The Moral Busybodies Strike Again

There’s a weird cognitive dissonance happening right now that is as revealing as it is alarming.

Just as we learn more details about all the ways Barack Obama and his henchmen weaponized powerful federal agencies to punish Donald Trump, Americans, oddly, are surrendering their own power to the same type of god-like government authorities under the guise of the common good.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive,” C.S. Lewis wrote. “It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

The effort to stop coronavirus, much like the attempt to stop Donald Trump, has been presented by ardent defenders as their call to duty, a selfless act undertaken not to gratify their lust for power but to protect the public’s best interest.

There is no discernible difference between the high-minded hectoring of former FBI Director James Comey and that of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer—their decisions are above scrutiny because, as they often scold their lesser subjects, these decisions are made for your own good. (“Everything I’m doing is trying to save your life,” Whitmer just said in an interview.)

Lies, Lies, and More Lies

Let’s begin with what now is appropriately called Obamagate.

Americans were warned, starting in the summer of 2016, that Donald Trump’s campaign was in cahoots with the Russians to rig the outcome of the presidential election. The basis for that claim, the media and top government officials assured us, was that Russian hackers working on behalf of Vladimir Putin breached the Democratic National Committee’s server, stole thousands of emails, and gave the trove to WikiLeaks.

Then Julian Assange, the story goes, dutifully published those damaging documents on his site the week that the Democrats would coronate Hillary Clinton in July 2016. It all was part of a Trump-Russia plot to hurt Clinton and help Trump win, the intelligence community later asserted.

After Trump won, all the smart people warned that the incoming president posed such a threat to the country that any and all measures to mitigate the spread of his Kremlin-tainted rule would be necessary. (See where this is going?) Investigations into the Trump campaign, the Trump family, the Trump Administration and the president himself were necessary to save the republic.

At first we were assured that the FBI did not spy on the Trump campaign—then we found out it did. Top lawmakers insisted evidence of collusion was in plain sight; then Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after two years and $36 million, concluded there was no evidence of collusion in plain sight or anywhere else.

Obama loyalists, many of whom once held the most powerful and influential offices in the country, promised cable news hosts that they knew for a fact Donald Trump conspired with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. But when questioned under oath by congressional Republicans, those same professionals—so bold and confident in front of the camera—confessed behind closed doors that they never saw any proof of such a conspiracy.

The so-called dossier was raw intelligence carefully collected by a respected former British spy, the media reported. That material, Comey  later explained, did not comprise the bulk of the evidence presented before a secret court to obtain permission to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign aide that the FBI accused of acting as a foreign agent of Russia.

But then we found out that the dossier actually wasn’t real intelligence but fabricated propaganda collected by a foreign political operative who was paid by the Democrats and Hillary Clinton. Oh, and by the way, the dossier did in fact represent most of the evidence in Comey’s FISA application on Carter Page. And Page wasn’t a Russian agent after all.

Unmasking U.S. citizens, top intelligence officials solemnly promised, was a rare occurrence and was only allowed when the circumstances were the most worrisome for the security of the United States. Now, those same officials admit that unmasking the identity of U.S. citizens, including close advisors to an incoming president, is of course a “routine” affair—especially when that advisor endangers the well-being of the nation!

Joe Biden didn’t know anything about the investigation into Lt. General Michael Flynn—but oops, turns out the former vice president made a request to unmask Flynn in January 2017.

And according to recently released testimony from an executive of CrowdStrike—the Democrat-connected cybersecurity firm that everyone swore had proof the Russians indeed hacked the DNC server—actually never had proof the Russians hacked the email server. Whoopsie.

Everything—and I mean everything—government officials and their media scribes promised was true about Russian collusion was not true. In fact, it was a big fat lie. All of it.

Why Do We Keep Trusting These People?

So it’s greatly discomfiting, in the face of this massive and destructive sham, to see millions of Americans submit to the whims of government bureaucrats, elected officials, and “experts” who—much like the collusion hoaxsters—have misled us on the coronavirus threat every step of the way. They’ve leveraged fear and panic to bolster their own power grabs. And as with the collusion ruse, the media breathlessly chases every horror story and doomsday scenario while again predicting the end times for Donald Trump.

Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted in January we shouldn’t be too worried about coronavirus. The lethality of the disease, he wrote in February, was about the same as a bad flu. By March, Fauci claimed the fatality rate was 10 times worse than the flu.

Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx showed President Trump two scary models that predicted widespread death and disease, nationwide shortages of hospital beds and ICUs, and a woefully inadequate supply of ventilators. They urged the president, as he admits, to “shut everything down” and extend unproven “social distancing” orders that subsequently crashed a red-hot economy.

But the model issued by Imperial College has been roundly condemned by scientists as “crude mathematical guesswork”; the academic responsible for the now-debunked model has resigned in disgrace. The other model—produced by Dr. Chris Murray—has been way off and subjected to multiple iterations with wildly modified projections.

Americans initially were asked to help “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system. That seemingly reasonable demand then morphed into “slow the spread” and then “stop the spread.” Now many experts claim our lives cannot return to normal until a vaccine or a cure is available.

Inexplicably, as those grave mistakes and shifting goalposts are exposed, government commands for compliance become more oppressive and destructive—yet many Americans are playing along. Even though Fauci and other “experts” assured us several weeks ago that face masks wouldn’t prevent us from infecting others; that, too, has changed. Americans, either willingly or for fear of being shamed, are wearing useless homemade masks including while driving a car . . . alone.

Have we learned nothing the past three years?

My hunch is that once we find the truth about coronavirus, nearly everything we’ve been told to do will turn out to have been wrong. As with Russian collusion, the dire predictions will never materialize.

And the public’s trust, once again, will have been shown to be not just misplaced but exploited for political purposes. The moral busybodies working under the pretext of the common good, as C.S. Lewis warned, will have prevailed once again. And we will have been fooled—again.

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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