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How the Organized Left Got COVID Wrong, Learned to Love Lockdowns and Lost its Mind: An Autopsy

Christian Parenti reports:

“It is hard to destroy your own cause and feel righteous while doing so, yet the American left has done it. After more than two centuries at the vanguard of the struggle for freedom, the American left, broadly defined, executed a volte face and embraced anti-working-class policies marketed as purely technical public health measures… Even the American Civil Liberties Union – long a bastion of objective thinking and civil liberties absolutism – has supported the mandates, lockdowns, and censorship. David Cole, the group’s legal director, debased himself in the New York Times with a tortured op-ed explaining how everything the ACLU stood for over the last 100 years suddenly did not apply during the season of freak-out and overreach.

When activist left influencers did stray from the official line, it was to occasionally harrumph about how school closure would be ok if we just had ‘free childcare for all.’ That argument is so flimsy one wants to respond with: ‘Yes, and let’s call these new socialist childcare centers: public schools!’

All of this unmasks the Lockdown Left’s blue-city provincialism. Its adherents drink high-quality coffee and enjoy bike lanes, but have revealed themselves to be as narrow-minded, clannish, mean-spirited and faith-based as any group of small-town ‘deplorables’ might be. If you don’t agree with the consensus in Cambridge, Brooklyn, Bethesda, or Berkeley, then you are very obviously insane. End of story.  For this set, COVID vaccines have become a fetish, a talisman to wave against the specter of ‘contagion’; while lockdowns and censorship are treated as purely technical, apolitical interventions. Prominent left intellectuals have embraced the weaponization of solidarity and made it into a lifestyle via their obsessive masking, scolding, and hiding. They pretend to care for society while actually applauding deeply anti-social and scientifically ungrounded policies like the indefinite shuttering of schools.

All of this is contingent upon the status of Lockdown Leftists as relatively privileged laptop workers who can operate from the comfort of home, dependent on anonymous ‘frontline workers’ ferrying food and Amazon packages to their doorstep. Prior to the pandemic quarantines, many left intellectuals already lived as if they were on lockdown. I know this because I am part of that class.“

Read more: How the Organized Left Got COVID Wrong