Problems With the Perpetual Emergency | Beaufort County Now | Fred Bauer writes for City Journal about the impact of an ongoing COVID-inspired emergency.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai.

    Fred Bauer writes for City Journal about the impact of an ongoing COVID-inspired emergency.

  • When John Winthrop warned his fellow Puritans that they were about to enter a "community of peril" in venturing to Massachusetts Bay in 1630, he helped inaugurate an American tradition: the politics of crisis. One of the great paradoxes revealed by American life is that crisis can both invigorate democratic institutions and threaten their foundations.
  • The shock of crisis can simultaneously inspire feats of grand statesmanship and corrode the norms of a free society. The Constitution-one of the great acts of political engineering and democratic imagination-emerged out of the tumultuous paralysis of the Articles of Confederation. The Civil War secured the Union and extended the promise of liberty, but the wartime federal government cracked down on civil liberties and suppressed some presidential critics. Franklin Roosevelt marshaled a vast "arsenal of democracy" to confront the totalitarian threat, but his administration also pressed the rule of law to its breaking point-with internment camps, invasive state surveillance, and the use of federal agencies to harass political opponents.
  • Emergencies inevitably tend to concentrate power. To confront crises, a state needs an infrastructure for central authorities to act nimbly. The Articles of Confederation were flawed in part because they did not give the federal government enough vigor and flexibility. Two world wars and the Cold War helped swell the power of the presidency in the twentieth century.
  • At the same time, however, the urgency that marks a crisis also stands in tension with the institutions and practices of democratic life. When people must evacuate a sinking ship, there's no time for them to hold a parliamentary debate about the order of retreat. At the core of the habits of democratic life are compromise, charity, and patience. Democratic stability partly depends on various factions accepting political loss and believing that the stakes of a given election are not existential.

Go Back


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

So far this year, Gov. Cooper has pledged over $930.7 million in tax incentives to just 22 corporations, including $845.8 million over four decades to Apple
Candidate filing for the 2022 statewide primary and rescheduled municipal elections begins at noon on Monday, December 6, and ends at noon on Friday, December 17.
In May, the UNC School of Medicine revised its Guidelines for Appointment, Reappointment, and Promotion.
While a bill that would legalize sports betting across North Carolina passed a House committee last week, odds are heavily against it passing the full General Assembly before the session ends.
James W. Frick had a head full of Carolina common sense. Born in New Bern, in 1924, he was raised in a Catholic orphanage and graduated from Notre Dame.
Tristen Wallace began his college days at the University of Oregon with dreams of eventually playing in the NFL. But shortly into his college career, he was accused by two women of rape and expelled.
State Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, has moved his permanent residence from Richmond County to his second home in the Pinehurst area of Moore County to run for the newly-drawn state Senate District 21, which will include all of GOP-rich Moore County, and much of Cumberland County.
Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, who was forced out of his position by the Biden administration earlier this year, issued a stark warning during an interview, saying that the greatest threat that the U.S. is facing is the current administration withholding information from the public.
Amanda Knox fiercely defended teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty last month on all charges related to a fatal shooting that took place in August 2020.


Last year, Forbes published a headline, “Americans rank a Google internship over a Harvard degree.” It seems higher education is quickly losing hold of its value proposition as the best way to prepare for a job or advance in one’s career.
''independent redistricting commissions'' actually more corrupt
A N.C. company looking to bring a lithium mine to Gaston County is facing pushback from environmental groups, despite a deal already in place to use the mine’s products for electric vehicle batteries.
An assistant director yelled “cold gun” as he handed a prop weapon to Alec Baldwin, which the actor fired, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is asking the federal government to intervene and examine evidence after the Cook County States Attorney, Kim Foxx, refused to charge five men alleged to have taken part in a gang-related shooting that left at least one dead and two injured.
I have been following the Sheppard case and the Franks case the last couple of years with a somewhat dispassionate interest. The wheels of justice grind and they do grind slow.
“Squid Game,” the current Netflix sensation taking the streaming service by storm, may have tons of fans, but one woman in South Korea says her life has become miserable because of the show.
To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught how to use them.
It has been a long time since I lived on Hillock Drive, which runs off North Hills Drive near Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. My parents moved there with their two children, Joy and Brad, in 1971. I came along two years later as, my mom says, their “postscript.”


The Beaufort County Commissioners will get another bite at the patriotic apple, a fruit they far too often hold in great disdain, to pass this necessary resolution.
Now that the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has come before the Supreme Court, which may lead to the revocation of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, it may be worthwhile to examine Roe
Sources connected to the North Carolina House and the North Carolina Senate confirmed to CJ that they have firm commitments from enough Democrats in both chambers of the General Assembly to pass a final compromise with enough votes that Gov. Roy Cooper will either have to sign the budget or allow it
The number of GOP-led states which assert they will not comply with the Biden administration proposal — which would force banks to hand over the aggregate transaction data for accounts with over $600 to the IRS — is starting to mushroom.


Back to Top