I told you so … but first a disclaimer. I cannot say that I am the only one earning a couple of “I told you so’s” — although I may have been among the earlier voices. There were several commentators and politicians who ventured out on the limb of prognostication to predict the future. It did not make us the smartest kids in the classroom – just people looking at reality as opposed to peddling pernicious political narratives.
We just applied common sense to fly between all the gibberish being presented on both sides of the political equation. Yes, that good old American common sense that makes us able to generally make the right decisions when competing forces are pulling and tugging us in opposite directions based on narrow narratives generated on the basis political of self-interest.
Number One: The spread of Covid-19
In terms of the spread of Covid-19 in America, we were skeptical of the rosy predictions of both Dr. Anthony Fauci – who said the virus would not impact hard on the United States — and President Trump – who said it had been stopped at the border. Looking around the world – and knowing of all the travel in and out of the United states — those optimistic assurances did not make sense – even as they were offered up.
Eventually, reality caught up and resulted in a calamitous economic and social shutdown – which has not done a lot to stem the spread of the virus. When numbers plateaued in the initial epicenter of New York and California, the “experts” said we were ready to re-open. Really?
When re-opening was only a future option, I penned a commentary that predicted that re-opening would result in a spike of new cases. Those highly vaunted experts, however, said it was safe – and the kids needed to get back in schools.
I also predicted that the number of cases would increase as we started to do more testing of those who were not showing any symptoms. A LOT of people had the virus, but they were not sick. The only way to discover those folks was to test.
Well, as soon as we moved away from the shutdown– even a little – and started more testing, the case numbers started to go up. More importantly, we HAD TO endure these increases because if we maintained the lockdown the economic, social AND health consequences would have been worse.
As the spread in one epicenter slowed and cases declined, areas not so hard hit – such a Florida, California and Texas – experienced an increase in cases. Viruses never spread evenly across large expanses of geography.
The closing of gathering places, the wearing of masks, the distancing and all that hand washing has not stopped the spread. It may have slowed it down – which was good because it prevented our health systems from getting crushed – but the spread continues. In my unprofessional opinion, it will continue to spread – creating new epicenters – and there is nothing short of an effective vaccine that will stop it.
Every medical professional – to whom we are admonished to listen – got it wrong. The politicians on both sides got it wrong. And most of all, the media got it wrong. We are going to have to live with Covid-19 for the foreseeable future until we can find the ways to effectively mitigate and medicate.
In the meantime, the case number will go up and more people will die. The good news is that 80 percent of those infected will not require medical attention – and that is the one bit of information that has not been blown away by reality – and that the statistical chance of a person dying from Covid-19 is approximately one-half of one percent.
Our best chance of reducing the death toll is to focus on the oldest of our citizens – 80 and above – who have ADVANCED chronic conditions. Yes, there are anecdotal cases of younger people dying without obvious underlying conditions, but that is exceedingly rare.
My view of the future is in no way to suggest that Covid-19 is not a serious disease – largely because of its ability to spread. It seems to be more serious than our seasonal flus, but we cannot even be sure of that since we have vaccines to fight those flus.
So, take precautions and hope for a vaccine soon.
Number Two: Increase in crime
In a totally unrelated subject – or maybe not entirely unrelated – we are seeing a dramatic increase in serious crimes. It is not just shooting – although the media seems to think that the use of a gun is the only crime worthy of coverage on a regular basis. Not sure how the growing number of people being robbed, raped and beaten feel about that.
In several commentaries, I have consistently predicted the crime increase. I wish I could say I had unique insight or an especially fine analytical mind. Actually, the only tool I have in my journalistic toolbox on this one is common sense. I just cannot imagine anyone so bereft of common sense that they did not see it coming.
It has been caused by a growing disrespect for law enforcement. That was seen in the Democrats’ policy of protecting and coddling people crossing into America ILLEGALLY – even dangerous criminals. They set up sanctuary cities, counties and states promising to protect the illegal aliens.
Democrats in some cities and counties ordered – yes, ordered – their local police to NOT cooperate with the federal Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Even before the killing of George Floyd, the left wanted ICE to be abolished – the only federal agency that tracks down and apprehends folks like the MS13 gang members.
The killing of George Floyd set off a media-driven frenzy of anti-police activism. There is an irony. Unlike the situation in the old Democrat southland – where the perpetrators of murder against Blacks were routinely acquitted if even tried at all – the killer of Floyd was arrested and charged with second degree murder. My bet is that he will be convicted and spend many years – if not life – in prison.
The gasoline that spread the fire of discontent against police, in general, was the radical left’s genetic hatred of the law – and those who enforce it. The radical left has always maintained unconstitutional violence as a legitimate means of protest including looting and arson. Vandalism and even murder are just the necessary byproducts of protest. To understand the difference, you just need to compare the Tea Party protests of the past and any number of the left’s violent protests – from occupying Wall Street to the Seattle autonomous zone.
The problem with the anti-police radical left agenda is that it has been adopted by Democratic leaders across the nation. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio disbands the Special Crimes Unit that was charged with removing illegal guns from the streets – and more recently he abolished the tactical units that deal with hostage situations and … go figure … riots. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti shifted billions of dollars away from the police budget. Minneapolis literally abolished their police department in favor of some social welfare agency. And on it goes.
Now add to this shift in culture the attacks – both verbal and physical — on all policing and police coming from the radical left, Democrat leaders and the elitist east coast media giants and you have police morale sinking. They no longer feel appreciated by the communities that need them most. Even worse, they fear unprovoked physical violence against them — even assassinations. In addition, they fear criminal liability for taking necessary aggressive actions in the face of hostility.
It has resulted in more early retirements from the police force – and a reduction in recruitment. Police have protested the only way they know how – the blue flu. They are calling in sick in unprecedented numbers. They understandably feel that if the politician and people hate them so much, they can go without police protection. That emboldens criminals.
From the get-go, I predicted that all that anti-police sentiment — that promotes hostility and official anti-police policies — would have only one result. More crime. A lot more crime.
It does not take a rocket scientist to make these predictions. It is just that good old common sense – of which the left-wing Democrat/media combine appears to be woefully lacking in inventing their political narratives.
So, there ‘tis.