By Jonathon Van Maren
In times of crisis, societies are forced to re-evaluate a great many things. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, we are already seeing choices being made that are an indication of what we value. Most countries, for example, are accepting the reality of massive economic damage in order to protect the elderly and the vulnerable. This is the right choice to make. Lives should always be worth more than things. There will be much more difficult choices to make in the days ahead — and some of them, if the stories of doctors in Italy being forced to decide which patients to attend to are any indication, may be horrifying.
Several years ago, the veteran journalist Ted Byfield told me he thought a lot of the new sexual fads sweeping the West — such as the recent obsession with gender fluidity and folks claiming to be non-binary and all the rest of it — were nothing more than the sorts of luxuries that crop up in decadent societies. If the economy were to crash or some other great crisis were to hit, he predicted, we would all be forced to pay attention to what actually matters in a very big hurry. While traveling Africa a few years ago, I noted that he was correct: Most of the people I talked to in five different countries simply thought that the caterwauling of the elites about transgender pronouns and other niche issues made us appear ridiculous and frivolous.