Senator Chris Murphy has proposed combating widespread loneliness in the country by creating a National Office of Loneliness. This new arm of the government would use the CDC to track loneliness statistics and develop a national strategy to fight loneliness including creating guidelines telling Americans how many friends they should have to be less lonely.
The only ones keeping company with the National Office of Loneliness would be the myriad of other White House offices including the Office of Public Engagement, the Office of Neighborhood Partnerships, and the Office of Communications which all claim to talk to the public. With so many government offices talking to us, how can we possibly be lonely?Inviting the CDC to fight loneliness is like ushering an arsonist into a house party. Loneliness increased dramatically after the CDC’s lockdowns isolated people, tore apart families and broke down communities. There are still family members who are not speaking to each other due to the hard work of the boys and girls in the hazmat suits making dance videos at the CDC. Young adults were some of the worst casualties of the CDC’s social isolation with obvious factors, like suicide rates and grade averages, tracking the lockdowns along with more subtle ones like delayed relationships and extremist politics that have made them much more lonely. But the lockdowns were only the latest devastating example of state intervention leading to loneliness. After an environmentalist political program of wiping out industrial towns and shipping their jobs to China before encouraging the population to move to big cities, after educational culture wars undermined religion and divided parents and children, the gentleman from Hartford would like the state to end our loneliness and bring us together again. Government does not bring us together. Collectivism, as anyone who has wandered the streets of a busy city or stood among a roaring crowd knows, is the loneliest feeling of all. Under the pressure of cancel culture, individualism is disappearing leaving behind dogmatic mobs. Or as Marianne Moore wrote,“the cure for loneliness is solitude.” Collectivism has taken away our solitude and made us feel truly alone. More government offices only make us lonelier. Senator Murphy’s solution to loneliness is that “government should consider more direct subsidies for community institutions, like local newspapers”. If there’s anything that can make us feel less lonely it’s picking up the local version of USA Today and reading an article by an intern from the nearest college explaining why all the townies are a bunch of worthless bigots. Murphy has trawled MSNBC shows to pitch his state-sponsored cure for what he calls an “epidemic of loneliness”, but loneliness, like the rising rates of suicide and drug overdoses, and the declining rates of religiosity and marriage, is a only symptom of the problem. Medicalizing loneliness is typical of big government wonks who only know how to declare war on symptoms and effects, whether it’s loneliness or guns, while ignoring the causes of what they fight. “Loneliness is one of the most serious, misunderstood problems facing America today. It may not sound like a problem government should care about, but I believe it’s irresponsible for policymakers to continue ignoring this epidemic,” Senator Murphy has argued. Government has failed at addressing core responsibilities like national security, the economy and basic services, yet Murphy would like the government to fix loneliness. And Murphy begins by misunderstanding the problem. Loneliness is a negative image. The positive image is meaning and purpose. People feel lost when their lives no longer seem to amount to anything. The ideology that Murphy has spent his life fighting for exists to nullify the things that bring us together. Family, community, nation are sins to deconstruct as patriarchal, heteronormative, racist, imperialist horrors that will be swept into the dustbin on the right side of history. What will the government use to rally us around and give us purpose and meaning in place of starting a family, running a small business or serving our country? Attending all-ages drag shows? Harvesting ballots for Biden? Building bombs for Hamas? Or doing what much of the country actually does: binging Netflix slop and expressing opinions on the latest viral video. “I’m working on legislation that would just start by establishing a national strategy, a national conversation around loneliness and how to promote connectedness. Every agency should have a role to play in this crisis,” Senator Murphy promised. Every government agency has already played a role in this crisis. And every added agency will only make Americans feel worse. Americans don’t need more national strategies and national conversations. We are already far too connected. What we are truly disconnected from, as Moore wrote, is ourselves. It isn’t the number of Facebook friends that make us feel connected, but the knowledge that what we matter. Teens need this knowledge more than any other group and have cruelly been denied it. Murphy’s movement has been telling teens that sea levels are rising, racism is wired into our DNA and free will is a myth. Our parents are evil, our grandparents are worse, and our natural impulse to form normal heterosexual families is making transgender people kill themselves. Every breath we take is destroying the planet and all we can do is avoid having children and buy recycled products to slightly slow down the rate at which we’re a plague on the universe. Now why are you feeling lonely, depressed, suicidal and unsure of your place in the world? “Loneliness is one of the few issues that defies traditional political boundaries, cuts across almost every demographic from teenage girls living in cities to white men living out in rural areas, blue states to red states, unaffordable cities to left behind manufacturing towns. There’s a ton of room for us to come together to combat this growing epidemic of loneliness,” Murphy argued in Congress. Leftists like Murphy thrive on coming together against something, some social construct, a social problem, when what is really needed is to be for something. What is Senator Chris Murphy for beyond a government that is getting bigger all the time? Senator Murphy would like to create an office to study why human beings, deprived of everything that makes us human, are perishing. Leftist experiments always end with the death of the subjects and the destruction of the habitat. Ivan Pavlov, of the Pavlovian Reflex, once said that if Communism were an experiment, he would not sacrifice a frog’s hind leg to test it out. Murphy and his ilk have not sacrificed a frog’s hind leg, they have sacrificed a nation. People thrive when they are able to make a difference in their lives. They wither away when they become dependents. Even the healthiest person who spends two weeks in a hospital comes away dazed after losing normal routines, free will and a sense of self-discipline. The same thing happens to prisoners and people who become dependent on the government. The more the government takes away our ability to do things, the more we lose ourselves. The COVID lockdowns with their bans on going to the beach, breathing fresh air and living our own lives brought that home to millions of people. Some people, like POWs in Korea and Vietnam, refuseniks in Soviet gulags, have the moral will to retain their internal self and remain free. Most people however don’t walk away unimpacted. America was a nation built by free people. Government has stripped away freedom, culture, faith, family and everything that comes with it. Now, having noticed that the ants in the ant farm seem to be sickening and dying, the government starts playing with the air, the temperature and proposes a change of diet. Our state of loneliness can end when our lives are not defined by the ant farm of the state.