The Political Game on the Pandemic

After the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, progressives (i.e., “liberals”) used it as a game to point out all the things that President Trump and his administration were doing wrong to address the crisis. Hardly a day went by without some leftist pointing out the faults and failures of Trump’s efforts.

Now that Joe Biden is president, you can bet your bottom dollar that the same thing is now going to happen in reverse. Conservatives are going to have a field day pointing out all the faults and foibles of the Biden administration as it attempts to deal with the pandemic. You’re already witnessing this phenomenon with respect to the distribution of the virus vaccine.

Even some libertarians have gotten into this political game, spending time pointing out all the debacles and failures of, first, Trump, and now Biden, in addressing the crisis.

Of course, this phenomenon isn’t new. It has been employed by conservative and progressives (and some libertarians) for decades. In fact, over the years many think tanks and educational foundations have prospered by simply writing articles, publishing books, holding conferences, and giving speeches simply pointing out the faults and failures of welfare-warfare state programs.

The problem, however, is that conservatives and liberals, along with some of the libertarians, who play this game never address the solution to the problem. Some of them simply devote themselves to constantly pointing out the failures of the programs but without offering any solution. Others end their articles and op-eds with a popular refrain: “The system needs reform,” leaving the implication that there is some possible reform that will resolve the problems.

The advantage for these critics is that the parlor game goes on forever, so long as the system is kept intact or even reformed. That’s because the system itself is inherently defective. No matter who is running it — conservative, progressive, or libertarian — the result will be the same—massive dysfunctionality.

America’s healthcare system is a combination of socialist central planning and healthcare interventionism. That’s an inherently defective system. So long as it is kept intact and even constantly reformed, there are going to be problems. We have seen this throughout the pandemic. And we are now seeing it with the distribution of vaccines. And there will continue to be problems regardless of who is in charge and regardless of what healthcare reform is adopted.

Thus, we can spend the rest of our lives pointing out the problems or we can instead devote our efforts to the solution. I say we are better off focusing more on the solution than on the problems.

What is the solution to America’s healthcare woes? A complete separation of healthcare and the state, much as our ancestors separated church and state. No more Medicare and Medicaid. No more FDA and Centers for Disease Control. No more government lockdowns or mask mandates. The complete end of all government involvement in healthcare.

There is no other solution. The current healthcare paradigm has clearly failed. While hope springs eternal for leftists that Biden will finally make their socialist healthcare system work, it’s just not going to happen. That’s because no one can make an inherently defective paradigm work. When a paradigm is shown to be inherently defective, the only rational course of action is to shift to a new paradigm, especially one that works.

The only solution to America’s healthcare woes is the free market. The free market produces the best of everything. It would produce the best healthcare system and it would produce the best approach to dealing with threats to healthcare. The sooner we adopt this new paradigm, the better off everyone will be. The longer we delay, the worse off everyone will be.

People have a lot of fun pointing out the perverse outcomes of a socialist system. But it’s just a game. Of much greater importance is raising people vision to a higher level — to what we need to do to get out of this socialist morass. Of course, if were were to succeed in ending America’s socialist healthcare system, there would be no more faults and failures to mock and ridicule. Maybe that’s what scares the people who love participating in this parlor game.

Jacob G. Hornberger, Future of Freedom Foundation

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