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Hello Liberty Lovers of Riverside County!
In the News: Robert Kennedy, Anthony Fauci, and the dangers of persistent bureaucracy
Robert F. Kennedy, jr., is rapidly coming to the fore as a Democratic party primary challenger to Joe Biden for the 2024 Presidential election. While national politics are generally outside our scope (since we want to focus on local issues and action), RFKjr.’s ascension to contend for the highest elected office in the land is worth paying some attention to. There is a thread in Kennedy’s pitch to the voting public that bears particular analysis from a libertarian perspective. This analysis can lead to local activism, which is very important.
Kennedy wrote a book in 2021. This book:
Kennedy’s book launches a series of broadsides at several authoritarian monsters. Kennedy is not shy about denouncing Anthony Fauci and the whole bureaucracy he is the face of. It will be very easy as the election heats up for a casual observer to declare Kennedy “the champion we need” in opposing medical tyranny. For libertarians who vote, Kennedy may seem like someone “we” can support, especially if the duopoly choice in 2024 is him or Trump. It is important to be cautious, however, because Kennedy falls into a trap with his pandemic-response criticisms, and it is a trap each of us falls into locally all the time. Let’s talk about reform versus elimination.
Consider the following commentary by Substack commentator eugyppius. A full paragraph is presented here, and it is worth reading both it and the whole review of Kennedy’s book; eugyppius’s wheelhouse is tracking COVID overreaction in all its forms. But the quotation can also be read as just the bold sections, which sums up the libertarian perspective on “pandemicism” neatly:
But, the empirical question, of what we can reasonably hope that any specific drug will achieve, is for me almost a side issue. Far graver is the framing that the entire discourse on early treatments assumes. The advocates whom Kennedy quotes and people like Fauci appear to be in agreement not only that Covid presented a serious danger, but that it was a problem to solve. They differ merely on the solutions, with public health technocrats on the side of lockdowns, masks, vaccines and remdesivir; and early treatment advocates on the side of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. This has uncomfortable consequences, as when Kennedy uncritically cites Covid mortality statistics to demonstrate Fauci’s failure in pandemic management, or when he attributes falling mortality to things like the authorisation of hydroxychloroquine. This is exactly how pandemic managers themselves argued, and I submit this entire ideological system around viruses as a thing to prevent and manage – whether via ivermectin or masks or anything else – is the root of all evil. This is a natural blindspot for progressive critics of pandemic policy like Kennedy, who generally support the mission of modern bureaucratised liberal democracies; it’s why he laments the “global war on … public health” in his subtitle. After the hell of the past three years, I think there are few things we ought to welcome more enthusiastically than a war on public health, which is no longer by or for the public and no longer about health.
Let’s put those bold parts together in a neat libertarian thesis:
[T]he entire discourse on early treatments assumes … not only that Covid presented a serious danger, but that it was a problem to solve. [T]his entire ideological system around viruses as a thing to prevent and manage – whether via ivermectin or masks or anything else – is the root of all evil. After the hell of the past three years … there are few things we ought to welcome more enthusiastically than a war on public health, which is no longer by or for the public and no longer about health.
It will be easy to perceive RFKjr. as a truth-to-power leader. But despite his strong attacks on COVID policymaking, he still believes the public health bureaucracy is fundamentally good and can be reformed. He’s wrong.
This is the Libertarian Party’s position on health care policy, from the party platform:
2.13 Health Care
We favor a free market health care system. Medical facilities, medical providers, and medical products (including drugs) must be freely available in the marketplace without government restrictions or licenses. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines. We oppose governments either mandating, or restricting voluntary access to, medical treatments or procedures including vaccines.
In a market system, there is no room for a public health apparatus like the one that currently exists. It doesn’t need to be there at all. Lockdown hysteria did not erode “public health.” It unmasked “public health” as a sham. “Fixing it” is a forlorn wish. The fix is for it to just go away so you can make your own decisions.
The public health bureaucracy can’t be reformed. It needs to end. Be skeptical of any politician who claims to be able to guide a bureaucracy back to usefulness. It’s always a pipe-dream.
State Party Committee Recruiting
The new LPCA Executive Committee is busily filling out the assorted subcommittees that handle different facets of the fight to set California free. If you have wondered about how to get involved, check out the list of possibilities here. If everyone does what they can, nobody has to do too much!
