Emily Oster’s saccharine-saturated column in The Atlantic, in which she argues – unpersuasively – for a “pandemic amnesty” has ignited a blaze that, so far, has refused to go out. Indeed, it seems to be mounting as the days count down to the midterm elections…and that’s a good thing.
I’ve already said my piece about Oster’s plea. I feel no need to repeat myself. But I do have a further thought or two. (Surprised?)
First, it’s understandable that fatigue over the whole episode would make some Americans wave it all aside. The desire to be done with it all can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s wrong. It’s a sin against your victimized countrymen, the total number of whom cannot be accurately known. Adam Smith, that invaluable moral philosopher, has told us:
When the guilty is about to suffer that just retaliation, which the natural indignation of mankind tells them is due to his crimes; when the insolence of his injustice is broken and humbled by the terror of his approaching punishment; when he ceases to be an object of fear, with the generous and humane he begins to be an object of pity. The thought of what he is about to suffer extinguishes their resentment for the sufferings of others to which he has given occasion. They are disposed to pardon and forgive him, and to save him from that punishment which in all their cool hours they had considered as the retribution due to such crimes. Here, therefore, they have occasion to call to their assistance the consideration of the general interest of society. They counterbalance the impulse of this weak and partial humanity, by the dictates of a humanity that is more generous and comprehensive. They reflect that mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent, and oppose to the emotions of compassion which they feel for a particular person, a more enlarged compassion, which they feel for mankind.
[Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.]
The “enlarged compassion” of which Smith speaks above is a version of what he called “fellow-feeling” in another context. Yet when enlarged in time and space, the “fellow” changes from the guilty party to the faceless legions at risk of a victimization similar to the one at issue. The one and only measure available by which to reduce the likelihood of such subsequent victimization is punishment.
Second, and perhaps even more important, anger is itself wearying. Sustaining it requires frequent additions of fuel. Under normal considerations – i.e., publicly administered justice for a convicted criminal – anger plays a small role, if any. But in the case before us, courts, judges, and juries are highly unlikely to be involved. We the American people will be the ones to administer justice. Thus we must sustain our anger consciously, that the penalties be inflicted properly and with assurance.
Sustaining one’s anger and desire for justice requires keeping fresh our memories of how we were abused. We must remember. We must gather to pool our remembrances. This is particularly vital for those who lost loved ones, whether to:
- the insane “treatments” applied to early COVID sufferers;
- being cut off from their incomes, their needs, or their loved ones;
- denial of effective treatments such as hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin;
- being forced to share lodgings with other COVID sufferers, especially in nursing homes;
- the poisonous “vaccines.”
Memories gain force when shared.
Third and finally for today, because of the second point, the penalties themselves will cost us effort and endurance. Consider what they must be:
- Repudiation of the COVID totalitarians, in all venues;
- Avoidance of institutions that participated in the COVIDiocy;
- Boycotts of any commercial concerns that were part of the fraud.
It’s guaranteed that punishing those three groups properly will occasion inconvenience and expense for us. It will mean sundering relationships. It will mean forgoing accustomed pleasures and altering patterns of life. And it will mean changing the way we shop and do business, sometimes incurring extra expense in the process. All those things will come at a cost – not always one to be reckoned in dollars.
But we owe it to one another to do the job properly. Else we or our posterity will be victimized in the same fashion, perhaps even by the same criminals.
In short: we must stay angry. No other condition will suffice to ensure that retribution will follow the atrocity the COVID totalitarians have inflicted on us. We already know that we can’t trust the justice system to prosecute members of the Establishment. What remains is what We the People can do, acting from our own initiative and our own knowledge.
Stay angry. Keep your memories fresh, that the flames of fury may continue to burn high. And on Tuesday, November 8: Remember.