The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they're lying, they know we know they're lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them.
― Elena Gorokhova, A Mountain of Crumbs
Hamlet. What news?
Rosenkranz. None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
Hamlet. Then is doomsday near.
Within a short space of time, the U.S. has found itself confronted with three crises necessitating urgent and drastic action: carbon dioxide, racism, and coronavirus. Like the Huns, Visigoths, and Vandals, these invisible menaces stand at the gates, poised to destroy our civilization, even our very lives. The answer, of course, is to go ahead and destroy everything ourselves, so that they won’t get the best of us. Like a Roman senator or the zealots of Masada, we will fall on our swords rather than face the music. Then, like a phoenix risen from the ashes, we can build back better.
A rational people might prioritize, and try to deal with one thing at a time. Not us; we have declared racism a public health emergency; our tax dollars have paid for riots and looting in the middle of a “pandemic.” Jonathan Safran Foer penned an op-ed for the New York Times saying that if we care about racial justice, we must stop eating meat, because (he alleges) the people that work in meat processing facilities are “overwhelmingly black and brown,” and meat processing facilities have had some coronavirus “cases.”
There is also, of course, the crisis of misinformation, which used to be called “being wrong” or sometimes “lying.” Some people, incredibly, are not sufficiently terrorized by carbon dioxide, racism, and coronavirus, even denying the need to fear them. Such insane recklessness can impede the implementation of hasty, drastic changes, and if left unchecked may actually prevent the destruction of civilization. The best way to win a debate is to silence the other side; but we’ve done that and we’re still losing, so the reasonable answer is to round up the crazy people who don’t want to be governed by terrorism, and put them in prison.