Seven-foot fencing topped with razor wire will be installed surrounding the U.S. Capitol next week, in advance of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union on March 1. The wall is to keep out truckers who are heading to Washington, D.C., as part of the Freedom Convoy protesting COVID restrictions.
Instead of shutting the truckers out, Biden should be inviting them in to sit in the gallery during his speech and have a chat afterward. He invited Vladimir Putin to talk — why not truckers who love America and say they want to “restore our nation’s Constitution”?
How Biden treats the truckers could be pivotal for his presidency and the Democratic Party. The people who truck our goods, serve us in restaurants and work with their hands are speaking out for American freedom.
If Scranton Joe were still at the top of his game, he’d welcome the truckers and regale them with stories of his blue-collar past.
Visiting a Mack Truck plant last summer, Biden boasted, “I used to drive an 18-wheeler.” The boast wasn’t true, though he once rode in a rig.
The point is, Biden understood, even a year ago, the political payoff from treating working people with respect instead of greeting them with razor wire.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said he hopes the truckers do come, adding, “Civil disobedience is a time-honored tradition in our country, from slavery to civil rights to you name it. Peaceful protest, clog things up, make people think about the mandates.”
When thousands marched on Washington to protest George Floyd’s death, they weren’t met with razor wire. This is America.
Up north, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a whopper of a political miscalculation by crushing the truckers’ peaceful protest without ever giving them a hearing. But Trudeau is a born-and-bred elite. Biden claims working class credentials.
Meanwhile, in unison the mainstream media is dismissing the American truckers as “right-wing.”
Anti-science? Hardly. Science is proving the truckers right about the damaging impact of government lockdowns and mandates.
Johns Hopkins scientists see “no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” with the exception of locking down bars.
Lockdowns cost lives instead of saving them. Many are deaths of despair, likely linked to unemployment, economic desperation and social isolation, suggests University of Chicago professor Casey Mulligan.
At the height of the pandemic, more than 30 million Americans — mostly wage workers — were laid off or furloughed in a speculative attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Unemployment hit 14.7%.
Of course, government bureaucrats, journalists and professors didn’t lose their jobs. Now the media is barely mentioning new findings that lockdowns didn’t actually save lives.
Nor are they speaking up to question the continuation of government emergency powers.
When Biden notified Congress on Friday that he was extending his emergency powers, which were scheduled to expire, the media was mum. Likewise, when New York Gov. Kathy Hochul extended her emergency powers last week.
It’s the truckers who are saying, “enough.”
New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall dismisses the truckers and their allies as ignoramuses who lack the “advanced education and top scores on aptitude tests” to get ahead. Edsall argues that when the truck convoy arrives in D.C., Biden has to prove himself by maintaining order. That would be a rerun of Trudeau’s mistake.
Truth is, these truckers speak for a large swath of America that is fed up with government closing businesses, mandating shots and forcing masks on their kids.
Biden routinely calls his agenda a “blue-collar blueprint to build America.” If he wants the country to believe he’s a friend of working people, he’ll listen to the truckers, not smack them down.
Photo by Siegfried Schnepf.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.