The Rochester, New York, appeals courtroom scene last week was absolutely riveting. The state was appealing the lower court’s decision against Governor Kathy Hochul’s quarantine camp law. The law granted power to the state to seal anyone in an apartment or take them to a camp without evidence of infection or exposure, without due process, and with no termination date. In other words, the law was totalitarian.
Governments like this never like to have any power taken away, so they appealed the decision. The plaintiff in the case is a New York legislator who was never allowed to vote against the law. The winning attorney is Brownstone Fellow Bobbie Anne Cox. At the hearing, she gave a fiery denunciation of the state and a defense of human rights.
As the arguments ended, Bobbie Anne rose to leave and the audience erupted into wild applause. This grew as she entered the hallway. In the streets, she was cheered by 400 or more supporters as the media took interviews from the plaintiff.
The optics could not have been clearer. This was the people versus the power elite. There is only one answer to this law: it has to be struck down. Will it be? We await the answer. Will the elites keep forcing their will on the people, or will they give in?
These struggles are extremely difficult. Governments hate giving up power. Getting it to happen is not just a matter of the law. It is also a reflection of media and public opinion, especially these days. They might acquiesce but they don’t want to. The mood of the public is forcing a change.
In the last three years, the ruling class in the United States has been found out. They tipped their hand with outrageous deployments of grotesque power. They closed the schools without any real basis. They shut the churches. They imposed a deadly shot on unwilling takers who never needed them. They ruined millions of lives, traumatizing nearly everyone, and for a virus that for most people was not a medically significant threat.
The shock and awe alone kept people quiet for nearly a year. But then the realization that we had all been scammed dawned. They took away our rights and liberties under false pretense, created a fake crisis, and then used that crisis to deploy a dystopian model of social and economic organization on which no one ever voted.
The growing incredulity turned from doubt to suspicion to anger to fury. It is growing by the day. That an appeals court decision in Rochester could turn out many hundreds of people, with no media attention at all, is extremely telling. But it is only one tiny slice of the growing mass movement.
We see it in New Mexico, where the attempted gun grab has become a genuine crisis for the governor. We see it in California where judges, fearing public anger, are overturning vaccine mandates. We even see it in the union protests against the big automakers. These strikers are mostly objecting to the production of unprofitable EVs and the deprecation of what they do best and what consumers actually want: real cars that burn gas.
We see it further in the White House’s appeal to the Supreme Court of the injunction against the bullying of social-media companies. They are still demanding the right to censor. They won’t let it be taken away even by a federal court. They are behaving like a junta that has seized control and won’t let go.
It’s becoming the many against the few. And we know precisely who the few are. They are an elite group of media figures, public-health officials, intelligence agencies, tech companies, and deep state actors at all levels of government. They preened on the national stage for three years, going on about their great plans for your life.
Now they are increasingly in hiding, fearful of the angry public. They are both wildly paranoid and truly terrified—probably far more than they should be. They are using every mechanism—appeals, smears, cancellations, and dirty tricks galore—to keep the public at bay while keeping their powers.
I was speaking to a keen observer of the situation two nights ago, and he made a very interesting observation. He said the ruling class made three fundamental foul ups in three years. One they might have gotten away with as a mistake. Two they could have excused as a misfortune. It was the third that did them in.
What are these profound errors in judgment?
First, they panicked the entire population that a deadly germ was everywhere that required the suspension of all normal life, including your right to hold weddings, graduations, funerals, and parties. Church was banned. Travel was restricted. You could not even collect rent from the tenant in the basement. And they flooded the economy with money as a justification.
But in the end, it turned out that the virus, which is very real and probably lab-created with U.S. tax dollars, obeyed the logic of viruses. It was not very deadly at all, which is precisely why it was so transmissible. To make everything look worse than it was, they used phony tests, misclassified deaths, subsidized calling anything and everything a COVID death, panicked the population into sickness and death, and even caused deaths with killer hospital protocols.
And they did all this for a virus that, at worst, has an infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.09 percent for those under the age of seventy. If we knew the flu IFR precisely, which we do not, we could compare. In any case, nothing about the lockdowns achieved anything at all in terms of virus mitigation. That’s an awesome realization as we sit here with high and devastating inflation and dramatically lower household incomes.
Second, they advertised and pushed and compelled their wicked shots under the promise that they would fix the problem. They did not fix the problem. They didn’t do much at all even in the best case. Mostly they had no positive benefit because they did not stop infection or transmission. Still, the powerful vaccine makers got ridiculously rich. This failure was one of the greatest in the history of public health.
Third, and this was the worst of it, they used the manufactured crisis to impose a whole series of other cockamamie demands from their grab bag of crazy goals, including ending fossil fuels, promoting gender dysphoria, imposing ESG/DEI standards on all corporations, surveilling the public, censoring social media, and dramatically expanding government in every area of life.
It was the third point that blew open the rackets of the other two. With that came new doubts about the whole protocol: masking, distancing, Plexiglas, closures, bans, blocks, restrictions, plus media complicity and social-media censorship. Basically, we’ve been sold a wicked bill of goods.
So many people today are saying: enough and no more! And it’s not just about the last three years. If they would do this to us, what else have they been getting away with for years, even decades? It all needs a rethinking, all the way back to 9/11 and even the JFK assassination. Precisely how long has the Deep State been running the United States?
These are burning questions, and asking them has become ever more common. What I used to consider to be kooky is increasingly mainstream and, indeed, entirely plausible. We can no longer rule out conspiracy theories based on where they fit within the normal standards of permissible thought. The unthinkable has become thinkable, even likely.
At the very same time, we are seeing vicious smears against regime opponents, whether it is Ken Paxton, Lauren Boebert, Russell Brand, Kristi Noem, or countless dissident doctors, scientists, and many others. Meanwhile, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is dealing with possible assassination attempts while being denied Secret Service protection.
We do seem to be at the brink of something very decisive. The elites are scared out of their wits by the growing realization of many people that we’ve been lied to, robbed, and bludgeoned solely as measures of transferring money and power from us to them.
As an old friend just texted me, our times feel crazy but they might be the calm before the real storm.
Other times in history come to mind, including the American, French, and Russian revolutions. Those can turn out well or horribly depending on exigencies of time and place. My instinct this time is that we are on the right track finally to do something important about the problems in American life. But getting there will not be easy.
Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. First published here.
Jeffrey A.Tucker’s interview with David Leis on Leaders on the Frontier can be seen here.