[Rushtalk] All The Institutions Failed

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Sat Mar 19 11:11:02 MDT 2022


All The Institutions Failed

The next pandemic might be more serious. But if the “experts” try to
sound the alarm, the public will have no faith in them.

(Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock) 
FEBRUARY 4, 2022


12:01 AM

As the continued Wuhan Flu lock-downs come to be gradually recognized as
the grave error that they were, we must acknowledge the discomfiting
fact that every single elite institution in the world got the pandemic
response spectacularly wrong.

Governments were wrong. Virtually every nation, to varying degrees, went
along with the CCP-inspired radical new lockdown model, as did most
subnational governmental bodies.

Academics and experts were wrong. Leading scientists went far beyond
their expertise in calling for sweeping policy changes, while the
universities themselves scammed their students by switching to virtual
learning but demanding full tuition.

The media was wrong. Most mainstream outlets fell in line as
enthusiastic propagandists for the lockdown-and-mandate regime, mocking
and censoring dissenting voices.

The entertainment industry was wrong. Actors, musicians, athletes, and
other prominent cultural influencers used their considerable public sway
to promote a “new normal” from whose worst impacts they were shielded.

International organizations were wrong. The World Health Organization
misled the public again and again, while the United Nations,
International Monetary Fund, and others saw the crisis as a springboard
from which to implement a set of long-desired social changes.

Billionaires and major corporations were wrong. These institutions,
which one would ostensibly expect to be the most libertarian, went above
and beyond in acting as enforcers for mask and vaccine mandates. Indeed,
some (no names need be said here) had a financial interest in
perpetuating lockdowns.

The legal system was wrong. While the Supreme Court may have overturned
the Biden vaccine mandate, the same federal court system—including many
conservative judges—were frequently happy to allow “public health” to
serve as a constitutional workaround. So, for that matter, were many
once-respectable civil libertarians.

There were a few exceptions, mainstream figures who were willing to go
against the grain and speak out against lock-downs. But they were just
that: exceptions. The overwhelming majority of these institutions were
clearly and unequivocally wrong.

Never before has anything like this happened; it is a historical first.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq is now widely considered to be a mistake, but
even that did not receive unanimous institutional support. It was
denounced by prominent celebrities, and several major allies, including
France and Germany, refused to fight. Imagine if there had been such
high-level dissent from the lockdown regime.

The simple truth is that everyone to whom we would look for guidance
during a time of crisis completely bungled this one. The economic and
social damage done by lock-downs will take decades to repair, and it has
come about thanks to a group of leaders who confidently, self-assuredly,
and condescendingly led us all in the wrong direction.

The damage to public trust, however, may be worst of all.

Contrary to some popular sentiment, it is not a bad thing that we have
experts or elite institutions. None of us, no matter how bright or
diligent, are able to solve every complex problem for ourselves.
Reliance on expertise is a heuristic, and on the whole a useful one. The
same goes for talented artists, news organizations which keep us aware
of important information, and businesses which provide valuable consumer
products. None of these are bad in their conception.

Citizenship in a free society requires a certain healthy skepticism of
these institutions, but it also requires some base level of trust.
Institutional trust was badly battered in the Trump years, but it was
still strong enough in March 2020 that when President Trump and Dr.
Fauci stood side-by-side and told us that we would have to serve our
nation by social distancing for two weeks, most of us went along.

That trust has now been lost. It is highly likely that a large section
of the public will never do what elite institutions tell them to again—
and will in fact do the exact opposite. They will reflexively see a
group of power holders who are at best incompetent and at worst

The problem with crying wolf, though, is that sometimes there is a real
wolf. The next pandemic might be more serious. But if the “experts” try
to sound the alarm, the public will have no faith in them—and
justifiably so.

The only hope we now have is to so thoroughly and transparently reform
these institutions that they might regain some measure of public trust.
It is not enough to move on from this purgatorial era of lock-downs, as
we are (hopefully) now starting to do. After World War II, we did not
merely bask in the victory. We also took steps to hold the direct
perpetrators responsible and ensure that the lessons learned in the war
would not be forgotten.

The same must be done here. We must have a full, exhaustive public audit
that exposes exactly how and where it all went so badly wrong, how the
most powerful people in the world could have come to implement a policy
so massively misguided as planetwide lockdown, and to hold the globe in
thrall to that self-evidently insane policy for two full years. Bad
actors must be removed from these institutions whenever possible, and
reforms must be put in place to prevent such a catastrophe from
happening again.

If we can have a commission to investigate the riot at the Capitol on
January 6, we can certainly have one dedicated to plumbing the depths of
this great error.

It seems highly unlikely at this point that the major institutions will
do anything other than stubbornly double down on their mistakes. But
they must change. In the face of such massive failure, the only
alternative to institutional reform would be institutional destruction,
an outcome for which none of us should hope.

Jason Garshfield is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in
Townhall, RealClearPolitics, and numerous other publications.

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