Southwest Is A Window Into Modern Tyranny. So Will The GOP Fight Back?

Southwest Is A Window Into Modern Tyranny. So Will The GOP Fight Back?

You don’t need to stamp out constitutional rights in the so-called 'private sector' -- you just have to make government so big and so important that the private sector barely exists.
Christopher Bedford
By

Watch the video for the monologue, plus an interview with Emile Doak, executive director of The American Conservative, on how the left lost its base — and the right can gain it.

Andrew Ross Sorkin. If you watch CNBC, you might know him as that anchor who looks like a child and has three names.

If you don’t tune in regularly, you might vaguely recall his on-air COVID fight with Rick Santelli, in which he claimed with a straight face that big box stores are far safer than restaurants with Plexiglas (and churches, especially), and therefore are allowed to remain open, repeatedly citing “the science” and apologizing to his viewers for even exposing them to Rick’s very basic questions.

If you’re an airline pilot, however, you might know Andrew as the guy who thinks that the company you work for can surrender your freedoms in exchange for a big, fat check.

You may have heard over the past few days about some chaos at Southwest Airlines; they canceled more than 2,000 flights just a week ago. They blamed it on air traffic control issues, which the Federal Aviation Administration denies, and on the weather, which was so bad that it only affected Southwest’s planes and nobody else’s.

The story made the rounds that pilots and other crew were refusing to fly to protest the company’s new strict vaccine mandate. The pilot union’s contract says they’re not allowed to strike, so the union’s leadership is also saying that’s not what’s going on, but the evidence is piling high that it is.

Either way, the point is Sorkin heard about the possible strike and believed it. And here was his response: “Reminder,” our boyish public health expert tweeted Sunday, “Southwest accepted 3.2 billion dollars from taxpayers. That money kept its pilots employed during the pandemic. It also made Southwest the first airline to post a profit. And now, apparently, many of those pilots don’t want to help society by getting vaccinated.”

Now, Andrew Ross Sorkin lives on the Upper West Side, is on TV, has a job as a columnist and editor at The New York Times, and works with Showtime. All that is to say he provides a pretty solid look into exactly the kind of contempt he and all your other betters hold for you.

How good of him, then, to explain what he thinks so clearly. Because the quote you just heard is an excellent and beautiful summary of how modern tyranny works.

Let’s start with the beginning: “Southwest accepted $3.2 billion dollars from taxpayers, to keep its pilots employed during the pandemic.” But wait, it wasn’t the “pandemic” that put Southwest in danger; coronavirus didn’t ground their planes and cancel their flights.

What did? Government. Government told everyone to suspend their lives and lock themselves up in their homes to fight a virus. It turns out those lockdowns didn’t do much; they may have even been counterproductive. But oh well, guess it’s too bad all those businesses were forced into bankruptcy. Apparently, this caught our government by surprise.

Doesn’t everybody just get paid by having money magically appear for them? Can’t they just “mint the coin?”

We all have personal stories that attest to this; it was wild to see in real time. Every few months during the shutdowns, for example, a staffer from the D.C. Attorney’s Office would knock on my friend’s door to tell him he owed money on his business. Every time this happened, my friend had to explain to the staffer that his business was shut down by order of the mayor. Each time, the staffer looked surprised.

So that’s phase one: The government puts you out of business. Phase two is that, after shutting you down, the government steps in to prop you up. They hand you thousands or millions or billions of dollars — possibly more than once. They hand out so much money that, if you’re not getting money yourself, you’re now at a competitive disadvantage.

To be clear, the government should have helped the businesses it forced to close — that was their moral obligation. But it was their obligation in the same way you’re obligated to repay a friend you borrow money from, or for that matter, how you’re obligated to repay a person you steal from.

But for our government, it’s something else entirely — once they’re propping your business up, then they have power over you.

That’s where Andrew Ross Sorkin steps in with his vision: Now that you’ve taken government money to survive a government-imposed shutdown, you owe the government. Sadly, a quick thank you note for not completely destroying your life won’t suffice. No, Andy has something else in mind: your medical freedom.

The government, which Andrew and his millionaire pals look at as just another word for “the family,” helped you, didn’t they? And now they want a cut, or in this case, a jab.

But really, there’s no limit to the scope of Andrew’s thinking once you accept the basic premise. If the government can override your medical freedom, what else can it override?

Of course, that’s the idea. Right now, it’s a shot. But soon enough, your business won’t be eligible for their “helping hand” unless you accept our new national religion of critical race theory or pay for employee’s abortions. The blue skies are the limit.

In fact, that’s how an awful lot of the American system works. We’ve inflated the cost of education in this country so terribly that most people need student loans to attend college. Well, the federal government controls student loans, and to get access to them, that means listening to whatever the federal government says.

There are other manifestations of this, too. A few years ago, the City of Los Angeles demanded that city contractors disclose any connection to the National Rifle Association for the obvious purpose of denying them contracts in the future.

Given how big government is as a client, small businesses often can’t afford to lose them. That’s the power of government: You don’t actually need to stamp out free speech and other constitutional rights in the so-called “private sector” — you just have to make government so big and so important that the private sector barely exists.

“You kept your job, pilot, so now give me your arm and take this jab. Those are the terms.”

It’s truly disgusting thinking — and the kind of tyranny that thin-chested men like Andrew Ross Sorkin come up with all the time. And it’s the kind of thinking driving the apolitical and moderate voters that make up a lot of the country out of the embrace of the Democratic Party.

Will it drive them into the arms of the GOP as an alternative? It sure could — but only if they offer an alternative. That sounds easy, but just watch. If anyone could choose instead to hide, it’s Washington politicians.

Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald. Follow him on Twitter.

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