Everybody knows the story of King Canute, the 11th-century Viking king of England, who raised his hand to stop the roll of the tide—and yet the tide rolled in anyway. The almost certainly apocryphal story has come down to us as an illustration of hubris: even the proud monarch could not command the elements.
But that’s wrong. The real moral of the story is that the king commanded the tides to stop in order to show his courtiers that there are limits to man’s temporal authority, and that not even a monarch can command God or nature.
That’s the lesson President Trump—not to mention a swath of senior Republicans as well as the nation itself—should be taking away from Trump’s brush with the CCP virus (often known as the novel coronavirus) over the weekend. And indeed, it seems that the president has: “Don’t let it dominate your life. This is America, this is the United States. . . . we have to confront problems.”
Leaving aside the amazing coincidence of why, in the immediate aftermath of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and last week’s debate, so much of the GOP brain trust suddenly came down with the Chinese Communist Party virus—and thus far not a single Democrat—the president’s seemingly quick recovery from Covid-19 was just the reality check an increasingly buffaloed and fearful America needed.
The Democrats, it seems, have gone all in on the novel coronavirus, the better to permanently destroy the economic gains of the administration and, worse, insisting against much medical evidence, that the American people should be muzzled as a sign of their subordination to government at all levels. Indeed, after dodging the issue repeatedly, Joe Biden has issued a call for mandatory mask-wearing even outdoors, for “the next three months minimum.”
But there’s no meaningful evidence that wearing masks—even along with constant hand-washing and “social distancing”—does much of anything to “defeat” a virus. Nor do destructive lockdowns that crush both spirit and body, devastate businesses, destroy livelihoods, and—in their arbitrariness and capriciousness—dishearten and discourage the maintenance and formation of new businesses.
Worst of all has been the damage done to our constitution, which explicitly protects freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the free exercise of religion. There is no constitutional exception for “pandemics”—and the Founding Fathers, as men of the 18th century, were certainly experienced with infectious diseases, among them cholera, tuberculosis, and yellow fever. In fact, a yellow fever swept through Philadelphia—then the nation’s capital—in 1793, just two years after the ratification of the Constitution.
And yet, here is the thuggish governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, this week threatening his state’s large Orthodox Jewish communities: “I will have to tell them ‘if you are not willing to live with these rules, I will have to close the synagogues’.”
And to add to the Soviet feel of Cuomo’s diktat: Cuomo used 14-year-old photo to show mass Orthodox gatherings during pandemic.