One of the questions I often get asked is, “Charlie, who do you think is the best pundit in terms of really understanding what is going on in American politics today?” After mulling over a few different answers to this question over time, I believe I have now settled on who I feel best describes what is going on in our country right now.
The problem is he was describing it 2,400 years ago. The man who best understands us is the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.
I’ve been reengaging Aristotle’s Politics of late, both through reading and enjoying lectures by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn. It has been a couple of years since I last visited the writings and ideas of Plato’s prize student (it is a testament to what a great teacher Plato was that he was able to produce such a free-thinking alumni who agreed with him so little). In his time, Aristotle’s words might have sounded like just another theory from the relatively new field of philosophy.
Today, however, his words read more like conclusions of a validated hypothesis born out of centuries of empirical experience. Consider the following passage from Politics: “Dictators preserve themselves by not letting there be any schools or collegial gathering for leisure pursuits, and doing everything that will keep people as unknown to one another as possible, since familiarity breeds a greater degree of trust.”
To say it differently (a bold task, might I admit, in re-phrasing the Greek master), if we can keep people apart from one another, we can keep them from ever truly coming together and having the strength necessary to defeat tyranny.
This not only makes general intuitive sense; we have seen the tactic brought into play over the past year as politicians around the country, especially the likes of Governors Pritzker (Illinois), Newsom (California), Cuomo (New York), and Whitmer, (Michigan), have used the Chinese coronavirus as an excuse to force people to separate. Keep schools closed. Shut down churches. Prevent social gatherings. Wear two masks. These sorts of requirements to separate us physically and visibly from one-another have fractured and fragmented us. Americans have become more susceptible to tyranny because we have become less and less “known” to our fellow citizens.
Report: Freedom-Loving FL and Locked-Down CA Both See 30 Percent Reduction in COVID Cases and Deaths
Despite widely different approaches towards COVID-19, both Florida and California have seen a 30 percent decrease in cases, deaths, and hospitalizations according to the Daily Mail.
While California Governor Gavin Newsom locked his state down, closing businesses and schools, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lifted his states’ restrictions early-on, and restaurants and schools have been open.
Studies have shown that stay-at-home orders and restrictions saved numerous lives, but that they might be less useful now as more of the population gains natural immunity through infection or immunity via vaccination – but that social distancing and masks are still necessary to continue driving down case and death rates…
According to The COVID Tracking Project, California and Florida are both reporting an average of between 200 cases and 400 cases per million people, and each have been seen declines over the last several days.
Both states followed a similar curve with a spike in cases around January 1 – as the winter surge led to rapidly rising rates of cases and deaths – with infections starting to tail off a few weeks later.
Governor DeSantis spoke with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo last weekend where he said Florida “focused on lifting people up” during the pandemic while other states that locked down are “putting people out of business.”
‘There’s a whole bunch of things we’ve been doing for COVID, but at the same time, we’ve lifted our state up, we’ve saved our economy and I think we’re going to be first out of gate once we are able to put COVID behind the country,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the campaign to recall Governor Newsom has obtained more than 1,500,000 signatures in its fight to remove the disgraced leader.
For the full report from the Daily Mail, click HERE.
Andrew Cuomo is shattering NYC’s restaurant business...for no reason
The restaurant industry is perhaps the most essential part of New York City’s social and economic sectors – from small, family-owned restaurants to world-renowned establishments, the industry is the second-largest component of tourism spending.
But, at least 4,500 restaurants have been forced to permanently close their doors thanks to Governor Cuomo’s never-ending coronavirus restrictions.
As cases continue to rise, the Democrat ordered an end to all indoor dining starting on Monday, with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in full support of the ban.
“The hospitalizations have continued to increase in New York City,” Cuomo said. “We said that we would watch it if the stabilization, if the hospital rate didn’t stabilize we would close indoor dining. It is now. We’re gonna close indoor dining in the city on Monday.”
Cuomo’s decision has received enormous backlash because of its disregard for the facts.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, blasted the dining ban, calling it “insanity” in a Twitter rant Friday.
Politicians Are Stealing the Basic Right To Earn A Living pic.twitter.com/9Yx9Vf1iP1
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 11, 2020
“I can’t believe in this country, what I consider the most basic right of them all, the right to earn a living, the right to earn a livelihood, is now being stolen,” he continued. “It is being stolen by a few politicians who believe they are smarter than me and you.”
According to the state’s contact tracing program, restaurants and bars have contributed a mere 1.4 percent to the total number of cases, while personal gatherings have driven nearly 75 percent.
So, essentially, Cuomo is shutting down an industry, pulverizing small businesses and putting workers out of a job only to make a microscopic dent in case numbers.
And restaurant owners are infuriated.
“We’ve been following everything that they gave us – the guidelines, we changed our air filter systems, we do the protocols of taking temperatures, getting people to sign the [contact tracing] papers, everything from A to Z,” one restaurant owner told the New York Post. “It’s just not right you have small businesses that are day to day surviving, and day to day they’re trying to pay the bills and day to day trying to feed their staff who are trying to feed their kids.”
Closing down restaurants takes away one of the few options New York City residents have to socialize, and because humans need social interactions, household gatherings will likely skyrocket – and so will case numbers.