It has been said that The Atlantic was once a magazine where the smart, sophisticated liberals went to be told what to think. Legend also has it that this magazine/website/bathhouse was once filled with thoughtful, well written articles that sane people may not agree with but could, at least, see where the writer was coming from and, in some cases, even gave actual people pause to consider their own opinions on a topic.
Identity Dixie –
Like most major publications, opinion pieces at The Atlantic aren’t articles picked at random from a hat. They are written by professionals and massaged by editors to ensure the correct opinion, with all the right implications, are given. It is not by accident that the magazine is filled with emotionally distraught articles about a former president and “World War 3? How About World War Me” levels of self-absorbed, feminine drivel. These are the opinions the Cloud People are supposed to have about the subjects they are supposed to think about. One such opinion piece caught my eye and, to quote my grandmother, “made me madder than a wet hen.”
The piece in question is titled “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty” and is by a creature with a womb (that’s the term now, isn’t it?) going by “Emily Oster.” One might see the title and think that it’s a message to other liberals and Covid cultists to lay off the millions of people who were skeptical about all the panicky, pearl clutching hyper-dramatic screeching. One might even think, given that Mx Oster claims to be an economist at Brown (which is apparently something we are supposed to be impressed with), that she might use statistics to claim that the “War on Covid” is over now that the vaccination rates have reached herd immunity levels or some such. Thinking that is a clear sign that the aforementioned headline reader is projecting their own common sense, sanity, and human decency onto those with an abysmal deficit of any of those qualities.
Emily’s article starts off with an anecdote about how she mentally abused her four-year-old to the point where he yelled “social distancing!” at another child who got too close to him while passing by. Outside. While her son was wearing a mask. Now, of course, we aren’t supposed to wonder what kind of awful person does that to their child. We are supposed to bashfully nod along, thinking, “oh, yeah, I did the same thing.” She goes on to not apologize for being wrong, but to whine and pity herself and all the other good people for just not knowing all the things we know now.
Emily tells us schools were closed for too long. She even lays out the reasons why. Hang on to your hats, dear readers, because they were all the same reasons those crazy rightwing conspiracy nuts cited. You remember the fact that kids aren’t getting and transmitting the (not) deadly disease, their (already) subpar educations were being ruined further, and the isolation was doing them emotional and psychological harm. She made sure to let us know that it was totally reasonable to be horrified and want schools closed forever and to wrap your children in Clorox wipes and make them wear gas masks.
We only had “glimmers of information,” which is a passive aggressive, backhanded way of discrediting the people who were correct about the Covid hysteria. You see, they weren’t right because they were smart, or skeptical, or actually paid attention. It certainly wasn’t because they tend to take a more cautious approach when considering massive changes to society. They were just randomly correct out of sheer luck.
A few more examples go on to do the same thing. She deflects responsibility for being wrong and discredits those who got it right, even to the point of bringing up the joke about injecting bleach and trying to make it sound like people were taking that seriously. You see, that wasn’t a joke, it was MISINFORMATION. As all goodthinkers know, misinformation is a scourge – an evil spirit that corrupts the weak minded and those bereft of sufficient faith in The Science. It leads to badthink, like questioning the elections of 2020 and wondering if maybe getting involved in a war on the other side of the planet between two corrupt countries, one of which has General Winter on its side, maybe isn’t a great idea.
Finally, after what seems like an eternity of “we made the hard calls based on what information we had and our intentions were really good so it’s fine,” we get to the part that made me madder than the aforementioned soaked poultry. Forgive my longer than usual quote, but I think it’s better if you read, in her own words, what good ol’ Emily has to say.
“The people who got it right, for whatever reason, may want to gloat. Those who got it wrong, for whatever reason, may feel defensive and retrench into a position that doesn’t accord with the facts. All of this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to drive the culture wars, especially on the internet. These discussions are heated, unpleasant and, ultimately, unproductive. In the face of so much uncertainty, getting something right had a hefty element of luck. And, similarly, getting something wrong wasn’t a moral failing. Treating pandemic choices as a scorecard on which some people racked up more points than others is preventing us from moving forward.”
This cotton-headed ninny muggin tells us not to gloat. After the smug, ghoulish cheering every time a vaccine skeptic got sick or died, even if it wasn’t from COVID, we are wrong to take any satisfaction in being proven right. After being mocked, insulted, lied about, wished death upon, and people wishing us to be incarcerated and sent to re-education camps, we better not dare even smirk about being correct the entire time. You see, reminding the goodthinkers that they were wrong is just “unproductive.” She again brings up that we all just got lucky for questioning all the nonsensical narratives and ridiculous timelines about when research on these vaccines began, testing, etc. We were all just lucky to remember that 20 minutes ago nobody trusted Big Pharma and why they didn’t.
