The Impact of COVID, Lock Downs, and Social Unrest in America

Originally published at

I recently appeared on Mike Schindler’s podcast, on January 7, 2021 — the day after the infamous Capitol Riots. Below is Mike’s description of the show followed by a transcript. Subscribe to Mike’s YouTube Channel here

The economic impact of the 2008–2009 recession was estimated to cost nearly $22 trillion dollars. The emotional devastation to families from lost jobs, foreclosed homes, small business closures, shrinking investments, and overwhelming stress was harder to measure, with some studies suggesting there was an increase in suicides while other studies suggested that prior work did not account for seasonal patterning and unique trends by age and gender.

Bottom line: The Great Recession was, for many, thought to be a once in a lifetime event.

And then 2020 hit.

The economic and emotional impact caused by federal, state, and local government response to COVID is yet to be fully calculated. But what is evident is that the impact will be greater than that of The Great Recession. The past year already saw an increase in business closures, social unrest, and suicides. And it is hard for some to understand what a post-COVID-19 America will look like.

So, I had Bob Zadek on The Military Wire to discuss what enemies we as Americans face ahead of us.

One day after the “storming of the Capital” occurred, Bob Zadek, host of The Bob Zadek Show, a Libertarian talk show broadcast live on AM stations in SF, Seattle, Sacramento, Portland, Denver, and other markets was a guest on The Military Wire to discuss a post-COVID America from a Libertarian viewpoint. For those who don’t know what it means to be a Libertarian, essentially, they believe in small government, less taxes, and personal freedom. All of which appear to be MIA in America. The goal, originally, was to discuss COVID and the impact — both from a health perspective and an economic perspective, and we did; but that conversation quickly evolved into discussing the storming of the Capital since it occurred the day before this interview.

Bob is truly engaging — and he does not hold back. It’s not often that I get called a “Big Phony” on my own show — but that’s exactly what Bob called me when I presented my solution to the storming of the Capital and social unrest in America. Of course, Bob is also a lawyer, so I really wanted his “call-out” to be about semantics…but it wasn’t. He raised a good point — and you’ll just have to listen to discover why I agreed with his point.

But I still believe the solution to unrest is exactly what I suggested — with a slight modification.

What you’ll gain most from this interview is that America is not yet lost. There is hope. Bob and I agree on some points, and not others but what you’ll see is a discussion — not division. And as we begin to embrace 2021 with resolve, it is important to remember that the impact from COVID is far-reaching and that there are few who are not affected by it.

And what will get us through the year — stronger and better — is discussion.

Unless you are corrupt — but that’s for another day.


Mike Schindler: Hey, welcome to The Military Wire with Mike Schindler. I am Mike Schindler. This is the podcast and videocast where we interview some of America’s most elite men and women who have served this country. We share their stories of overcoming and hope that you, our listener, get an “aha moment” that you can apply to your life. Today’s episode is sponsored by Bone Frog Cellars, a premier and sacred wine founded by my Navy SEAL friend Tim Cruickshank and his business partner Tom Johnston. The proceeds from this wine actually go to help the families of fallen SEALs. So I encourage you guys to check them out Bone Frog Cellars, be sure that you check them out.

This is a new year, and I am flipping the script on today’s guests. Typically, we have America’s most elite guests today. Bob Zadek is not a veteran, but he is somebody that is out on the frontlines fighting for the heart and soul of this country. We are going to talk about the heart and soul of this country, especially in light of what happened yesterday. For those of you that are going to be watching this on replay, there was a storming of the Capitol, which has not happened since the 1800s. We are going to unpack that a little bit. Bob Zadek is the host of the Bob Zadek Show, which is a libertarian talk show. It is broadcast live on am stations in San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento, Portland and Denver.

Bob talks about the issues that actually affect our daily lives from a purely libertarian point of view. So this will be interesting, because I know some of you hold differing political views. So this is going to be one political view that we feature. He believes in small government, he believes in less taxes, and he believes in personal freedom. Bob, welcome to the show.

Bob Zadek: Thank you so much. And when you mentioned to the audience that I’m a libertarian, and you mentioned your audience that may not be 100% libertarian, you should caution them that they will be in about 25 minutes.

