The politicization of COVID-19 restrictions, especially school lockdowns, is creating irreparable damage in our society that must be stopped. The recent expose of coordination between teachers unions and the Center for Disease Control is only further proof of this political maneuver. It also the latest example of political opportunities that the left has taken during this time of crisis, showing that they once again stayed true to their historic motto: "Never let a crisis go to waste."
From Vladimir Lenin to Hillary Clinton, leftists throughout history have admitted to using moments of chaos and crisis to normalize and push their radical agenda.
After the real threat of COVID-19 became clear to the world in March 2020, it did not take long for leftists to implement this tactic.
On March 14, 2020, Mayor Bill De Blasio of New York City declared on MSNBC, "This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization, of crucial factories and industries…"
This was one of the first times a prominent figure in modern American politics publicly called for the implementation of true socialism.
As communist-sympathizing De Blasio called for nationalization, proud socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-14) and her like-minded colleagues in "The Squad" further politicized the situation.
The leftists claimed the implementation of almost their entire political agenda, including student loan cancellation, free college for all, national cancellation of rent, universal basic income, and government-controlled healthcare would save lives and help America fight the pandemic.
Now, over one year into COVID-19, the continued politicization of the pandemic is no longer shocking. Instead, it is purely disturbing because of who the ultimate victims are: our nation’s children.
The coronavirus vaccination is now available to every adult that wants to get it. We have a much stronger understanding of how the coronavirus germ spreads. And even though President Joe Biden called Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to open up the state in March "Neanderthal thinking," Texas has seen record-low COVID-19 numbers since opening. These facts should be seen as encouraging.
We should be winding down restrictions, not ramping them up. But instead of following the science, leftist politicians, teachers unions, and the CDC are choosing to pursue a harmful, anti-science approach because it helps their side achieve political goals.
The communication between teachers union representatives and the CDC clearly shows the CDC adjusted their supposed science-based COVID-19 school guidelines in response to the political desires of an advocacy group.
In 2020, teachers unions also demanded that non-school-related policies be implemented before they went back to work. Before returning to the classroom, United Teachers Los Angeles demanded government-controlled healthcare, homeless housing funding, the elimination of private charter schools, systemic racism solutions, the defunding of the police, a 3% income surtax on millionaires, a 1% wealth tax, higher property taxes, and $250 million of funding from the federal government.
These requirements make more sense when you understand how the left weaponizes teachers unions. In a publication by the Democratic Socialists of America and the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission titled, "Why Socialists Should Become Teachers," socialists are encouraged to become teachers for the political opportunity of joining one of the strongest union networks in the country, not for the good of the children.
The DSA website featuring the publication highlights the teachers unions ability to be "militarized," explaining that “socialists should take jobs as teachers (and other school-based workers) for the political, economic, and social potential the industry holds.”
Beyond the fact that the policies demanded by unions would be disastrous for the country, the political games keeping our schools shut are having a horrific impact on America’s youth.
A FAIR Health report released in early March 2021 revealed that for young Americans, depression levels, mental health insurance claims, and self-harm claims have doubled since pre-pandemic times.
Our country’s youth depends on us to provide them the tools and experiences they need to become the positive leaders of our future, just as our country’s future depends on our youth being properly educated and able to engage with those around them.
The social isolation, fear, and instability created by spineless politicians on the left is exacerbating the mental health issues in America and dooming an entire generation’s present and future. Our children deserve better: better education, better leadership, better role models, and a better quality of life, than what the left is currently restricting them to.
Until adults, whether they have children of their own or not, choose to stand up, speak out, and demand better for those younger than us, we will see no change.
We must free our children from the political battle they were unfairly put in the middle of.
Morgan Zegers is the founder and CEO of Young Americans Against Socialism, a nonprofit organization producing educational content on history, economics, policy, and culture. Zegers is also a frequent speaker at conferences and college campuses, and the host of a weekly current events and culture podcast, "Some Sanity."
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