Jen Psaki, who reminds me of a cross between Pippi Longstocking and a Tasmanian devil, has asked U.S. citizens to “sacrifice a little bit longer” with regard to restrictions, lockdowns and other extreme measures being imposed during this stage of the pandemic.
Three months after taking office, Joe Biden — the man who promised Americans the swift defeat of the coronavirus pandemic — now has only one response to offer them: Make sacrifices.
The word “sacrifice” comes from the Latin words “sacrum” (sacred or holy) and “facere” (to do) — so, basically, doing sacred things. For centuries it was a term exclusively linked to the religious sphere of the offering. And that undertone of submission to a deity, which is more or less what the left believes citizens should do before the government, remains latent in the word.
In an (unsuccessful) attempt to be empathetic, the White House press secretary added that “it is difficult” to ask people to continue making sacrifices, because “the country has been shut down in one form or another for more than a year,” mentioning how citizens have had to give up weddings, sports and restaurants. Yet she asked anyway.
Someone should explain to Psaki that the government cannot ask anyone for such sacrifices while at the same time making them mandatory. It is a crude way of twisting the language: There is no sacrifice in the face of imposition. And the closures, lockdowns and other measures are mandatory. Perhaps that is why they receive praise from the Democrats, who are increasingly at odds with freedom.
But even in the event that they were in a position to ask for sacrifices, I’m not sure that Psaki understands the meaning of the word. Merriam-Webster first defines “sacrifice” as the act of offering something precious to a deity as a sign of homage or atonement.
We already know that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris believe themselves to be gods, but even under that psychopathy it would be too much for them to ask Americans to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the Democratic cause.
Another meaning of sacrifice speaks to us of something given or lost, often exemplified by the efforts that parents make for their children. But love is an indispensable component in this sense. And I do not believe that all Americans suddenly feel such great love for Biden as to sacrifice their lives and freedoms for him, even though his absent-minded and declining figure sometimes arouses feelings of pity more so than hate.
Lastly, Merriam-Webster offers one final, disturbing meaning for the word “sacrifice”: “to kill (an animal) as part of a scientific experiment.” I trust that Psaki did not have this in mind when she made her request.
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The only thing that Psaki’s appeal to U.S. citizens reveals is impotence. Like many of the European governments, a year after the start of the crisis, they still don’t know what to do.
And they have found that the only thing that seems to calm citizens is subjecting them to a multitude of restrictions — regardless of whether they are effective or not, of whether they are reasonable or not, and regardless of the resulting economic, social or personal consequences.
The White House press secretary has also insisted on something that is already a classic form of empty pandemic rhetoric: “We will get through this together.” What masterful stupidity, since what is repeatedly asked of us is that we be separated.
But, furthermore, he who comes to power sowing discord cannot appeal to unity; he who contributes to the ruin of lives and businesses cannot appeal to unity; and, once more, he who forces you to do it anyway cannot appeal to unity.
Unity would be reaching an agreement, seeking the greatest consensus, applying minimal restrictions — the most basic, reasonable and scientifically proven ones — and returning the freedoms that have been snatched away from your citizens.
Then yes, one could appeal to individual responsibility and even sacrifice, which would be something voluntary and at times patriotic. But begging for efforts while imposing them on most of the country is a measure of excessive cynicism, even for someone like Psaki.
And in any case, we do not pay governments — which are almost always quite expensive — to ask us to make sacrifices. Rather, we pay them to help us avoid them.
But that would force Biden to really work to vaccinate all U.S. citizens at once. And I suppose it is easier to ask for sacrifices from middle-class Americans while crushing them with taxes. That’s easier and much more democratic.
This article first appeared on The Western Journal en Español.
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