Mike Schindler: They’ve got fair warning now. I want to really jump into this because there’s so much going on right now. It’s January 7 and on January 6, there was a storm into the capital of 2021. I really want to talk about what might have been the catalyst for what we saw yesterday. And you’ve got a compilation book that just came out, Essential Liberty, that I want our audience to pick up. It’s a compilation of interviews that you’ve done with guests from across the country who are experts in their field.

Is There a Global Cabal?

Mike Schindler: You feature something in there, which is a hot topic, which I believe might have been a catalyst for this, which is COVID-19. You said that there was a recent study that found that the average American believed that 9% of the population has died from COVID since the beginning of 2020. You claim that the actual percentage was around .04 percent, and just point .005% of those under 55 years old. Yet this pandemic, which we’re now seeing Japan starting to shut down, and we saw Scotland shut things down, and we’re starting to see that happen again here in the US. Is this part of the efforts of restructuring world order?

Bob Zadek: Ultimately, probably yes, although I don’t think it is an organized effort. It is separate political subdivisions, countries or parts of countries, which are led by leaders who have a common belief. I doubt that they sit around at night while you and I are asleep and coordinate their efforts but there is a belief system that requires governments to have extraordinary power over its constituents. When people holding that belief system get in positions of power, and Biden is about to be there, they carry through on their beliefs, frankly just like you and I would do.

If we were in power we would organize the government around what we believe to be the right thing to do. So the answer is clearly yes to your question.

I have no reason to believe it’s coordinated. It’s the same event happening in different places but I doubt it is part of some cabal who meets in some underground bunker while we’re sleeping.

Mike Schindler: There’s no organized ringleader or council of ringleaders maybe, but maybe just like-minded individuals who happen to be in power sharing a similar progressive mindset. Let’s get to some libertarian point of views real quick. If you look at totalitarian governments, they begin to move off what has traditionally been a liberal way of thinking, to defend an individual and the rights of an individual and evaluate a person by their individuality, and they lump people into groups. We’re starting to see that embraced here in the US by people that are in political power. How do we break free from that? If I’m a conservative, I can’t admit it. If I’m a libertarian, I can’t admit it. I don’t know, maybe libertarians are safe from this at this point.

Have we seen people being divided into groups and judged by groups as opposed to their individual persona?

Bob Zadek: Your observation is correct. It almost goes without saying, except you’ve already said it. So it’s too late for that little comment. Identity politics is a political tool to divide and conquer, that commonly used phrase. The political parties themselves thrive on identity politics. The two political parties make a calculation. How do they get to that magic number of 51%. You’re sitting around with the country that can be divided into specific groups. I once did a show where I commented that I probably fit into 15 groups.

I’m a senior, a lawyer, I have a religious heritage, I live in a certain part of the country, I’m a certain height, a certain weight, I can be categorized in so many ways. None of those categories tell you a thing about who I am. It is like my zip code, it just tells you a fact. If you’re organizing for a political victory you have to get to 51%. So if we pick immigrants as a group, they will give us X percent. And let’s pick public service workers — that gives us another percent, and so on. When you get to 51, you sit back and you say, okay, that’s our party — not because the constituent groups have anything in common. It’s like a college draft of football players. You want to get to a winning team so you don’t care about anything about a football player except are they going to contribute to victory.

Madison, in Federalist 10, expressed the fear of what he called “factions,” which he meant political bodies. Groups would get together and would form a majority that would dominate the minority. Does that kind of sound familiar? So they did their best to compromise to make a constitution that would put faction against faction, as a result of which no faction would have power, because it would be neutralized by the other faction.

It didn’t work out as well as the Founders intended. They were working in theory only because there’s never been tried before. I analogize the Founders sitting around in sweaty, humid Philadelphia in 1787, with the Manhattan Project — building the atom bomb, with a bunch of brilliant men in New Mexico — making calculations based upon their wisdom. They looked at each other and they said, “Well, it ought to work, our calculation shows it’ll work. But let’s push the damn button and see if we’re right.”

[The Founders] looked at each other and they said, “Well, it ought to work, our calculation shows it’ll work. But let’s push the damn button and see if we’re right.”

