Over the past month or so, a number of conservative and Libertarian commentators have bemoaned the way some politicians were so quick to use the coronavirus threat to try to impose their long-standing leftist political agendas (like the Green New Deal or vote-fraud-by-mail) and even worse, how Americans willingly gave up their rights for a little perceived safety. While I agree with the former, I take issue with the latter.
When the Internet meme took off that said, “How do you like your free 30-day trial of socialism?” some thought it was just a joke. But it’s actually a great way of expressing why, despite the fervent fever dreams of the AOCs of the world, Trump was right: America will NEVER be a socialist country. Americans were told we were facing an existential danger, and as always, we put differences aside, sacrificed and pitched in to help others and win the battle, with many Americans acting heroically.
But as soon as some politicians started trying to abuse their powers to crush people’s rights – whether it was something as small as banning the purchase of “non-essential” garden seeds or as unconstitutional as ticketing people for holding a drive-in church service – Americans immediately rose up and refused to take it.
Contrary to the despairing claims about how modern Americans are willing to give up our rights, we are merely willing to make a temporary sacrifice for the greater good. As soon as we sensed that some politicians were trying to abuse our trust and exploit this crisis to increase their power, Americans started showing that we can be just as ornery as we were back when we dumped all that tea in Boson Harbor – except instead of singing “Yankee Doodle,” we now sing “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
To all the “Democratic socialists” who foolishly thought that public compliance with the lockdown and acceptance of government relief signaled a permanent shift of Americans becoming docile, obedient sheep watched over by an all-powerful state, guess again. We now know that they'll put up with it for four weeks, or until you start acting like socialist dictators, whichever comes first. Now, they’re demanding to get back to work, making their own money, going to church and living their lives they way they see fit, not the way some meddling politician sees fit.
What this crisis has proved is that Americans are still Americans, and that if you even managed to impose your thousand-year socialist utopia, it would have a shelf life of about four weeks at most before the people rose up and threw it out. And that’s only if they thought the only alternative was a deadly disease. After four weeks, they’d rather have the disease.