Timothy Buchanan
When perspectives fail
By Timothy Buchanan
March 17, 2020

In just a few short weeks, the United States has been transformed from a relatively peaceful and highly prosperous (if deeply divided) nation, into a depressed and fearful population that is isolated and alone. In some households, the greatest immediate concern is whether bathroom tissue will be available on the next trip to the market. That will soon change.

One undesirable and potentially dangerous consequence of high-speed western culture in a media saturated environment is impatience and an almost pathological intolerance of the unknown. The proud and the panic-stricken alike seem to prefer a wrong answer to no answer or one that is delayed.

Speculation about the cause, duration, and end result of the coronavirus upon human beings, the economy, and the November election, frequently crosses into the realm of the bizarre and the absurd. Communist China and globalists are blamed for creating or distributing the virus, the news media and politicians are accused of misrepresenting the facts and inciting fear and panic. President Trump is blamed for acting too slowly, too quickly, inappropriately, and, well, just being the president.

If apathy and stodginess were the unforgivable faults of the last half-century, perhaps hypersensitivity and rashness belong to our time. After all, whenever adverse conditions or terrible crimes occur, someone must be maligned, blamed, sued, and destroyed. The sacrificed person or organization may or may not be directly responsible in any way. In the blind rage of vengeance politics, it matters little, so long as someone pays.

For many among our increasingly unknowledgeable ranks, history is what happened last year or yesterday. The combination of impatience, arrogance, and historical blindness can easily transform a short-term inconvenience or medical crisis into permanent broad ranging disaster. And that would suit the desires of some foreign and domestic agents just fine.

Covid19 has been compared to recurring annual outbreaks of influenza which kill vastly higher numbers of people worldwide year after year with little notice. So, why the panic over this one? Is the reaction simply a devious election year ploy? Corona virus has also been contrasted to the Bubonic Plague, or Black Death, from which Europe eventually awakened stronger and wiser.

As with every stock market decline since 1929, the current economic downturn resulting from emotional instability is being compared to the Great Depression of the last century. Endless, breathless announcements of "Breaking News" and updates keep concern and dread at a fever pitch, exacerbating panic and inciting new fears and terrors like a runaway train.

The world did not end with either the Black Death or the Great Depression. But the ultimate result of these two global tragedies was quite different. In both cases, people responded initially with fear, suspicion, and terror. In both cases, recovery was not quick. In fact, conditions grew much worse before a new day dawned. In 17th century Europe, London burned, killing more people, destroying homes, businesses, and government offices in addition to many of the rats which bore the fleas that carried the plague.

The 1929 depression was followed by a costly, terrible world war which ultimately brought stability to Europe. The United States and the Soviet Union arose as the most powerful nations in the world, setting off the Cold War. Concessions and edicts made during hard economic times persuaded the American people to forfeit most of their real wealth in privately-held gold, as well as much of their freedom and liberty. These, we have never regained, and the same risk exists once again.

Where the immediate perspective usually results in short-term panic, the historic view can provide some level of comfort. But an historic perspective that is selfishly focused on ending a crisis at any cost can foster a host of dismal unintended consequences. To avoid these, an eternal perspective is necessary. Unfortunately, an eternal viewpoint is least likely to be sought or even considered by the arrogant and selfish. These folks will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, back to reality.

The United States is not the same nation it was formed to be. Decades of reckless liberal policies born out of self-assurance have brought us to this time. Today, we kill our unborn, pervert our children and ourselves, and spit in God's eye, all the while seeking our own comfort and ease. Many look to government to rescue them from every difficulty and demand that others provide for their welfare. Laws are enforced only when convenient, if ever, and morality is relegated to the archaic past.

In contrast, our nation's founders sought the counsel of Providence to escape the tyranny of the British crown, enduring hardship, loss, and death with the confidence that the right response would ultimately benefit all. In the process, a new free nation of people was formed that now survives in name only. Foolishly, we have grown to trust in man, in "science," in medicine, and in the collective, as if we are unaware of our own frailty.

How long will the Corona virus last? How many will ultimately die? What will be the long-term economic consequences? Why has this happened to the great United States of America? No one can answer these questions reliably at this point. Those who claim otherwise are certainly wrong.

As a whisper from the past, Soren Kierkegard reminds us, "It is the duty of human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand." In abrogation of this duty, we either prolong our misery and suffering or view events from a faulty perspective forsaking the best overall outcome. Both mistakes have dangerous long-term consequences.

We know from human history that God often uses turmoil and trouble to purify nations and cultures that have become morally corrupt and unjust. America embraces evil and is ripe for correction. Our perspective will determine how we respond, and how we respond will determine the quality of the outcome, either for better or for worse. Let us choose wisely – personally and collectively.

© Timothy Buchanan


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Timothy Buchanan

Timothy Buchanan is a US Navy veteran, a former defense contractor and broadcast engineer. He's the author of two published books and a regular contributor to BarbWire.com. Timothy and his wife live among the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.


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