The first casualty of the Coronavirus crisis has been the voice of dissent.
Whether the COVID-19 event is truly a natural crisis or a man-made affair: what is undeniable there is no room for dissent.
Anyone daring to voice an alternative to the media’s crisis narrative is shouted down.
There is something to be said for oneness; a unified front, where all the resources of a nation are brought to bare to tackle a common threat.
But there is also a down side.
When no opposition is allowed to exist, we get group think.
Sadly, group think doesn’t do as its name implies—there is no thought associated with group think—just unthinking mob mentality.
This is not a new phenomenon.
The Vietnam War was one such incident.
Only after years of unceasing conflict and casualties was the voice of dissent finally allowed to exist—by then it was too late, America was already committed to war.
After all, a U.S. ship had been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin.
We had to respond—we had no choice.
But, what if there had been a voice of dissent at the very beginning of the Vietnam conflict?
What if that voice of dissent had given President Lyndon Johnson the political cover needed to push back against the call to arms?
Could America have avoided the pain and suffering of an unwinnable war?
We will never know.
Yet, it’s reasonable to believe, if there had been a viable voice of dissent it could have given Mr. Johnson time—the time necessary to reassess his decision to put young Americans in harms way.
That is what the voice of dissent does—it gives us time—time to reflect.
Without it—we are caught up in the emotion and energy of the moment.
We get mob rule.
Remember Donald Sterling?
The owner of the NBA franchise the LA Clippers.
In a media created firestorm Mr. Sterling was stripped of his beloved basketball team.
It all stemmed from a conversation with girl friend at the time, Ms. Stiviano.
Ms. Stiviano had setup the older gentleman, secretly taping a conversation, in which she blatantly antagonizes Mr. Sterling.
The secretly taped conversation would eventually be sent to TMZ, by Ms. Stiviano or an associate in a obvious attempt to generate publicity.
From there it was all over for Mr. Sterling—he was accused of racism—the taped conversation was all the proof the media needed.
In truth, never once did a so-called racist, in a secretly taped, heated conversation, make use of derogatory language.
Ironically, the racist never once used the “N” word.
The media didn’t care—they were in group think.
Two individuals of note tried to bring reason to the debate, liberal pundit Bill Maher and NBA owner Marc Cuban—their voices of dissent didn’t last long.
The media’s frenzy fed on itself.
There is no more blatant misrepresentation of facts by the media than the Elgin Baylor employment discrimination lawsuit filed against the LA Clippers in 2009.
Mr. Baylor, the long time General Manager of the LA Clippers had claimed one of the reasons for his firing was he was black.
Without the voice of dissent the Baylor lawsuit was misused and abused by the media. In part it was the bastardization of the Baylor lawsuit that allowed the media to declare Mr. Sterling an unequivocal racist.
But, didn’t that same racist hire Mr. Baylor in the first place?
What came first the hiring of one the NBA’s first black executives or his dismissal?
Doesn’t one have to be—hired— in order to be fired!
That point was never contemplated by the media—in their group think mentality, they never once challenged their narrative.
This is group think.
This is what happens when no voice of dissent is permitted.
This is what has happened with the Coronavirus scare.
We have been caught up in the emotion and hysteria of the moment; we never once questioned the media’s crisis narrative.
Unfortunately, the lack of diversity in any conversation leads to bad decisions—worse, the abuse of power.
We need look no further then the current environment to witness the abuse of power being foisted on the American people.
Sadly, in times of crisis, there simply is no room for dissent.