Catching Saul Alinsky's Virus 2

Here's what Republicans should be using the coronavirus to accomplish.

As the world reels beneath the onslaught of coronavirus panic - and, to a far lesser extent, the virus itself - America's Democrats show admirable self-discipline in not letting the chaos distract them from their purpose.  Regardless of the impending deaths or permanent damage to our economy, as we explored in the previous article in this series, Democrats remain single-minded in their goals of gaining power by any means fair or foul.

With the very emergency relief bill recently passed, they saw fit to hold it up by trying to insert into the virus relief bill which had nothing to do with the virus and everything to do with giving government, and thereby Democrats, more power and money.

Although Republicans blocked the worst of them, enough got through to get the Democrats further toward their goal of gaining total political power over everyone and everybody.  Yet again, the evil party used a major crisis to move the nation further left and the stupid party let them do it.

Which raises a question: why are they the only ones who can do this?  Why can't conservatives take advantage of a crisis and use it to accomplish good that they could not previously have done?  If Democrats use crises to decrease individual liberty, why can't our side use a crisis to underscore the incompetence and inefficiency of bureaucracy and instead return power back to the people where it belongs?

In this article, we'll explore a few possibilities opened up by the current chaos which, if properly leveraged, would lead to more individual freedom, more economic growth, and - as a necessary precursor - less power for government in general and Democrats in particular.  On a happy note, we see President Trump is already doing some of them; maybe this will give him more disruptive ideas.

Restore the Right to Fire

The Wall Street Journal published "America Needed Coronavirus Tests. The Government Failed" and the New York Post published "How red tape has crippled America's coronavirus response," both of which documented incompetent plague responses by our FDA and CDC.  Our inability to test for carriers made it impossible to use our normal processes of tracing contacts to quarantine the right people to stop the spread in our communities.  Government incompetence has led to a number of deaths which should have been prevented.

There are so many examples of incompetence, laziness, over-manning, and other forms of malfeasance by government employees that we won't list any - fill in your favorite examples.  On top of the expected lack of bureaucratic concern for accomplishing anything other than getting a bigger budget every year, however, Mr. Trump faces a Democrat-supporting federal bureaucracy which is implacably hostile to his desire to cut back the federal government.

It appears to us that on top of the usual sloth, our bureaucracies did their jobs extra poorly to make him look as bad.  The stellar example of this is James Comey, the former FBI director who leaked classified memos to the New York Times in order to get Mr. Mueller appointed to harass Mr. Trump.

We believe this is also going in within the coronavirus response, based on this Vice article "A Pandemic Expert Tells Us Why She Was So Wrong About Coronavirus."

Many public health experts were sure that the virus could be beaten before it had a disastrous impact: as long as testing was robust, and the systems in place functioned properly, America would pull through relatively unscathed.

They may have been right, but we'll never know, because testing has not been robust, and the systems in place have all failed miserably. ...

In late February, she [Theresa MacPhail, a medical anthropologist, Assistant Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology] spoke optimistically with me about America's ability to handle the coming COVID-19 outbreak. In early March, she got sick with what she believes to be COVID-19. She reached out to me recently, insisting to go on the record again to say that she was wrong, and that she put too much faith in the CDC and America's ability to manage the crisis.

Ms. MacPhail is an experienced epidemiologist who knows many CDC employees personally.  The article describes her total bewilderment at their inadequate response.  If anyone should know how energetic a response the CDC should be able to muster, it is she - and yet, for no apparent reason, she found them playing Keystone Kops.

Whether by accident or by design, our federal agencies dropped the ball.  It is also clear that none of the bureaucrats whose incompetence, if that is all it was, will suffer any consequences - the Justice Department decided not to prosecute Andrew McCable who admitted leaking classified information and lying to Congress under oath, so it's inconceivable they'll do anything to bureaucrats who did nothing more (or less) than any normally cynical conservative would expect them to.

But prison is not the only possible penalty - why not just sack some of them?  Mr. Trump should issue an executive order to permit each of his appointees to dismiss one subordinate per week for any reason.  This person would be fired without pension or recourse.

