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Friday, May 27, 2022

With COVID, We Should’ve Learned Our Lesson on “Do-Somethingism”

After the evil perpetuated at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in a column entitled “Don’t Surrender To Do-Somethingism On Guns,” David Harsanyi at The Federalist is mostly correct when he writes, “Law-abiding Americans have no obligation to take ownership of a madman’s actions.” The only thing I take issue with in Mr. Harsanyi’s piece is in him referring to the Ulvalde mass murderer as a “madman.”

Again, when such events occur, we must be careful not to confuse evil with mental illness. Of course, “madman” doesn’t necessarily always refer to someone who is mentally ill, however, inevitably—even among those who should know better—whenever we have a mass shooting, a frequent and near immediate default assumption is that the perpetrator was mentally ill. Perhaps the Robb Elementary School murderer was mentally ill, but we don’t yet know that, and early indications are that he did not have a history involving mental illness.

What’s more, ascribing mental illness to the Robb Elementary murderer doesn’t help Mr. Harsanyi’s case. If someone who kills another human being is “mentally ill,” then it means something should have, or could have, been done to cure them, or protect others from them. As I noted in 2018 (see above link), after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, FL,

As our culture grows more and more secularized, it has become a very common practice to describe those who commit widespread acts of violence—especially if such violence involves the death of multiple human beings—as “crazy.” Some of this is tongue-in-cheek, but much of it is sincere. I believe this is the direct result of the psychiatric community attempting to redefine what is moral.

For decades we have witnessed the psychiatric community take acts that were long considered evil, or at least immoral and illegal, and deem them a “psychological disorder” that needs to be cured. It’s just good for business, I suppose.

In his essay, The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment, C.S. Lewis noted that, when it comes to crime and punishment, we too often are facing off with those who believe “that all crime is more or less pathological.” Thus, instead of the criminal “getting what he deserves”—what used to be called “justice”—we must heal or cure him, and, as Lewis puts it, “punishment becomes therapeutic.”

Additionally, when we refuse to simply call evil what it is, lawmakers—especially, but not exclusively, Democrats—feel emboldened to “do something” to “fix” the problem. After all, when politicians can paint themselves as part of “the solution,” it makes re-election more likely. If we learned anything from COVID-19, this should have been the lesson!

Shortly after COVID-19 entered the U.S., countless politicians across America were all too eager to act. Not that our government should have done nothing, however, as American leftists—as well as those throughout the world—well demonstrated, for most of us, their “cure” was indeed far worse than the disease.

Led by Anthony Fauci—one of the leading prophets of scientism of our time—and his ilk, millions of American individuals, and hundreds-of-thousands of American businesses, churches, and schools were duped into following—or worse: enthusiastically embracing—the “corona-communism” of the champions of Big Government in America. 

The longer the charade played out, the more it became clear—as the data in schools, professional sports,  airplanes, Antarctic research stations, and the like revealed—that almost everything we did to “slow the spread,” including the “six feet” nonsense, was worthless and unnecessary. This is especially true of useless masks and foolish lockdowns.

These two highly destructive measures seemed—until the evil notion of vaccine mandates came along—to be the favorite of “do-somethingism” apologists throughout America and the world. For well over two years now, far too many Americans have lived under democrats devastating “do-somethingism” in the name of “public safety.” This is in spite of the mountains of evidence that point to the ineffectiveness of masks and lockdowns when it comes to controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Nevertheless, those beholden the Covid Cartel are still pushing masking and the like. This is true even in schools, where science has well demonstrated mandatory masking the most unnecessary, as well as the most destructive. It just goes to show that, once “do-somethingism” takes hold, it’s hard to get rid of!

If so many Americans weren’t susceptible to “do-somethingism,” the left wouldn’t continuously try—and often succeed with—it. And if they can’t accomplish their do-something wish list via legislation or executive order, the American left has often been able to rely on like-minded judges in U.S. courts. Tragically, many Americans simply want to be mothered, and the left is only too happy to play such a role.

The left’s “do-somethingism” on COVID-19 has destroyed countless lives and livelihoods. The damage is still being measured, and worse, still happening! If the American left can “do-something” to get rid of guns (or ammunition) in the U.S., they absolutely will. As numerous nations have proved, America has remained America largely because of the Second Amendment.

Recently, the idea that America needs to be “fundamentally transformed” has reached the highest levels of the left. The quickest way for this to happen would be to take guns from law-abiding Americans. We largely surrendered to "do-somethingism" on COVID, we should never make that mistake with guns. 

(See a version of this piece at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2022, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

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