Revelations of Who Benefited the Most From COVID Should Change the Republican Paradigm

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

With the COVID pandemic waning across the country, the time for reflection on what exactly happened and how it was handled is upon us. On that front, lockdowns and government overreach are at or near the top of the list of recriminations to be made. Policies pushed on a vulnerable, fearful public as necessary because “science” arbitrarily destroyed jobs and small businesses across the country, and many of them won’t be coming back.

(related Dr. Fauci Is Left Stammering After He’s Challenged on Free States vs. Lockdown States)

So who benefited the most? You’ll be less than shocked to learn it’s the people who always benefit when big government gets involved – billionaires and big business.

It wasn’t just new billionaires being added to the mix either. Companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart, along with a myriad of other mega-corporations, made absolute bank throughout 2020 and into 2021. Was that because of the wonders of the free market? No, it was because politicians and bureaucrats shut down their competition by force of law without even attempting to justify their actions with evidence.

This is where things get dicey. Republicans have traditionally been the party of the rich, at least in the modern area. I don’t mean that in the sense that the rich always support Republicans. On the contrary, Wall Street and these mega-corporations can’t get enough of Nancy Pelosi and crew despite the fact that most Democrats would take them to cleaners if they could. Rather, I mean that the GOP has abided by the principle that people making lots of money via our capitalist system is good, and that’s generally correct. Yet, what happens when that capitalist system is being hopelessly perverted by a cycle of government intervention made at the behest of big business and their special interests?

What happens is that you no longer have a free market. Rather, you have a quasi system of oligarchy in which laws and regulations are used with vengeance against normal Americans while an elite class gets their carveouts and grows richer and richer as a result.

The simple truth is that big business was deemed “essential” during the pandemic while thousands of small businesses were crushed despite there no science existing behind the idea that small, local businesses were inherently more unsafe to operate than the Wal-Mart that stayed open down the street. Small businesses didn’t have lobbyists and inside men at the bureaucracies, and they paid the price for their lack of influence.

Things shouldn’t be this way, and Republicans have to stop enabling it. Being rich does not make someone inherently moral, superior, or smarter. Billionaires who push their influence to gain arbitrary advantages in the market via government interference, a game that offers no recourse for small businesses, are not just enjoying the wonders of capitalism. Rather, they are enjoying the wonders of crony capitalism, and that’s not sustainable in the long term.

I understand that I’m going to get accused of sounding like Bernie Sanders here, but I think that kind of simplistic, shallow rebuttal has run its course on the right. Most Republicans have woken up to the fact that big business hates them, hates their values, and actively seeks to join forces with the left to destroy their way of life. There’s no reason to keep going to bat for these people.

The paradigm needs to shift among Republicans. No longer should the GOP knee-jerk defend everyone with a yacht and a private jet as some next level of patriot. Rather, someone who promotes crony capitalism should be treated with the same skepticism and scorn as someone who promotes socialism. Free markets should actually be free, and that includes freedom from the government picking winners and losers at the behest of the mega-rich.

If Republicans want a working-class message that doesn’t actually violate conservative principles, it exists, and it’s just waiting to be embraced. Stop worrying about corporate tax rates for the umpteenth time and start worrying about making the system fair for the full spectrum of those involved, including those who aren’t privileged enough to have their senator’s private number saved in their phone.