Lest this seem harsh, consider the numbers.  According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the federal workforce is composed of an estimated 2.1 million civilian workers.  A weekly firing of the worst malingerers out of this multitude would have the effect of making them all seek to perform better to stay off the chop list, but would be just the tiniest fraction of them all.

Long ago, the French coined the phrase pour encourager les outres, which means "to encourage the others."  Experience shows that the only bureaucratic motivator is the whisper of the ax.  Yet our idiotic civil service laws make it impossible for elected officials to terminate bureaucrats who, supposedly, work to serve them and the taxpayers.

No stranger to showmanship, Mr. Trump could offer a weekly prize for anyone who identified the federal employee who most deserved to be let go.  Perhaps a public competition might be in order, and would no doubt command high ratings from an angry public.

One of the reasons we supported Mr. Trump in the first place was because of his signature line, "You're fired!"  We believe that ought to be yelled the length and breadth of the beltway for at least 8 years.  He should take advantage of the crisis to make this possible.

Put Cured People Back to Work

Democrats have demonstrated repeatedly that they want to kill jobs and force people to become dependent on government so they can tell them what to do.  This is the most likely reason that they don't feel the need to get behind any particular organized response to coronavirus: in the immediate term, the longer the economic damage goes on (they reason) the weaker Mr. Trump's "I fixed the economy" claim becomes and they more likely they are to defeat him in 2020.  They have already criticized Mr. Trump for even talking about lifting the quarantine and letting people go back to work.

Although many modern Americans can work from home effectively - like, thankfully, your humble correspondents - most jobs require physical presence, particularly in transportation, hospitality, logistics, retail, or cleaning.  Even e-commerce requires people to handle goods for packing, shipping, and final delivery.

An inexcusable, bureaucracy-driven delay in being able to test for the virus has led to one of our most serious problems in deciding how to end the lockdown: we don't know how many people have been exposed to the virus and cured themselves without noticing that they were "ill."

Some data argue that as many as 80% of infected people don't have serious enough symptoms to justify testing.  If people have cured themselves of the virus, they're immune, at least for a few months.  Mr. Trump could announce a program similar to the German program for testing people for antibodies, which means they're over it, and let at least them go back to work.  This would be perfectly safe, since they would be incapable of catching the bug, and therefore equally incapable of giving it to anyone else.

How does this help the cause of freedom?  Well, obviously, it helps the cause of their personal freedom.  That's important for everyone, because it would provide a living example and expectation of the freedom that we all deserve, and should get back at the earliest possible moment.

The example of a free England helped European partisans resist Nazi Germany; the example of a free United States helped countries resist the onslaught of Communism; and the example of people freely going about our business would remind us that each of us should have the same rights at the earliest possible moment.

Free the Gig Economy

At the urging of unionized taxi drivers who couldn't complete with Uber or Lyft, and union officials who couldn't organize gig workers, California has passed a law, known as AB5, saying that most workers have to be classified as W-2 employees.  In theory, this makes them eligible for overtime pay, rest breaks, sick leave, and other expensive benefits which price a lot of gig workers out of the market.

In practice, forcing companies to put employees on the formal, W2 payroll is an expensive proposition in the best of times and will be particularly difficult as the economy spins back up.  The obvious result is that most of those people will be left with no job at all.

As we discussed in our previous article in this series, this is just fine for the Democrats: unemployed people are dependent on government and subject to the whims of the Democrat-run bureaucracy.  Any action that increases gainful employment and reduces unemployment is not just good for America in its own right, it's directly bad for Democrats and thus doubly good for America.

To recover from this largely self-made disaster of Biblical proportions, we must return to America's roots of liberty and freedom of contract, offering workers and employers as much flexibility as possible.  Mr. Trump should push for laws and IRS regulations that normalize people working at times of their own choice and for as many employers as possible.

Democrats and their union allies would scream that such employees are being exploited, but so many workers have found themselves out of jobs due to anti-gig regulations that we're confident that this would help the economy.  It might even help otherwise-doomed Republican efforts in deep-blue strongholds of Democrat oppression like California.

