In the age of COVID-19, anti-elitism leads to death


Anti-elitism killed John McDaniel.

On social media McDaniel publicly disparaged efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

One screenshot of a post dated March 13 included an accusation that the virus was a “political ploy.”

“If you’re paranoid about getting sick, just don’t go out,” another post allegedly said. “It shouldn’t keep those of us from Living Our Lives. The Madness has to stop.”

A month later he was dead. The proximate cause was coronavirus. The real cause was anti-elitism.

Do Trump supporters love themselves as much as they hate elites?

I’m old enough to remember when doctors and scientists were respected. That was before a political party weaponized anti-elitism in the effort to win elections.

It started by encouraging distrust of government. President Ronald Reagan famously declared:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.

Over time it expanded to include the people who might support activist government, the “elites.” Instead of responding to the threats identified by “elites” in science and medicine, anti-elitists began condemning those who brought them any news they didn’t want to hear.

Anti-vaxxers didn’t like vaccines so they publicly vilified the doctors and scientists who created them. They attack any effort to maintain one of the greatest public health advances of all time.

Oil and coal interests didn’t want to hear about climate change so they publicly vilified the scientists who raised the alarm. They and their followers attack any effort to protect us from the environmental tragedy that we have been racing toward.

Our current President and his followers didn’t want to hear about the dangers of coronavirus so they publicly vilified the “elitist” doctors who warned about it.

Instead of taking measures to head off the pandemic, Trump and his supporters discounted the frantic calls to action of “elitist” epidemiologists and insisted it wouldn’t arrive.

Instead of quickly mobilizing social distancing to prevent spread of the virus, they derided those measures (they were recommended by elitists!) and insisted they were unnecessary efforts designed to socially control populations for nefarious ends.

Instead of quickly implementing the testing developed by the hated elitists at the World Health Organization, the Federal government insisted on developing its own test that was an embarrassing failure.

Instead of providing protective equipment for “elitist” health professionals, they have instead confiscated protective equipment that states managed to source for doctors and nurses.

At every step of the way, the Federal government has openly disparaged “elitist” scientists and callously risked the lives of “elitist” doctors and nurses.

Anti-elitism has become such a knee jerk reaction that instead of doing everything possible to avert economic disaster, Trump supporters including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have labeled rescue measures as “Blue State bailouts” designed to protect hated Democratic elites.

Anti-elitism has become such a reflexive response that instead of staying far away from others who might be carrying the virus, Trump supporters are holding rallies to show their contempt for safety measures.

But the anti-elitists have a big problem: the hated elites could have reduced the scale of this massive tragedy and they are the ONLY people who can bring it to an end.

Thus far nearly every prediction that “elites” have made about COVID-19 has come to pass. Nearly every prediction made by anti-elitists has been wrong, often spectacularly wrong.

So there’s only one question left for anti-elitists:

Do they love themselves and their families more or, like John McDaniel, do they hate “elites” so much that they’re willing to die for no better reason than to demonstrate their contempt?