State Party Discord Server
If you are a dues-paying Central Committee member of the Libertarian Party of California, there is a revamped communications channel you can join to be part of the insider conversation. The LPCA Discord server has been completely revamped, and is ready for you to join!
Discord is an off-Facebook communications forum for productive and meaningful discussion to help grow the Party, and make it the vehicle for liberty it was always intended to be. Join and enjoy some general camaraderie, share liberty memes, get news of upcoming events, and otherwise engage with both the State officers and other members all over California.
Be aware that there will be a few rules:
Keep it civil. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team fighting for liberty. No ad-hominem attacks.
Keep discussions in the appropriate channels (you’ll see what this means once you’re in).
All members should also ask for a Jefferson/North/Central/South role.
Only current dues paying members will be allowed to join (if you aren’t sure if you are a current dues-paying member, or you want to become one, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you figure that out).
You will need to use your real name in the server.
Violations of these rules may result in being muted, suspended, or permanently banned.
Upon joining, you’ll be put in a new member channel awaiting verification. Once you’re verified as a current dues paying member, you’ll get access to the appropriate channels.
Find the server at this link: https://discord.gg/wfXzapGsTd
Suggested Reading This Month
This month it’s suggested viewing, in this case John Stossel’s interview with Alex Epstein about fossil fuels. In keeping with this newsletter’s commentary about RFKjr., it is worth remembering that even though Kennedy is staunchly against medical mandates and COVID tyranny, he’s all-in for climate change green energy doctrines. “Green energy policy” requires huge government organizations to subsidize production and construction, administer distribution, and generally eat resources in the name of saving resources. The green energy government-industrial complex is a technocratic horror, and Epstein does a pretty good job laying out why.
Closing Thoughts from the Chair
Much of the commentary of this month’s newsletter focuses on large-scale reactions to COVID tyranny. It is easy to find a vaguely labeled group to blame for the past few years’ virus-mania (“they” messed everything up!). I would like to take a moment to remind you, though, that there are plenty of specific people right here in Riverside County who were happy to destroy their neighbors’ lives over COVID. “They” have individual faces locally. You need to be prepared to speak directly and sternly to those individual faces who try to set themselves up as the “they” who will fix your problems if you just surrender your freedom. Allow me to remind you of one.
Remember Cameron Kaiser? Dr. Kaiser was the Riverside County Public Health Officer during the peak of the hysteria. He is a living example of the kinds of unserious people who pushed lockdowns on everyone while pretending they were heroes who had to hurt you for your own good. The bandanna he is wearing in the picture above is a Boy Scout neckerchief. There is no more staggering misappropriation of the Boy Scouts’ vibe (duty to the community, general preparedness, sober truthtelling) than this: a doctor with no provable facts pushing one of the harshest lockdown policies in the state, with no idea if lockdowns will do any good, and no evidence he can point to showing any of it will make a difference.
(I know, the Boy Scouts have had some scandals of their own that have also betrayed a lot of what they purport to stand for. But consider: does knowing that make you trust Kaiser more for trying to shield himself with a symbol of Scouting, or does that make it even worse?)
The county supervisors finally managed to get him to knock it off (three of them, anyway–two of them were spineless weasels happy to let Cameron run the whole show). But until they did he stood in front of them at every meeting, presenting himself as a grown-up Boy Scout, making a mockery of the very first line in the Scout Law: a Scout is Trustworthy. Did he pay a price for any of it? No. Cockroaches like Cameron almost never do. He’s now the Deputy Public Health Officer of San Diego County. His parasitic brand of unelected tyranny continues.
Never assume that public bureaucracy is trustworthy. Don’t let faraway boogeymen like Anthony Fauci occupy your focus while local fiends like Dr. Kaiser are running around threatening your living. People like this are still right here locally, and they must be opposed vocally and energetically. Or they’ll mess up your life and demand you thank them for it.
Any time anyone tells you they missed some opportunity over the past few years because of “the pandemic,” what they really mean is that they were denied the opportunity to live their own lives their own way by hysterical bureaucrats pushing lockdowns at the local level. “The Pandemic” was never the problem. Lockdowns were always the problem. The grand authoritarian experiment of the COVID-times had nothing to do with any virus. It had everything to do with bureaucrats seizing administrative powers they were never elected to hold, had no ability to manage responsibly, and misused in a disgusting explosion of authoritarianism masquerading as science. They weren’t even subtle about it. And for the most part, these people are still out there, waiting for their next chance to grab the reins of power.
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