Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
“We’re All In This Together,” the sappy title of one of several bad songs, has become the Ministry of Information slogan of the pandemic. You hear it while shopping for groceries at the supermarket, see it on billboards that tell you to social distance your way off the street, and in every single ad on TV.
And then, after months of being locked indoors and that we were out to kill grandma if we left the house, the same media lauded massive numbers of rioters crowding together to curse the cops.
The political fiction of the pandemic died once its administrators found a shiny new fascist object.
Mayor Bill de Blasio went from threatening the Orthodox Jewish community for holding a funeral to appearing without a mask at an anti-police rally even as much of New York City is still shut down.
“Mr. Mayor, are we in a pandemic or not? And do we have one set of rules for protesters and another for everyone else?” Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish publication, asked De Blasio.
“When you see a nation… grappling with… 400 years of American racism, I’m sorry, that is not the same question as… the devout religious person who wants to go back to services,” he snapped back.
Governor Murphy described anti-lockdown and anti-police protests as being in “different orbits”.
Just to be clear, we’re not all in this together. And we never were. Social distancing doesn’t apply when you’re burning down cities, you can only get sick when you’re praying to G-d or burying your dead.
The lockdowns existed at the pleasure of the politicians implementing them. And when the politicians found a lefty cause that they really liked, the rioters and looters were exempted from social distancing like kids told that they can leave algebra class early on Tuesday to go protest for the environment.
Lockdowns were always for little people. Not for celebrities, politicians or political radicals.
Martha Stewart is quarantining with her driver, housekeeper, and gardener. Lefty author Neil Gaiman decided that he needed to get away from his wife and flew from New Zealand to Scotland. David Geffen, the Hollywood billionaire tycoon who helped finance Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, tweeted, “Isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus” from his $590 million yacht which boasts a staff of 55.
The riots just applied to the rioters and looters the same privilege that politicians had enjoyed.
Governor J.B. Pritzker’s wife and daughter enjoyed the lockdown far from Illinois on their equestrian estate near Palm Beach, and then headed to the 230-acre horse farm in Wisconsin that the Illinois boss had bought his wife as an anniversary present. After claiming that his family deserved privacy and was being endangered by reports of his hypocrisy, the billionaire contended that their travel was essential.
“We have a working farm. They’re there now. There are animals on that farm, that it’s an essential function to take care of animals at a farm, so that’s what they’re doing,” he argued.
He didn’t explain who was taking care of the horses once his wife and daughter went on to Wisconsin.
Then he banned a reporter who had first tweeted about it from his press conferences.
The same media which had howled in outrage when President Trump had dumped CNN and Playboy correspondents for egregious behavior, including assault, had nothing to say about a free press.
Not only was it essential for Pritzker’s family to vacation on one massive horse ranch and then another, but it was essential for Illinois workers to travel to Wisconsin to help build a huge home on the ranch. Local residents reported 20 to 30 trucks a day coming from Chicago to labor on this essential project.
“They’re operating an essential function. Construction is an essential function,” Pritzker whined.
Around the same time, Pritzker was using the slogan, “We’re all in this together” to promote his, “All in Illinois” initiative to tell everyone to stay home. “‘All in’ is our anthem and point of pride,” Pritzker had falsely claimed. “Illinoisans staying home for the good of each other and the good of our state.”
Unless it’s to work on the billionaire governor’s latest mansion. Or loot some Chicago pharmacies.
The difference between essential and non-essential was always a political fiction. The protesters who were told that their protest was non-essential were just protesting for the wrong cause. Going to church or synagogue, burying your dead, or protesting for your rights was non-essential in the same way that Pritzker’s mansion and family vacations were essential. What was essential was who was in charge.
We’re not all in this together. Ask New York Governor Cuomo’s brother Chris, who casually violated quarantine, and then starred in a fake news CNN video of leaving quarantine for his coronavirus infection. Ask Virginia’s Governor Northam who didn’t wear a mask to the beach before ordering everyone to wear masks. Ask Wisconsin’s Justice Rebecca Dallet who opposed the court decision ending the state lockdown, warning, “Wisconsinites will pay the price”, before allegedly going on a boat trip.
Ask New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham who told non-essential businesses they had to shut down and then had a non-essential business open up so she could get some expensive jewelry.
Ask Professor Neil Ferguson of the Imperial College Model who was caught sneaking out for an affair or Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot who got a haircut after shutting down salons and barbershops. Or ask Dr. Richard (Rachel) Levine whose policies at the Pennsylvania Department of Health introduced coronavirus patients into nursing homes, but made sure to remove his mother from her nursing home.
Michigan’s Governor Whitmer had issued orders banning just about everything. And then a marina operator got a call from her husband about getting their boat in the water for Memorial Day.