Another point that needs to be countered is the idea that getting something wrong is not a moral failing. I would point out just how often and how viperously the moral character of Covid skeptics was questioned when the “good people” all thought they had the monopoly on being right. We were bad people, murderers, science deniers (what little tread was left on that one had been thoroughly worn out by the end of 2021), and every other word in the basket of deplorables. We were the worst of the worst, and they weren’t shy about saying what awful people we were. In a way, this is the same pattern that could be seen back when fair elections happened, and they lost. They demand unity and reconciliation when they lose, that all voices be heard and respected when they lose. When they win, it’s full steam ahead to fulfill the voter mandate. It’s time for us to get to the back of the bus, to paraphrase a guy who’s never been forced to ride in the back of the bus. Or hold a real job. Or write his own speeches. Or be married to a woman (hint: that’s a joke). But I digress…
Treating the pandemic “choices” like a scorecard, where we just happened to end up with more points is preventing them from moving forward, you see. Yes, the quote says, “preventing us from moving forward,” but she doesn’t mean everyone, she means all of her smart friends who got it wrong. They can’t move forward and forget this embarrassing little episode if people keep bringing up their silly little scorecards.
With special permission from the editors of this fine and august publication, I will use language rougher than that which you may be used to.
Poppycock! Poppycock and balderdash! This wasn’t just some embarrassing mistake. Emily and her cohorts didn’t sing the wrong verse of a song on the radio. They didn’t show up to a formal event dressed in semi-formal attire. These people destroyed lives. Thirty thousand health care workers in the Yankee state of New York lost their jobs because they wouldn’t get a vaccine of dubious safety. That, in and of itself, should have made the Emilys of the world rethink things. They tell us to trust experts, yet they fired 30,000 experts for not having the approved opinion that was generated by a “doctor” who hadn’t seen a patient in three decades and had massive financial investment in the vaccine he happened to be enthusiastically pushing. The Houston medical system lost over 150 nurses, who were already in short supply, over this mandate. It wasn’t just healthcare workers, either. A quick search on your favorite search engine reveals hundreds of articles about people in every field, from banking to IT to construction to civil engineering, getting fired for being right about COVID. Being right about COVID was the 10th highest reason for job cuts in 2021, and the first one on the list that wasn’t a money focused business choice.
The only possible and entirely accidental-on-their-part silver lining is the thousands of military personnel who are getting dismissed for refusing the vaccine. The preponderance of them doing so is on religious grounds, and I am comfortable saying many of them are sons of Dixie. While it is shameful to see them leave the military under terms not of their own choosing, it is good that if they are sent home, they can no longer be sent on expeditionary wars of adventure for the financial gain of people who hate them.
What about all the jobs that were lost because businesses closed, and the owners couldn’t reopen when Emily and her friends came back from their vacations in the Adirondacks to declare they felt safe enough to allow the rest of us to live again? What about the spikes in suicide and drug addiction? As she even mentioned herself, what about all the kids whose educations (such as they were) were ruined?
Oopsie, it was just a mistake our betters made in the face of uncertainty and the need to blow things out of proportion because their lives are devoid of real meaning. We can just go to our summer home in OBX, right? Or, sell that third hobby farm we all have or maybe let go of some of our stock portfolio? If things get really bad, we can ask our parents for a few hundred thousand bucks to tide us over, right?
To Emily’s credit, she was not among those who threw titanic hissy fits over Ron DeSantis opening schools in Florida or that he was going to kill everyone and how horrible he and everyone else is who didn’t agree hard enough. However, Emily and all her Hollywood friends shouldn’t get a pass for lecturing us from the game rooms and home theaters of their mansions about how the lock downs “helped everyone.” The Emilys don’t get to tell us not to gloat when they were the ones who kept getting caught going maskless at parties or award shows or when getting $600 haircuts at salons nobody else could go to.
The Emilys of the world cheered from behind their blue checkmarks every time a COVID skeptic got sick. Emilys vociferously wished for our painful, horrific deaths on Twitter and social media. They encouraged our employers to fire us and for no other employer to hire us, until we bent the knee and got their science project vaccine. Emily wants to move forward? She wants her victims, because that is precisely what so many people are, to simply let it go, without so much as asking for an apology.
In her eyes, we are the chimpanzee at the typewriter who finally produced Shakespeare. These types of people are incapable of admitting that either they were wrong or that the people who were right might have actually had a point. No, they were wrong because they were making hard calls to destroy the lives of people they don’t really care about, and the people who were right just shook the magic 8 ball.
To her credit, Emily is right. There are problems that need to be fixed, and the old adage about “fix the problem, not the blame” can be useful in some situations. This is not one of them – because fixing the problems are not mutually exclusive to fixing the blame. In fact, in some respects, the two are inextricably linked.