In times of trouble, Americans rally around a common cause. After Pearl Harbor, we liberated much of the world; during the Cold War, we sent a man to the moon. There was a shared sensibility that Americans were unified in pursuit of the highest ideals.
But after some shocks, this sense of unity proves short-lived — and shortsighted. After the tragedy of 9/11, a bipartisan coalition of political leaders led the nation into a disastrous war in Iraq and Afghanistan. After the Great Recession, the Bush and Obama administrations, brushing aside the concerns of Tea Party patriots and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators alike, orchestrated a historic bailout of the banks and automakers — while millions of American families paid the price.
We are currently in the middle of a similar ordeal. Playing into the public’s fear of a deadly pandemic, a bipartisan alliance of political leaders, disease modelers, and media figures has quickly rallied the public to the cause of restrictive shutdown orders and multitrillion-dollar bailouts, convincing voters to cede their authority to a ruling class of “data-driven experts” and “public health officials.” But as the shock subsides and the details of our new policies become clear, this bipartisan euphoria will vanish—and the public will wonder how it was duped again.Continue Reading at