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On the Ballot Nov. 3: ‘Enlightened’ Rule by Fear vs. Freedom

Way back in March, days before all hell broke loose and the widespread shutdowns began, I wrote an article in these pages describing the twin crises about to befall us: A health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus that purportedly emerged from the Wuhan, China virology lab, and a behavioral crises caused by panicked overreactions to that virus.

At the time, I was far more afraid of the behavioral responses than I was of the virus itself.

Those early days feel long ago. We’ve learned and experienced a great deal in the nearly-seven months since the world recognized the imperative of “doing something” in the face of this pandemic. We’ve lost celebrities and loved ones to the pandemic.

We’ve witnessed global leaders — from Boris Johnson (early on) to Donald Trump just a few days ago — contract the illness, then recover.

We’ve seen governments around the free world restrict the rights of their citizens in unprecedented ways. We’ve had entirely new social conventions foisted upon us.

That said, I stand by my original assessment: The damage we’ve done to the social and economic fabric of America — and globally —far surpasses the substantial harm that this pandemic has wrought. More importantly, and much to my surprise, the behavioral crisis has given us a glimpse of the future. It has revealed — with far more clarity than anything before it — just how stark the differences are between America’s political parties.


Bruce Abramson

Bruce Abramson

Bruce Abramson has over thirty years of experience working as a technologist, economist, attorney, and policy analyst. Dr. Abramson holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia and a J.D. from Georgetown. He has contributed to the scholarly literature on computing, business, economics, law, and foreign policy, and written extensively about American politics and policy.