Coronavirus is here in America. If this disease really is as contagious and lethal as some say, and if the coming warmer months do not stop its spread, we will have before us yet another indictment against progressive liberalism and its globalist dogmas. There is still a great deal that we don’t know but now that it appears to be spreading outside of the totalitarian state of China, we will probably get a much clearer picture of what this disease is really all about.
Although we still don’t have a good handle on the mortality rate or the degree to which the disease is contagious, many things can change in the coming weeks and months. The health authorities might still manage to prevent a wide spread of the disease. Der Spiegel reports hopefully, “There is some cause for some optimism . . . the warmer seasons are slowly approaching, and it could very well be that the virus will loosen its grip, similarly to how most flu and cold pathogens behave. Furthermore, the number of new infections reported each day by China is dropping. The problem, though, is that nobody knows if those numbers can be trusted.”
Nevertheless, it is probably fair to say that—outside of China—things have recently deteriorated significantly.
Two weeks ago, it seemed that the virus was finally coming under control. Infections in China were dropping and the virus was cooped up in only a handful of countries outside of China—and most of those were related to a cruise ship quarantined in Japan. But then, somehow, the virus managed to get into a member of a South Korean cult. Foreign Policy explains:
[All previous hopes] came to a crashing halt last week thanks to…Patient No. 31, [who was] discovered on Feb. 18, [Patient No. 31] was a member of a quasi-Christian cult called Shincheonji . . . Its founder Lee Man-hee claims to be the second coming of Jesus who is to establish the “new spiritual Israel” at the end of days. The cult is estimated to have approximately 240,000 followers, and claims to have outposts in 29 countries in addition to South Korea . . . Shincheonji teaches illness is a sin, encouraging its followers to suffer through diseases to attend services in which they sit closely together, breathing in spittle as they repeatedly amen in unison . . . The net effect is that Shincheonji followers infect each other easily, then go onto infect the community at large.
The number of cases in South Korea skyrocketed from 31 on February 18 to more than 3,100 by February 29.
I am sure that many of our elites will deride this cult—and rightly so. The cult’s arcane and inane beliefs have made a bad situation worse. But I wonder if the global elites will ever realize that they’re part of a cult that—should things get worse—will also be to blame for whatever economic and social pain is to follow. The religious cult that our elites belong to is progressive liberalism.
One of the ultimate dogmas of progressive liberalism is globalism: the free movement of people, goods, and money. Progressive liberals and their allies have spent more than 70 years tearing down the impediments to their way of thinking about these things: borders, cultures, national governments, local legal systems, etc. And they are still pushing for more “openness” in pursuit of this utopian dream, which in truth is a nightmare.
Elizabeth Warren wants to repeal all penalties for illegal aliens who trespass on American soil (free movement of people). Joe Biden supported both NAFTA and the TPP (free movement of goods). And arch plutocrat Michael Bloomberg, as he tries to buy the presidency (if not for himself then for Joe Biden), made his fortune due to the free movement of capital.
Open borders and the free movement of people, has given us the ability to live in a world where hundreds of millions of people can travel to any spot on planet earth. Did our elites really think through the wisdom of creating a system where a traveler could be anywhere within 36 hours? Did they care about the consequences? There are over 170 countries that an American can travel to without a visa. There are nearly 40 countries whose nationals can travel to the United States without a visa as well. The coronavirus evidently has an incubation period of 14 days. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a borderless world and free movement of people is a world that creates the conditions for a disease to accelerate its spread through populations. That seems to be what is happening now.
Open markets, the free movement of goods and capital, have given us the ability for countries to trade goods and services throughout the planet. Due to comparative advantage, we now live in a world where vital goods and products are outsourced in the endless pursuit of lower production and sales cost—irrespective of the value of that good or service to the nation’s health and well-being. Ninety-seven percent of our antibiotics are made in China while “80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used to make drugs in the United States are said to come from China and other countries like India.”
Did our elites really think through the wisdom of creating a system where American consumers needing antibiotics could end up at the mercy of suppliers in China? Did they care about the consequences? Free movement of goods is bound to exacerbate our nation’s response to a potential pandemic.
How will companies that went all-in on globalization weather the storm? The Boeing 787 Dreamliner relies on suppliers in at least seven countries outside of the United States. Those countries include Japan, South Korea, and Italy—each currently experiencing a total standstill as they try to stop the spread of this disease. Boeing’s stock dropped 22 percent in a week.
What will happen to the hundreds of American companies that rely on Chinese suppliers now that their orders have dried up for months? And if they have debt obligations to service, how will they pay these debts with their cash flow gone as well? The free movement of goods and capital is bound to compound the damage to companies that chased fatter profits through ever more internationally complex supply chains.
Yet President Trump, who has fought vigorously to bring trade advantage back to the United States through tariffs has been called xenophobic and racist by progressive liberals. Any opposition to the free movement of goods and capital is unacceptable to a thoroughly materialist and secular culture that craves the cheapest products and services—consequences be damned. Progressive liberals would rather see Americans die from infection than support the “xenophobia” and “racism” that says America should be able to produce its own antibiotics and pharmaceuticals.
While the president was calling for travel restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus to the United States, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was excoriating him and his supporters as xenophobes and racists and trying to strip the president of the power to limit foreign nationals from coming to our country.
President Trump’s quarantine of Chinese nationals almost surely bought the nation more time to prepare for this virus; but you wouldn’t have believed it at the time as the globalist media called him a bigot for daring to defend the nation from this biological threat. Progressive liberals would rather see Americans die from opening our borders to the unfettered movement of foreign aliens than be called “racists” or “xenophobes” for protecting the American people.
John Martin Poyer, the governor of American Samoa in 1918, wasn’t a believer in progressive liberalism. He wasn’t concerned with the utopian dreams of free movement of people, goods and capital. And he wasn’t concerned with proving to other globalist zealots that he wasn’t a “xenophobe” or a “racist.”
When he found out about the Spanish Influenza epidemic, he immediately quarantined the island. No foreign ships were allowed access to Pago Pago Harbor. When the pandemic was over, not a single person on American Samoa had died. Poyer was awarded the Navy Cross (the only higher award a sailor can earn is the Medal of Honor). The citation on his award noted that while his efforts resulted in the preservation of Samoan lives, “in the neighboring islands of the Samoan group more than 10,000 deaths occurred, and . . . the percentage of deaths throughout the Polynesian Islands as a group, is reported to have ranged from 30 to 40 percent of the population.”
I wonder if American public officials on the West Coast where I live are as interested in saving the lives of American citizens who come in their manifold and diverse colors as Poyer was in saving (mostly brown) lives on Samoa. Or do they love globalism more?
Even if, as I pray, this disease does not turn into the pandemic some are warning it will, it is yet again a reminder of the existence of this globalist monster which our cosmopolitan elites have erected. While they build bunkers and shelters for themselves in case of a global disaster, we—the little people without fortunes and with only the nations that are supposed to be our patrimony—have to ask ourselves how much longer we can be ruled by people who assure outs for themselves while we are left to live with mess of their decisions?
Can the ruling adherents of this death cult, progressive liberalism, think anew and remove themselves from their dogmas long enough to help us get through this? Or is proving to themselves and the world that they’re not xenophobes, not racist, and not against open markets to enrich the Third World more important to them than their duty to our country and our citizens?