Conservative Jewish commentator Dennis Prager occasionally jokes, “If two Jews are alone in a room, there will be at least three opinions.”
Christians have quipped that even God himself could not handpick a dozen men without having one betray him, one deny him, and nine more abandon him. A Socratic-like mentor of mine often observed, “Logic is our best defense against The Experts.”
What all those statements suggest is that human beings, no matter how well-intentioned and informed, will disagree on many issues and will even fall short of their own morals. Find one prominent expert and odds are you can find another in the same field, with an equal amount of alphabet soup, who disagrees with the first.
Normally, disputes among experts do not affect the day-to-day lives of most people. We function just fine without experts, which may be why many of us avoid them unless a situation overwhelms us.
A sudden, unknown, global pandemic qualifies as overwhelming.
For people blessed with rarely having needed experts, there may have been a bit of a shock to experience the constantly changing and conflicting advice:
Banning travel from the virus’ point of origin was not needed.
Millions of Americans would die if we did not lock down for 15 days.
Convicts needed to be released because lockdown increased their chances of getting sick.
Masks were not needed.
Masks were mandatory.
Hospitals would be overwhelmed.
Medical workers were being laid off.
The World Health Organization told us not to panic. Then it insisted we must lock down. Then it praised Sweden’s non-lockdown, herd-immunity approach.
While most of the positions that conflict can be explained by an honest learning curve, not all can. And that is why it is time to defend ourselves with our natural logic. We have eyes, ears and experiences.
We have seen that, once politicians decreed masks mandatory, they made no effort to issue effective masks to either essential workers or to the rest of the populace (when it is allowed to leave the house). At any grocery store, both the hardworking employees and the shoppers wear all different kinds of masks — including the popular bandit handkerchief, which does nothing to constrain one’s downward, outgoing breath.
Politicians have not mandated wearing gloves while out of our homes, and yet we’ve been told that our hands can also infect and be infected.
Numerous citizen videos show that journalists urging people to wear masks have been taking off their own masks as soon as their camera stops rolling. In one citizen video of a journalist’s mask lecture, that journalist’s behind-the-scenes crew is not wearing masks.
CNN commentator Chris Cuomo, after testing positive for COVID-19, got caught faking his quarantine with a citizen video of him getting tough with a bike rider at Cuomo’s property in East Hampton while Cuomo still pretended, on air, to be confined in his Southampton basement.
A man was arrested for paddleboarding at Malibu beach. In separate incidents, parents at parks were arrested in front of their children for playing in an unapproved manner. Sex offenders were released from jail.
And finally, after being told by many politicians and journalists that peaceful protests against the lockdown would kill grandmothers, we now hear nothing about grandmothers, but are asked to accept the destruction of some of the poorest areas of the country and the (so far) 13 deaths that have occurred since the peaceful protests for George Floyd were hijacked by political forces.
It may be years before we know what various forces usurped Floyd’s horrific, unjust death in order to cause more horrific, unjust deaths. It may be decades before we know if the lockdown lessened the COVID death toll, worsened it, or even increased the tensions that helped spark the riots.
But we know this very day that many politicians and journalists fueling the fear do not themselves believe what they say. And that is a reason to exercise the most important power citizens in this free country have: the power to vote.
Between now and November, watch carefully to see which politicians and journalists stoke unknown fear but excuse real-world violence. Watch which ones take advantage of our confusion by attempting to make last-minute changes to voting procedures in an increasingly authoritarian and violent climate.
Our current system is in place, not for peaceful periods, but for moments exactly like this.
This is not the time to vote with an automatic check mark. This is the time to pay attention to the things members of each party say and do. This is the time to take back our lives at the polls.
Lisa Lavadores, an ex-Democrat, will be voting Republican.