“I am the husband to the governor; will this make a difference?” Whitmer’s husband asked.
Governor Whitmer claimed that her husband was joking and that he only traveled to a second home to rake leaves. That comes from the same tyrannical termagant whose bans had extended to yardwork.
We’re not all in this together. We never were.
The coronavirus touched Manhattan only lightly. That was partly because its residents could afford to get away.
When rentals were shut down, they bought houses elsewhere, sight unseen. About 5% of New Yorkers, over 400,000 people, left the city, abandoning trendy and wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The pandemic spread along their wake. Those who left included not only the elite, celebrities and billionaires, but the upscale wealthy liberals who keep the Democrats going nationwide.
The abandoned zip codes are also the ones that have been pouring money into left-wing politics.
When you hear another, “We’re All In This Together,” commercial, remember that it’s probably the brainchild of a Bernie Sanders supporter who found a second home in upstate New York or Vermont.
That includes the 10022 zip code, the top money source in the 2018 election cycle, where between 40% to 30% of the population vanished. A quarter of the population of 10075, the tenth biggest money zip code in the cycle, vanished. Ditto for the eleventh, twelfth and fifteenth top election cash zip codes.
The New York City cash that fueled the 2018 Democrat wave was not together in this with us.
The posh parts of Manhattan are being looted because they were abandoned. All the rich toys being stolen by thugs are there because the elites who would normally be buying them are out of town.
Lockdown culture was an elite scam. The politicians, the technocrats, and the ad geniuses who imposed and sold lockdown culture to the country weren’t living it.
The pandemic and lockdowns did not hit us all equally. The division of society into essential and non-essential workers made certain of that by protecting some jobs while eliminating others. This plague year experiment in the New Deal 2.0 replaced any kind of togetherness with a political class system.
The administrators of that system, like Pritzker and Whitmer, were never living under it.
“We’re All In This Together,” does not offer unity or togetherness. It demands compliance from us for our assigned roles. Like 1984’s slogans, it means the opposite of what it actually says. Freedom was slavery, ignorance was knowledge, and being in it together meant that none of us had any say in it.
The lockdowns weren’t driven by science, but by ideology. That’s why the rioters crowding in D.C. and NYC are immune from the coronavirus while the spring breakers in Florida were going to kill everyone.
Underneath the sappy ad-speak was a Maoist Confucianism worthy of the Little Red Book in whose Communist system the coronavirus pandemic had originated. It has largely gone unnoticed that the coronavirus slogans we hear are minor variations of those deployed in China by the Communist Party.
“Better to wear a mask than a ventilator; better to stay at home than in an ICU”, “this year a house visit, next year a grave visit”, or “stay in and don’t wander around, you have AC, television and Wi-Fi as your friends” should sound familiar. It’s not just our electronics that are made in China. So is our propaganda.
And, just as in China, the lockdown is applied unequally by a tyrannical leftist political system.
Togetherness, in our pandemic propaganda, is defined as being isolated members of an unseen collective, reinforced by slogans like #AloneTogether or “Stay Apart, Stay Together”. It means complying with directives, informing on the disobedient, and listening to the experts without asking any questions.
“We’re All In This Together” manufactures mass consent. The “We”, “All”, and “Together” represent a conformist mass in whose ranks the individual is only valued for his or her willingness to obey.
All of it, as Mary McCarthy said of a Communist hack, “is a lie, including ‘And’ and ‘The.’”
When the collective was told to stop watching Netflix and start burning and looting, the “We” went out and did it, while the rest of us who are mere individuals looked on in horror and bewilderment.
No one in the collective can or will note the radical shift from mandatory isolation to mass riots. Collectives don’t recognize that their herd impulse has changed. Life for the brainwashed is unchanging. Once there was always isolation and now there are permanent protests. Tomorrow there will be something else. But that is not a concept that the “We” are capable of embracing as a collective.
“We’re All In This Together” is a state of mindless and unquestioning conformity. And it’s un-American.
Americans are not a Communist collective: we are a nation of individuals. Our togetherness doesn’t come from the illusion of functioning as an undifferentiated mass, but of pursuing our own individual strivings for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Collectivism is a lie that conceals the humbug wizards behind the curtains, and the oligarchies that make the decisions. It tells us to set aside our own interests and needs, to become part of Zamyatin’s “We”, to stop thinking and believe the lies.
The lies keep changing.
Yesterday we were huddling in our homes in our togetherhood of apartness. Now we’re supposed to be rioting together and calling for the abolition of the police. Each false cause is replaced by another big lie. If you can see past the lies, you’re not “Together” with the “We”. You’re one of the last Americans.