A Never-Ending Job

Perhaps the key reason that Democrats entirely control the commanding heights of our nation, economy, and culture, with only the will of a bare half of the country standing in their way, is because they are persistent in pushing their agenda at all times, in ways large and small.  A tiny change in their direction may not seem like a big deal - but over time, add up all the thousands of tiny changes, and the whole country has moved enormously to the left.  In nearly every meaningful policy, John F. Kennedy, the ultimate Revered Democrat, was to the right of Donald J. Trump!

So, it's not good enough to just come up with a handful of big ideas.  What we need is a whole host of little ones too.  Remember, the Democrats didn't get their giant destructive ideas into the coronavirus rescue bill, but they did sneak in a few little ones.  We'll continue with some more ideas in the next article in this series.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

The Republicans (with a few exceptions) are unwilling to make themselves as unpleasant as would be necessary to effectively counter the Democrats and are more in sympathy with at least some Democrat goals than those who vote for them would like. Furthermore, they live in fear of Democrats’ obvious eagerness, enthusiastically supported by the media, to turn Republicans into public objects of scorn and derision. They want to be good guys, reasonable and collegial, as though we still lived in the America of the 1950s. They fail to realize that they are now dealing with enemies, rather than worthy opponents—enemies who would watch them destroyed, jailed, reduced to beggary, or even executed without a qualm.

Trump Is one of the few with the courage to stand up to the Democrat juggernaut. Until Republicans fully realize that their existence and that of the entire country is at stake and are willing to disconnect from the business, banking, and pharmaceutical interests that control them, they will remain ineffectual boobies.

April 2, 2020 8:56 PM

You're not alone in seeking to sieze an opportunit.

Still, many have acknowledged that the president’s travel ban likely saved lives. Imagine that: travel bans now save lives when just three years ago, they were “racist.” In fact, Trump’s critics started insinuating that he was a racist for insisting upon a travel ban with China when the disease first spread from Wuhan. They’ve since backed off, given the severity of the disease (no, COVID-19 is not merely the flu).

Suddenly, everyone is asking why the heck we’re so reliant on China for our supply chain. Even six months ago, the free traders in the United States were demanding that Trump surrender to China in the “trade war.” In December, Trump made an initial deal with China. Bet we’re all wishing Trump had never made that “phase one” deal with China last Christmas!

As the disease spreads throughout our country, our already strained medical system (thanks, Obamacare) is at risk of collapsing. Further, this COVID-19 outbreak gives Trump and his allies one more chance to fix one of their greatest legislative failures: overturning the Affordable Care Act once-and-for-all and fix our ailing healthcare system as well as our dying industrial base.

Whatever the real mortality rate with COVID-19 may be, the fact remains that our hospital system cannot take the load. Already hospitals are stretched to capacity in places like New York City. Should the country return to “normal” prematurely, the disease will soon swamp metropolitan and rural hospitals alike, as people resume their normal rate of travel. That’s why we must “flatten the curve.” And in flattening the curve, we can also squash the scourge of socialism.

Fact is, Democrats have never stopped behaving as Emanuel urged in 2009. As Rachel Bovard has heroically detailed, the recent stimulus bill meant to provide relief to Americans during this national emergency is full of candy for Democratic Party special interests. Similarly, congressional Republicans have been all to happy to throw some handouts to their “free trade” cronies at taxpayers’ expense.

Perhaps Trump should do the same for his voters.

President Trump should take a page from his opposition’s book and spend the next five weeks pressing his agenda. Trump should shut the country down—including suspending air travel—to truly “flatten the curve.” Using the military, he should enforce social distancing to slow the spread of the disease.

April 5, 2020 3:05 PM

When President Trump first initiated a Travel Ban and closed the Borders the Democrats including Quid Pro Joe and Bernie called it Racist as well as did Nancy Peloi and Adam Schiff. NOW suddenly they want another MULTI-Million dollar task force only now they claimed he did not do it fast enough. Their Stupidity and Monry squandering knows no bounds!!

April 28, 2020 1:36 AM
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