It’s a race to the bottom today to see which country can be the most authoritarian. And the United States likes to be first in any competition. But we are reminded sometimes that we are not at all alone in racing to that distinction.
Now we’ve all seen the rush by conservatives to blame China for creating COVID-19, regardless of how true or untrue that is. It has truthiness, and that’s good enough for them. Some, like Rand Paul, even suggest that Fauci and friends were directly involved in increasing the transmissibility of SARS-COV-2 to humans. That’s also very truthy in the absence of a better explanation. As actual-credentialed doctor Fauci explained to not-so-accredited optometrist Paul, he has no idea what he’s talking about. And neither do we. We just don’t know where COVID came from yet, and we should all wait patiently for an investigation before we go off half cocked with something that merely sounds good.
Authoritarian governments lie like hell to their citizens. No good democracy survives long on a pack of lies. That’s why we’re in such mortal jeopardy here of losing ours. We just got done with four years of rule by a congenital liar, whose ascendance was the culmination of 30-plus years of bullshit from the conservative wing of this country. And we’re still barely out of the woods from it. We could easily go back to it if we fuck around too much.
China is no stranger to authoritarianism at all. Its brutality against the forces of democracy are well documented. And I think we can say with certainty that it propagandizes its public at least as much as we do. So I guess it’s no surprise to find the Chinese government pulling a Rand Paul and suggesting that somehow the US is the one who let COVID slip out of our labs right here at home. China’s afraid of looking like shit on the charge that it originated there, and they’re doing everything they can to point the finger elsewhere. And they are rejecting investigations by independent agencies. They’re even alleging that maybe US athletes are responsible for bringing COVID to their nation. Their state run news agencies are as bonkers as some of our propagandists. They have no idea what they are talking about either.
The truth is out there, but at this early stage of the game, no one knows where this bad motorscooter of a disease came from. But the war to control what people believe is still a hot one.