‘When the fox preaches … ‘

‘When the fox preaches … ‘

We have cautioned numerous times since the coronavirus changed life as we knew it that “progressive” opportunists would exploit the pandemic to either cover for pre-pandemic nonfeasance or to push agendas not in the public’s best interest.

To wit, and money being fungible, government (i.e. taxpayer) relief money can be used by municipal authorities to cover for past questionable behavior and, emboldened by the bailout, have little incentive to change future behavior.

Then there are those wholly hypocritical restrictions on businesses. Certain businesses, that is.

Indeed, public safety must be paramount. But how do government types defend the slow strangulation of, say, restaurants with strict limits on occupancy and service in general but allow casinos to operate with masses of people?

Oh, yes, we forgot (how could we?) — the casinos are government-operated; “The State” must make its money (on gamblers’ losses) while restaurateurs X, Y and Z gasp for air as they attempt to navigate oftentimes incomprehensible pandemic-related government edicts.

It reminds us of “The Great Garden Center Dis.” Early in the pandemic, such centers in big-box stores could operate but standalone garden centers could not.

And it made absolutely no sense: The big-box centers were packed with people as the smaller standalones were left shuttered. Talk about “The State” creating virus transmission centers while nearly bankrupting small garden centers where such crowds would not be an issue.

And the hypocrisy goes on and on, then as now.

It was in 1635’s “Parts of This Summer’s Travels” that English poet John Taylor reminded how the “hypocrite doth vizard (mask) all his villainy with the mask or veil of virtue.”

How apropos in these pandemic times when government types still believe they have a right to — or even can and should — pick economic winners and losers.

To quote the German proverb, “When the fox preaches, look to your geese.”

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).