Two weeks ago the media and Democratic leaders (yeah, yeah, redundant I know) were touting the street dances featuring tens of thousands of people celebrating Joe Biden’s win. Much like with the BLM/Antifa protests over the summer, we were told these public gatherings during a pandemic were ACKSUHALLY OK. For that, we are ignoring you.
Some people defended them by pointing out that most were masked. Really, they did. By that standard they should have no problem with 75,000 people in a football stadium so long as they are wearing their magic masks. They seem less enthusiastic to support that. For that, we are ignoring them.
We are being told to “believe science.” But many of these same scientists signed a statement after the first round of protests that said since the cause was so important, the virus was a secondary concern. That is not science. That is politics. You are to be ignored.
We begrudgingly and collectively agreed to short-term shutdowns in April to “flatten the curve.” We were told it would be a matter of weeks. 40 million jobs disappeared, but we soldiered on, wanting to flatten that oh-so-terrible curve. We did. Then the goal line moved. And it kept moving—moved by the same public officials who simultaneously praised and defended the protests. That’s why we are ignoring them.
Here is the problem. If your message isn’t consistent, you’re going to lose credibility. You are not going to be able to reach the people you need to reach. You can lecture, scream, put Fauci’s face on the Sun itself and people won’t listen. They will not accept two different sets of rules. Nor should they. People accustomed to living in a free nation do not like that. They ignore you.
Once people recognize hypocrisy, you have lost them. And it is YOUR fault. Even if what you now recommend is the right thing, it doesn’t matter. Your hypocrisy has destroyed the one thing you need most to guide hundreds of millions of people through a pandemic—public trust. And we are ignoring you.
And now the same people who actively supported large scale protests and Biden victory dances are telling us to (more or less) cancel Thanksgiving. Fauci this morning mentioned Christmas “is not going to happen.” Mixed messaging is the best way to get people to actively defy you. Or at best, ignore you.
You cannot hide from a virus. You cannot use public policy to make it disappear or keep it at bay. You also cannot change human nature. Public officials tried—and had limited success as people flattened the curve. But once they ignored their own rules in order to forgive certain violators, their authority was gone. We are ignoring them.
As Peter Cook says about the ‘death’ of expertise. “Expertise wasn’t killed. It committed suicide.”