Pete Riehm
Pursuing perpetual power by means of a permanent pandemic
By Pete Riehm
August 2, 2021

Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once infamously quipped, "Never let a crisis go to waste." A corollary to that liberal proverb also cherished by Democrats is "Never let go of a crisis." After decades of doomsday declarations that have not materialized, Democrats are still screaming climate change will destroy the planet in just a few short years. Despite living in the most racially diverse nation on earth, with the most widely distributed prosperity and institutional equality under the law, Democrats are constantly scolding us that systemic racism requires us to dismantle capitalism and our Constitutional Republic before our society's imminent collapse from bigotry. But now Democrats may have found the ultimate crisis—one that potentially affects every American, so it's hard to ignore when it's in your face non-stop.

Americans haven't noticed any historical aberrations in catastrophic weather events or seen any cities reclaimed by rising sea levels, so they don't pay much attention to all the climate change nonsense, much less monitor the polar ice caps. The vast majority of Americans aren't racist and don't know any racists, so all the BLM burning and looting is just aggravating and perplexing. However, the Chinese virus pandemic has forced almost every American to wear a mask during the last year and a half—and a majority of Americans have at some point been locked down and many still can't send their children to school. So nearly every American has been affected by the Chinese virus, and therefore been forced to consider it and make choices.

Over the past half century, leftists have incrementally made business and life more difficult for Americans with absurd policies and onerous regulations, but they have always failed to get the average American to embrace their radical socialist dogma. But who can oppose public health? Democrats swear there is a distinct danger to you and your family that, left unchecked, could result in millions of unnecessary deaths, so it's simply prudent and really your patriotic duty to rally behind the government edicts to save your family and community. Sure, some of the measures are drastic, but the government is only doing this for your own good. And you only have to give up some rights temporarily; the government will certainly restore your rights in due time.

Just as the Patriot Act undermined our privacy rights to protect us from terrorists, those rights were forever lost, and so too will your individual rights to decide your own healthcare be lost. Unless stopped now, the pandemic will NEVER end. It's too delicious for leftists to just relinquish such awesome, pervasive, pernicious power. Democrats are drunk with power. They can tell you what to wear, where you can go, and even what you can say. Don't question their pandemic prescriptions or you will be censored or cancelled. And most disturbing, they are trying to mandate what treatments are available and force vaccinations on us all. How is this different from Communist China?!

Preying on people's fear of death and disease, this scheme is particularly sinister because it targets your most personal individual right, your health. The incessant pandemic hyperbole is getting into the American psyche; Americans wonder if they even have a choice.

It's all an enormous psychological operation to scare Americans into ceding their rights and submitting to government control. Remember back in February and early March 2020, Dr. Fauci said healthy folks didn't need masks; we only need be cautious while the virus runs its course. Then we needed social distancing and maybe masks. Then we only needed 15 days of lock down to slow the surge so as not to overwhelm the hospitals, but in some states that turned into more than 15 months. Then we just needed to test everyone to know who to quarantine, but then we needed to wait for the vaccine. We got the vaccine and about half of Americans are now vaccinated, but that's not good enough, we're told. Leftists want EVERYONE vaccinated including YOUR CHILDREN! WHY?!

The goal posts keep moving and are still moving! Despite all the draconian measures forced on the American people, the pandemic reached its climax this past winter. It appears it was only after the vaccine became available that the pandemic ebbed, so arguably with the most vulnerable vaccinated, the vaccines seem to have have worked. Red states are open and not suffering, but blue states are still largely locked down and still suffering. Science is based on observation, so why are we not following the states returning to health and normality? Because it's not about public health—but rather public control.

The Chinese virus is certainly real and dangerous to those with comorbidities, but how much worse is it than a bad flu season? The pandemic was demonstrably under control this spring, but then we had the dreaded "Delta" variant and the fearmongering increased. Oddly, COVID tests do not distinguish what variant you have—so how convenient that they can keep rolling out variants to maintain this pandemic permanently. And more oddly, the flu this past year was almost eradicated, but that was not newsworthy. COVID-19 is more hazardous than the flu, but that is largely because it's new without established treatments. We have learned a lot the past 18 months. There is a recent surge in infections, but hospitalizations are only up marginally and deaths are still relatively flat. So why the renewed panic?

The short answer is that Democrats need to maintain fear and consolidate control. The same way the government colludes with Big Tech and social media to censor free speech, they are looking to Big Business to enforce vaccination mandates. Many large corporations are already requiring employees get vaccinated, and Democrats are pressuring more to require vaccinations to travel and maybe even shop. The concept is eventually we will have de facto vaccination passports enforced by Big Business, but government will be the beneficiary because they will have to step in with some universal system to ensure access by all. And that's how we will lose our right to privacy regarding our health. The government will have to know your most personal information and thereby control what you can and cannot do.

Comply or you will be ostracized from participating in normal activities like schooling, shopping, and travel. And that's how government establishes ultimate control of its citizens. Welcome to the Socialist States of America.

"Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed" (Isaiah 10:1).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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