents of history shifting violently before them—is on the verge of breakdown.

Trump emphatically has faced real opposition, and reveled in it, on his path to power. But he has met earlier chapters of adversity, in politics and business, with reliance on traits—bluster, defiance, implacable self-promotion—that, however unorthodox, served him quite well in the old context.

Now the context has changed but—so far—Trump has not, or to the extent he has tried it, has not lasted more than a few hours at a time … Is there any equivalent example in American history of a president confronting a grave domestic or international crisis with a similar combination of impetuosity and self-reference?

Again, more at the link.

The problem is, Mr. Harris’ op-ed simply doesn’t square with the facts.  They tell a rather different story of how the Trump administration has generally responded timeously and effectively – as effectively as possible under the circumstances, which would be enough to stymie any administration of any party – to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Federalist provides a detailed chronology of events, which you can read for yourself.  Does that chronology offer any support for Mr. Harris’ fulminations?  To me, it demonstrates that the Trump administration acted on the evidence as and when it presented itself.  Could any President have done more?  “Bluster” and “impetuosity” aren’t part of the equation.

There are many on the left who are actively seeking to use the coronavirus pandemic as a tool to accomplish their purposes.  As Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world”.  That’s what the pandemic is to them.  For a long-winded but comprehensive example from a European left-wing perspective, see the essay “How corona broke the system“.  That’s exactly what the author is trying to suggest.

I’m not seeing the same emphasis from right-wing or conservative sources on using the pandemic to reshape politics.  Sure, some are arguing that this means the end of globalization and the resurgence of nation-states and national economic interests and priorities, but I don’t see that as an all-out effort to reshape entire national political systems and priorities (although I could be wrong – if you think so, let’s hear from you in Comments).

I think we’re seeing the emergence of a very useful litmus test for our politicians, of both parties and all opinions.  Did they try to use the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity for partisan political maneuvering, as opposed to genuinely trying to help the nation survive it?  If they did, vote them out of office, irrespective of their party, and irrespective of the nature and/or quality of their opponent – because they’ll have proved themselves unfit for that office.



  1. The left wing operatives are certainly making an effort to use the virus as vehicle for more destruction.

    And I do think Trump owes Congressman Massie an apology since he was right on this one.

  2. "Sure, some are arguing that this means the end of globalization and the resurgence of nation-states and national economic interests and priorities"

    To the Left, that is "an all-out effort to reshape entire national political systems and priorities". Away from their global socialist power fantasies, that is.

    They want to destroy America and replace her. We see that as a great evil. We want to preserve America and improve her. They see that as a great evil.

  3. Keeping my head down, my garden going, my magazines full, my pitchfork sharp, my optimism high, and my pragmatism tuned.

  4. "The problem is, Mr. Harris' op-ed simply doesn't square with the facts. They tell a rather different story of how the Trump administration has generally responded
    timeously …" What is "timeously"?

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