The 'New Normal'

Allen West | April 13, 2020 | 4:49am EDT
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The eerily empty Fifth Avenue in New York City on March 26 -- the "new normal" brought on by the government response to the coronavirus. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images)
The eerily empty Fifth Avenue in New York City on March 26 -- the "new normal" brought on by the government response to the coronavirus. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images)

“This pandemic gives Democrats a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
April 2, 2020, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Chairman, House Pandemic Oversight Committee

I remember growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. My Dad would sometimes take me over to Atlanta Airport, long before it became Hartsfield-Jackson International. We would park and walk right into the airport, go to a gate and sit and watch airplanes loading up luggage and passengers.

Back then, Eastern Airlines was still in business, and its Whisper Jet was my favorite. The sound that aircraft made was unique. Back in those days, we could walk our loved ones right to the gate, sit with them, and watch them board, and bid them goodbye.

I recall one day in the summer of 1982 when my dad was there, waiting at the airport gate as I disembarked my flight coming back from Ft. Lewis, Washington. I had just completed my seven-week summer Army ROTC Cadet camp, my last requirement. In just a week, I would be commissioned as an officer, a Second Lieutenant, in the United States Army. I had lost some 10 pounds at summer camp, and Dad smiled and laughingly said, “they kicked your butt, huh, Son?”

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was asked during his press conference when he expected us to get back to normal. Gov. Cuomo’s response was chilling, and quite disconcerting: He asserted that we would not be going back to any semblance of normal--that this is the new normal.

I considered Gov. Cuomo’s words, and those of Rep. James Clyburn and asked myself, what is this new normal? What is this “restructuring of things to fit OUR vision?”


I thought back to how President Barack Obama told us, the American people that the new normal was gross domestic product (GDP) at or below 2%. That new normal also consisted of high unemployment, more Americans in poverty and on welfare subsistence. Was that part of the “fundamental transformation” and the restructuring of things to fit a certain vision, ideological agenda?

Think about this: We have a generation in our Constitutional Republic, America, who have never known the simple joy of going to the airport and seeing a loved one off at the gate. They have never known what it is like to walk from the parking lot right to your gate at the airport.

They are a generation that was born at the beginning of this 21st century. They have witnessed more of their individual liberties and freedoms usurped because of the new normal. This is the generation that has lived from 9-11 to today, facing the COVID-19 pandemic. And in those 20 years they have seen the creation of secret courts that can grant warrants for surveillance against Americans.

They have never been able to wear their shoes going through security checkpoints. Heck, they have never known travel without security checkpoints. They have watched more and more government agencies created. And now they are sitting at home witnessing just how easy it is for elected officials to restrict their constitutional rights.

Let me be clear, we must have responses to threats that we face. However, if every time we face a threat we are told that there is a new normal, what does that end up meaning? We should be concerned about elected officials who make such statements as Rep. James Clyburn, that “this pandemic gives Democrats a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

In combination with Gov. Cuomo’s declaration of a “new normal” we need ask, does this new normal, this vision, mean even more decimation of our individual constitutional rights? To assert that a pandemic crisis affords a political party an opportunity to restructure “things” to fit their vision--what things need to be restructured? What vision?

Shall I remind y’all of another infamous quote, “never let a good crisis go to waste”?

It is disturbing to think that anyone would seek to profit politically and ideologically from a tragedy, a crisis, this pandemic. What are we to discern when examining these quotes for analysis and assessment? Yes, we all want to be safe and healthy. We all want to do that which is best and good for the public, the American people. But when do we stop and realize that with each crisis we face, there are those who find opportunity in eroding our individual constitutional rights?

Arresting someone for paddle boarding in the middle of the ocean, alone? Giving out a citation to a woman driving in her own car, just driving? Dragging a man off a bus for not having a mask, and issuing fines to the tunes of $1,000 for not wearing a mask? Who are these people making the unilateral decisions for our lives as to what they deem essential--and non-essential? In some places it appears that those things considered essential align with a certain political ideology.

Think about it, we had people making decisions to declare church services non-essential. Yesterday was Resurrection Day…Easter is about bunny rabbits and egg hunts. My wife Angela and I were among the many Christians who watched services from home. And how many of our Jewish brothers and sisters had to adjust and accommodate their faith at the blessed time of Passover?

Our very first right in our Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution is Freedom of Religion, and the free exercise thereof. But I guess not in the new normal of Gov. Cuomo.

And how easy will it be next time to restructure things to fit the [Democrats’] vision?

After all, these progressive socialist elected officials have deemed gun stores non-essential. The new normal can be forced upon us with little to no resistance if we are disarmed—the right to bear arms being another constitutional right.

I hope you will join with me in rejecting this “new normal” and the “restructuring of things,” as we all know, from history, how it ends up…Soviet Union, East Germany, China, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea are just a few examples.

(Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. During his 22-year career, he served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, receiving many honors including a Bronze Star. In 2010, West was elected as a member of the 112th Congress representing Florida’s 22nd District. He is a Fox News contributor and author of “Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom” and his latest book from Brown Books Publishing Group, “Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death.”  Mr. West writes daily commentary on his personal website and is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias.)

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