The President’s Job is to Protect Us

One of my Maxims is that “the only warrant for government power is existential peril.” The problem is that most of the time there isn’t any existential peril, and so, if you are interested in power, you have to make it up.

Thus, the Commies are coming, the Nazis are coming, the world is going to end -- because pollution or climate or plastic -- unless we act now.

But occasionally a real existential peril comes along, like right now with the Wuhan Flu -- yeah, call me a racist, why dontcha -- and so the president gets up and acts like the protector of his people and declares a state of emergency.

But some idiots are arguing about whether he acted too soon or too late.

Our Democratic operatives with bylines decided it was racist to suspend air travel from China until they decided that using the wrong name for the virus was xenophobic. The technocratic cognoscenti in Europe in their wisdom reckoned that the best thing was to do nothing and let the epidemic take its course until it died out once the European population acquired “herd immunity.”

But Boris Johnson in the UK suddenly did what the Brits call a “U-turn” on this. That’s because the job of the British prime minister is to protect the Brits from existential threats, human or viral.

I suspect that when the Leader of the Nation is busily protecting the people from an existential threat it is not a good idea to be arguing about whether he acted too soon or too late. Because we herd animals will protect the leader that is acting to protect us.

Indeed, it is usually not a good idea to criticize the sainted leader even after the emergency is over. Just try doing a bit of revisionism on Winston Churchill and FDR and see where it gets you.

Right now, people are afraid of the Wuhan Peril, and we want to be protected. Our leaders and opinion makers are learning this the hard way because they were all carefully taught that the thing to hate and to fear was racism, sexism, toxic masculinity. Oh, and Third-World poverty.

So it’s not surprising that our betters have suddenly decided that today’s problem is the xenophobia of people that call it the Wu Flu instead of COVID-19.

They are as bad as the Bernie Bros that are going to refuse to support Joe Biden because they are mad as hell and, as Henry Williams says:

We will tell people, as we always have, to vote their conscience and to make decisions based on the interests of all the world’s oppressed people.

How should we vote in the interests of Iran’s oppressed people, Bro?

Our betters are running around reciting the slogans they were carefully taught without thinking for a moment whether they still apply. They don’t have a clue.

Then there is the occasional wacko that preaches something else and gets lucky. For instance, says Conservative Tree House, we had this guy running for president in 2016 who said:

  1. The U.S. needed to have control over our borders, and a greater ability to control who was migrating to the United States.  A shift toward stopping ‘illegal’ migration.
  2. The U.S. needed to stop the manufacture of goods overseas and return critical manufacturing back to the United States.  A return to economic independence.
  3. The U.S. needed to decouple from an over-reliance on Chinese industrial and consumer products.  China viewed as a geopolitical and economic risk.

Now you tell me: was that guy a genius, or did he just get lucky?

The answer is: it doesn’t matter, whether it’s teenage John D. Rockefeller making a business out of those barrels of oil out back or Jeff Bezos and his online business selling books out of his garage. Or some politician with wacky ideas about borders and national economic independence. Humans know to follow a winner.

The rest of the time we just keep saying the same-old same-old and doing the same-old same-old until something breaks.

Hey, Lady Marjorie just told me to fix her sewing machine, because it was breaking needles. Do you know what was wrong? It had a screw loose, so the hook thingy in the bobbin thingy was hitting the needle thingy. I kid you not.

So, you cognoscenti, you wokerati, you globerati, you glitterati, you journalisti, you activisti, as you flap around from one -phobia accusation to another, maybe your problem is that you have a screw loose.

Maybe we should go back to first principles. What is best in life for a male chimpanzee? To patrol the border, protecting the females and baby chimps and the troop’s food-growing territory.

His job is to protect. And anyone that disagrees is a pythophobe. (’Cos πίθηκος is Greek for ape).

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

One of my Maxims is that “the only warrant for government power is existential peril.” The problem is that most of the time there isn’t any existential peril, and so, if you are interested in power, you have to make it up.

Thus, the Commies are coming, the Nazis are coming, the world is going to end -- because pollution or climate or plastic -- unless we act now.

But occasionally a real existential peril comes along, like right now with the Wuhan Flu -- yeah, call me a racist, why dontcha -- and so the president gets up and acts like the protector of his people and declares a state of emergency.

But some idiots are arguing about whether he acted too soon or too late.

Our Democratic operatives with bylines decided it was racist to suspend air travel from China until they decided that using the wrong name for the virus was xenophobic. The technocratic cognoscenti in Europe in their wisdom reckoned that the best thing was to do nothing and let the epidemic take its course until it died out once the European population acquired “herd immunity.”

But Boris Johnson in the UK suddenly did what the Brits call a “U-turn” on this. That’s because the job of the British prime minister is to protect the Brits from existential threats, human or viral.

I suspect that when the Leader of the Nation is busily protecting the people from an existential threat it is not a good idea to be arguing about whether he acted too soon or too late. Because we herd animals will protect the leader that is acting to protect us.

Indeed, it is usually not a good idea to criticize the sainted leader even after the emergency is over. Just try doing a bit of revisionism on Winston Churchill and FDR and see where it gets you.

Right now, people are afraid of the Wuhan Peril, and we want to be protected. Our leaders and opinion makers are learning this the hard way because they were all carefully taught that the thing to hate and to fear was racism, sexism, toxic masculinity. Oh, and Third-World poverty.

So it’s not surprising that our betters have suddenly decided that today’s problem is the xenophobia of people that call it the Wu Flu instead of COVID-19.

They are as bad as the Bernie Bros that are going to refuse to support Joe Biden because they are mad as hell and, as Henry Williams says:

We will tell people, as we always have, to vote their conscience and to make decisions based on the interests of all the world’s oppressed people.

How should we vote in the interests of Iran’s oppressed people, Bro?

Our betters are running around reciting the slogans they were carefully taught without thinking for a moment whether they still apply. They don’t have a clue.

Then there is the occasional wacko that preaches something else and gets lucky. For instance, says Conservative Tree House, we had this guy running for president in 2016 who said:

  1. The U.S. needed to have control over our borders, and a greater ability to control who was migrating to the United States.  A shift toward stopping ‘illegal’ migration.
  2. The U.S. needed to stop the manufacture of goods overseas and return critical manufacturing back to the United States.  A return to economic independence.
  3. The U.S. needed to decouple from an over-reliance on Chinese industrial and consumer products.  China viewed as a geopolitical and economic risk.

Now you tell me: was that guy a genius, or did he just get lucky?

The answer is: it doesn’t matter, whether it’s teenage John D. Rockefeller making a business out of those barrels of oil out back or Jeff Bezos and his online business selling books out of his garage. Or some politician with wacky ideas about borders and national economic independence. Humans know to follow a winner.

The rest of the time we just keep saying the same-old same-old and doing the same-old same-old until something breaks.

Hey, Lady Marjorie just told me to fix her sewing machine, because it was breaking needles. Do you know what was wrong? It had a screw loose, so the hook thingy in the bobbin thingy was hitting the needle thingy. I kid you not.

So, you cognoscenti, you wokerati, you globerati, you glitterati, you journalisti, you activisti, as you flap around from one -phobia accusation to another, maybe your problem is that you have a screw loose.

Maybe we should go back to first principles. What is best in life for a male chimpanzee? To patrol the border, protecting the females and baby chimps and the troop’s food-growing territory.

His job is to protect. And anyone that disagrees is a pythophobe. (’Cos πίθηκος is Greek for ape).

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.