Revolt of the plain folks
"So the city was filled with the confusion...Now some cried one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together."
-- The Acts of the Apostles, 19:29-32, Revised Standard Version.
And, hey, that wasn't even Washington, D.C., or New York City. It was Ephesus during the first century, with the theological credentials of Paul the Apostle at the center of the storm as he undertook, in the city's view, to dislodge the goddess Artemis from her accustomed centrality in local piety.
We are not quite there in America amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the hour could be coming. A reaction to the lockdown is shaping up. Some cry one thing and some another, and the country is filled with confusion -- massive, disabling, dangerous.
At a moment ripe for mature leadership, we get "leaders" volubly poor-mouthing each other, as chronicled by commentators with axes to grind, previously used to slice through the necks of those with contrary political convictions.
It could be worse. We could have totalitarian riff-raff -- the Chinese Reds come to mind -- telling intellectually capable citizens what they may think and say. That's the other extreme. The middle ground is the presently unoccupied territory.
Or ... hold on. Maybe not.
Among the fantasies of the media is something the intellectually lazy like to call "populism," without bothering to acquire any knowledge of the word's meaning, with all its historical implications. The populism narrative has to do with plain folks rebelling against the iron grip of corporations or unions or various "swamp" creatures.
At the center of more plausible accounts, if we bothered to consider them, would be ordinary Joes and Janes who mainly want to succeed at their ordinary lives but can't because people of power present themselves as knowing what's best for them.
Like now, what with many leaders having scared the wits out of the population -- first, by telling people with hardly any chance of contracting the virus they can't go about their normal pursuits and then by assuring them the lockdown is too urgent to discontinue very soon. This in the face of scientific evidence or indications, such as a study at Stanford University's medical school, that the chance of dying from the virus could be as low as 0.05%.