Jonah Goldberg has a great piece over at The Dispatch on the big problem facing policy makers who want to re-open the economy…
Trump and all of the governors could lift the stay-at-home orders and federal advisories tomorrow. That wouldn’t necessarily fill the restaurants, airplanes or stadiums. People would still need to be convinced it’s safe. Such persuasion comes via clear, believable information, not orders from on high.The Dispatch
This, interestingly enough, reminded me of something Jonah Goldberg wrote in his latest book Suicide of the West
The Constitution only has real power if the people give it power…The real power of the Constitution is to be found not in it but in usSuicide of the West
Many people are currently under the belief that if all of these governors just lift their stay-at-home orders everyone and thing will go back to normal. However, as Goldberg points out, the people are the one who need convincing, not the bureaucrats. JD Vance, in a very long twitter thread, notes that much of the social distancing occurred before any government decree mandated it…
But that same OpenTable data suggested restaurant traffic was down on March 17 by 89 percent, and had been down substantially the weeks prior. Again, this was *before* the UK government closed restaurants and bars.— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) April 8, 2020
This creates quite the problem for policy makers. If a vast majority of people were already self isolating before the stay-at-home orders where put in place it is unlikely lifting them will do much to convince them to venture back out.. You can blame the media for hyping this virus or even the federal and local governments who also put the fear of God in many. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that it has happened. The only way the American people are going back to work and engaging in life as it was before is with proof it is safe to do just that. We need to test, test, and test some more. Once we’ve done all that we test some more
If we want America to become America again we need proof, not another government promise.