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One of The New York Times’ resident “conservatives,” Bret Stephens, warned Friday that the onset of another great depression triggered by the economic havoc being wrought by the country’s lockdowns could, in turn, lead to the rise of fascism.
And of course Stephens, the same “conservative” who three years ago called for deporting allegedly lazy white Americans to make room for illegal aliens, attributed this potential threat to President Donald Trump. And this despite Democrat politicians being the ones displaying genuinely fascist tendencies amid the coronavirus crisis.
He made the remarks while speaking with left-wing HBO talk show host Bill Maher about the growing economic damage being felt across the states.
Listen to the two’s full discussion below, or fast-forward to around the 8:00 minute mark:
“There’s no end of blame to be assigned to the Trump administration, to all kinds of people, but that aside, you have to sort of think ahead and say if the Great Depression is what gave us the rise of fascism and a certain chancellor in Germany, what is the next great depression going to do to our politics?” Stephens said.
“We were already moving in a populist/neo-authoritarian direction when the economy was relatively good. What happens when you have tens of millions of people who are out of work and desperate, not just economically but also politically?”
It’s unclear how Trump’s liberty-minded brand of populism is in any way, shape, or form associated with authoritarianism, especially when it’s his political opponents in the Democrat Party who’ve embraced censorship, religious discrimination, gun control and other sorts of genuinely authoritarian (and Hitlerian) policies.
“So people have to start thinking about the balance of risk,” Stephens continued. “That’s something that no one likes to contemplate because they say, well, if you balance it in one way, people are going to suffer and people are going to die.”
“And that’s almost certainly true. But there are risks to simply pretending that we can hold our breath forever and not hurt ourselves. Right now this is a strategy out of the Vietnam War. We’re trying to destroy the village in order to save it, and I don’t remember that ending very well.”
In other words, while it’s true that more Americans will die if and when the country completely comes out of the current coronavirus lockdown, there’s a risk of even more economically-linked death and destruction if the country remains in lockdown in perpetuity.
What Stephens was basically saying is that it’s imperative policymakers be cognizant of the pros and cons of both the prescribed cure and the disease itself.
If that sentiment sounds similar, it’s because the U.S. president whom he’d just trash-talked moments earlier has repeatedly said it himself:
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
Remember, the Cure can’t be worse than the problem itself. Be careful, be safe, use common sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2020
Maher, a self-described left-winger, agreed with this assessment.
“I read a headline in I think it was NBC News,” he said. “It said, ‘Starving, angry and cannibalistic — America’s rats are getting desperate.’ Because there’s less food everywhere. And I thought this could be a harbinger, you know, [because] people are going to get desperate and starving and I hope not cannibalistic.”
And yes, that’s a real NBC News headline from this past week.
Food shortages: ‘when you’re really, really hungry, you’re not going to act the same — you’re going to act very bad, usually…So these rats are fighting with one another, now the adults are killing the young in the nest and cannibalizing the pups.’ https://t.co/QsrRqmH7JS
— Dee Smith (@DeeSmithTexas) April 29, 2020
The story was published just as reports were beginning to emerge that food shortages may be imminent.
“US meat production has continued to decline as the coronavirus crisis forces the shutdown of more processing facilities, sparking fears of shortages at grocery stores nationwide,” The Guardian reported this week.
“The US Department of Agriculture’s weekly report found that from 27 April, beef production was down nearly 25% compared to the same time last year. Pork production was down 15%.”
Meanwhile, the lines for food banks are growing longer and longer.
— M McCarty (@MikeMcartyglass) April 20, 2020
What neither Stephens nor Maher seemed to recognize, however, was that the ongoing global lockdowns that have caused all this desperation are themselves fascist in nature. As is what they’ve engendered: mass snitching.
Take what’s happening in the U.K.
“Ever since lockdown measures went into effect in the U.K. on March 23, police stations have been inundated with calls from curtain twitchers denouncing neighbors for excessive public outings,” Politico reported at the start of the month.
“Sociologist Patrick Bergemann … an assistant professor of organizations and strategy at the University of Chicago, said that fear-based snitching is often also tainted by spite, with many attempting to settle old scores by filing reports — including false ones — against rivals.”
It’s eerily reminiscent of what happened in Nazi Germany, no?
Bergemann himself said: “In Nazi Germany, an estimated 42 percent of the denunciations were false. Authorities debated changing the system, but they ultimately decided to keep it because it was great for keeping everyone in line.”
And it just so happens that keeping everybody in line is exactly what the mostly Democrat facilitators of the ongoing lockdowns have been itching to do.
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