Sen. Ed Emery’s Legislative Report for July 24, 2020

The “New Normal”

“The coronavirus lockdowns demonstrated our leaders’ ignorance of economic interdependence. After the riots, that ignorance has been shown to run far deeper. It is an ignorance about government’s most fundamental obligation: to safeguard life, liberty and property. It is an ignorance about human nature and human striving.”  ̶  Heather MacDonald, Manhattan Institute

The “New Normal” has less to do with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and “safety” and more to do with redefining the role and power of government. No one disputes the virus has taken loved ones from us prematurely or unexpectedly and challenged our health care system in new ways. However, even though I believe the panicked prediction of over 2 million deaths by Sept. 1 has been thoroughly debunked, it appears the panic level seems little changed. According to Heather McDonald in her June lecture at Hillsdale College, the death toll is lower than the flu pandemics of 1968, 1956 and 1918 when adjusted for population. This raises the question, why is it a “new normal”?

In my opinion, the coronavirus death toll has been compromised, beginning with the admission early numbers included those who died “with” COVID-19, not “from” COVID-19. One physician recently remarked to me this is the first time a diagnosis has ever been “incentivized.” From my perspective, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that not only the death toll, but even the number of cases have been over-counted by labels like “suspected COVID,” without even a test. According to a USA Today article, the Medicare payment goes from $5,000 for pneumonia, to $13,000 if the diagnosis is COVID-19, to $39,000 if the same patient is put on a ventilator. Does that give you some indication of why hospital numbers may be suspect? The good news about the case counts is, as they go up, the percent of patients who die continues to go down.

Too few young people know, or elders remember, the USSR and the power of government in Soviet countries to determine what business is essential and what business is not – to decree if, or when, a business could open, and even what it could sell. Centralized power structures and national governments (as opposed to our federal government) have long been in the business of controlling the people. I believe their objective is to keep the people submissive, not free. There was clear purpose of the United States Founders, who began our Constitution with the definitive “We the People . . .” Their intention was for the people to direct the government, not the other way around.

There is good reason why decisions made in fear often prove disastrous. Someone once said, “Never allow yourself to be so desperate that you end up settling for far less than what you deserve.” The book “Crisis and Leviathan,” by Robert Higgs, was recently recommended to me by some friends to help me understand and combat the easy surrender of liberties we see around us. They told me although written in an earlier time, the book is applicable to our day. It is usually during crisis (real or perceived) that government expands, and liberty contracts.

History is a refiner of ideas and actions, and I believe the coronavirus forensics will debunk the need for a “new normal” in human interaction. The coronavirus presented uncertainties that incited panic and precipitated drastic actions, such as the manufacture of thousands of ventilators, and what now appears to be misapplication in many cases. We evacuated hospitals and watched them sit empty, and medical workers sit idle. The media hype and daily case-count reports may be unprecedented, but the virus has not yet proven to be. There are now far fewer uncertainties than in March, but I believe many of the panicked elite still want you and me to panic and support this new normal, with government as the dispenser of life, liberty and property, rather than its protector. From where I stand, there seems to be a new sense of crisis, with government being the only thing big enough to save us. I cannot speak for others, but I cannot accept government as the author and finisher of my faith, and I hope you won’t either. Although the health crisis has not proven to be unprecedented, the multiple impositions of government power certainly have been.

“America’s Founders, schooled in a profound philosophical and literary tradition dating back to classical antiquity, understood the fragility of civil peace and the danger of the lustful, vengeful mob. Our present leaders, the products of a politicized and failing education system, seem to know nothing of those truths. Pulling the country back from the abyss will require a recalling of our civilizational inheritance.” ̶  Heather MacDonald

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of local, state, and federal government.