Monday, August 10, 2020

When Condescension and Lies Backfire Badly

When Condescension and Lies Backfire Badly

When condescension and lies by leaders backfire badly, it's time to ask why.  Why are our leaders lying to us?  Why are they treating us like children?

2020 is a year that won't soon be forgotten.  It's the year the world came to a stop, the year that we lived through a global pandemic.  It is the year when peaceful protests turned into riots, the year that people protested over totalitarian governments, systemic racism and the wearing of masks.

2020 is also the year I started hearing something that has concerned me for decades of watching US politics - rumors of a coming civil war.

2020, a year like no other

Let's back up to January, 2020.

In January, 2020, a Facebook friend was in Hong Kong, recording the protests and police brutality going on there.  Young people had started protesting (or restarted protesting) for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong back in March, 2019.
Hong Kong

The protests were against a government trying to enact a law that would have seen people arrested in freedom-loving Hong Kong sent to mainland China to face trial.  That has not ended well (it hasn't really ended, in fact), but that is for another post.

Then in late December/early January, reports began to reach me of a strange new pneumonia in mainland China.  Wuhan seemed to be the epicenter.  Sars was mentioned.  Alarm bells began to ring.  My friend in Hong Kong certainly noticed it and began to strongly suggest that people buy masks, specifically N95 masks, and to stock up on food and other basic necessities.  I did the same.  Some listened.  Some said we were crazy.

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) said the virus came from a bat purchased in a "wet market." They assured the world that there was no human to human transmission.  The WHO told us there was nothing to worry about.

Then it began to spread.  More and more people started falling ill.  Clandestine cellphone video of people dropping in the streets and overwhelmed hospitals in Wuhan began to emerge.

North American Response

Governments here in Canada and the United States took notice, but told us that it was isolated in Wuhan and there was nothing to worry about.  It was Chinese New Year and no one wanted to disrupt the lucrative tourist cash flow that brings, especially to airline companies, so some five million people reportedly flew all over the world from Wuhan and other centers in mainland China.

In the mean time, panic was hitting in Wuhan, according to amateur video leaking out of the country.  There were reports of police chaining and welding shut the doors of apartment building to keep people inside.  In CCP China, "lock-down" means you don't even set a foot outside the door.

Then it came to North America, to Canada and the United States.  Governments here slowly began to take action.  In the US, air traffic from China was halted.  In Canada, we were told that people were being screened in airports.  We found out that usually meant there was a sign placed for people coming off the plane to read, asking them if they had any symptoms of COVID-19 and advising them to self-isolate if they did.

The lying begins to escalate

We were told that masks don't help slow the spread.  They told us the masks and other PPE (personal protective equipment) were in short supply and needed to be left for frontline workers. A handful of us continued to tell our friends and relatives that they needed to get masks.  But most listened to the government.  A few finally tried to buy masks and hand sanitizer, only to discover there were no supplies of either.  The CCP had bought them from all over the world by the pallet load.  

Masks, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer and, of all things, toilet paper were suddenly in short supply.  Panic buying ensued wherever such things appeared on shelves.  Prices shot up.  Masks that used to sell at the hardware store for a few dollars per pack of ten suddenly became $10 for one mask.

But the government kept telling everyone that masks don't help.  Canada's chief medical officer said that masks don't help.  The US Surgeon General said that masks don't help.

Death and more death

The virus began to spread.  More and more people were reported sick.  Some began to die.  They continued to tell us that masks don't help.  Instead, they used lock-downs, heavily restricting travel and banning public assembly of any kind, except for very small groups, which they strongly suggested shouldn't meet, anyway. 

Then a black man was brutally killed by a police officer who should have been fired years ago.  Peaceful protests against perceived police violence and systemic racism began.  People gathered together in very large groups to protest.  The same people who had told us not to gather together for any reason said nothing or encouraged the protests.

The message the government who had told us to isolate was sending was that it was safe to gather together to protest, but not safe to go to a bar, theater or church.  Conspiracy theories began to gather some real support.  People began to suspect they were being lied to, for some reason.

Then the protests began to be infiltrated by those who would commit violence and in some cities, riots broke out and some continue to this day.  But they are not being called riots by the leaders of those cities.  They are being called "certain elements."  Again, they are lying to us, further fueling the flames of dissent by a large and growing group of generally honest, hardworking and peaceful citizens.

Citizens awake, ask questions

People wanted to know why it was fine to participate in large protests or even to riot, but they couldn't meet together in restaurants, theaters or churches.  

Then the government told us we should all wear masks.  They told us if everyone wore masks everywhere they went in public, we could slow down the spread.  We were told "Masks save lives."

Thinking people began to question why the government told us early that masks don't help, but now were telling us masks save lives.  They obfuscated, lied some more, then finally admitted that they lied because there was a shortage of PPE, including masks, because they weren't prepared for a pandemic, even though they had been warned that we were overdue for one, for years.

In other words, rather than tell us the truth from the start, they treated us like children with no ability to reason for ourselves, and lied to us.

Bad policy finally backfires

Their condescension and lies have backfired badly.  Many are refusing to believe them, any more.  There are protests now against wearing masks at all.  People think it's a government ruse to take their freedom away and make them compliant sheep for some mysterious global cabal.

Unfortunately, it is a fact, as my friend and I repeatedly told everyone from the beginning, that masks DO work; they do save lives.  If everyone simply wore a mask, very few people would get sick, if any. 

This has been proven in certain very heavily populated countries in Asia that have nowhere near the spread that we see in North America.  In those countries, like Japan and Taiwan, very few people have contracted the virus.  That's because they practice social distancing and they wear masks.

wear a mask
Simply put, if you wear a mask, you can't cough on me.  If I wear a mask, I can't cough on you.  That should be self-evident.

But when our leaders condescendingly lied to us to cover up the fact they weren't prepared, they opened Pandora's Box.  Now they can't correct their sins.  They are no longer trusted by a large and growing number of people.  They refuse to wear masks or social distance and will even march in protest for the right to do as they want.  

When condescension and lies from our leaders backfire badly, bad things happen.  The virus, which doesn't care about politics, truth or anything else, continues to spread in 2020, and it's spreading faster than ever.

Rioting continues as governments do nothing.  People keep getting sick.  And now, the drums of war are being heard, something that was unthinkable in 2019.  The swamp has NOT been drained, and the alligators are hungry...

Don't mind them.  Just wear a mask.

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