We are in the 231st year of the founders having pushed the button to see if it’s going to work. I’m less optimistic today than I was a mere 24 hours ago. We’ll probably get to that.

The “End-Game” of Covid-19

Mike Schindler: There is such an importance to get civics back into the classrooms and into education. There are only nine states that even teach civics anymore in the K-12 agenda. I think that, in and of itself — really understanding how the principles of this country were founded — is important. I want to get to economics because you talked about this kind of restructuring, and this new world order that is not coordinated, but is taking place. There’s economic impact from this.

In the military, we often talk about the purpose of the mission. Why are we doing the mission? What’s the endgame?

In your book, you mentioned that the 2008–2009 crisis cost $22 trillion. I can only surmise what the cost is going to be both financially, emotionally, even spiritually, from what has taken place with COVID. But to what end? Is the end, Bob, in your opinion, to have a bunch of subjects under a crown?

Bob Zadek: The end is obedience. When I said it is going to cost $22 trillion to the economy, I didn’t do the math myself. I learned that from sources that I have concluded, by my own intelligence, are trustworthy. The assignment that every voter in the world has the homework assignment is to devote your energy and your intellect to making the right choices and who to rely on for your information.

Mike Schindler: You said that the end game is obedience. Obedience for what end, though? Just to have subjects? That’s the part that I think many are trying to wrap their brain around. When we look at what has happened with COVID and what some would say are elected officials doing more than what they have the power to exercise–locking down restaurants, closing restaurants, businesses failing, good people not being able to have income — I have to believe, honestly, that governors sitting in those chairs do not want to impact their tax base by shutting down restaurants. So what are we not seeing?

Bob Zadek: Well, when you say they do not want to upset their tax base, you’re making a concession I’m not ready to make. I think I’m right, but maybe I’m wrong. People who are in government are not there by accident. It wasn’t random. They fought with so much intensity and so much energy and they worked so hard to get to that role of Governor, Mayor, and the like.

You say, why would you do it? What’s the end game? I work hard because I find it to be intellectually satisfying, I want to provide for my family, and I want to provide for some creature comforts, and leave some money behind for charitable causes. That’s why I do it. That’s not the end game at all for a politician. The power itself is the aphrodisiac. That’s the goal. The more people you can control, the more you are at the top of the heap. The end game is power. Maybe they think they are smarter than most other people and they owe it to people to acquire a power over them so they can protect them from themselves. That was COVID in a nutshell. As if we are not smart enough to know to wear a mask, if that’s the right advice.

The essence of progressivism is that the elites, the phrase going back to Woodrow Wilson, owe it to us to control our lives, or otherwise we’re gonna mess it up. They deprive us of the freedom of making a mistake and that is the essence of freedom, being allowed to make a mistake. If you forbid your young child to play by themselves with their friends, unsupervised, you are denying them the freedom to learn on their own. We are the children of elected officials. My plea was to let us accept the consequences, do not treat us like infants.

Mike Schindler: There is a time for that to happen, right? I mean, George Washington when we were in the Revolutionary War, quarantined those that came down with smallpox and if he hadn’t, we probably would have lost that war. So is there not a time that elected officials should step in and say, based on what we know, we need to make certain decisions. Do you agree with that?

Bob Zadek: I would have warmly accepted quarantine as the organization of our country during the virus. Quarantine means you isolate the sick. What our government did for the first time in 231 years, is they put people who were not sick, and did nothing wrong under home confinement. That’s never before happened in our country. That’s the difference.

“What our government did for the first time in 231 years, is they put people who were not sick, and did nothing wrong under home confinement. That’s never before happened in our country. That’s the difference.”

Washington and every elected official under our system of government has a duty to protect me from others because it causes me harm. Quarantine is protecting me from a virus-carrier. But to protect me from myself and to quarantine the healthy, is wrong. That is where the analogy breaks down.

Go beyond the USA today headlines at

Covid, Summer of Riots, and the Capitol

Mike Schindler: Oftentimes we want to think in USA Today headlines instead of really diving deep into an issue. Let’s talk about the storming of the Capitol. It’s interesting to me because the first time it’s been done since the 1800s, and certainly the first time it’s been done by Americans. There’s a call by some to say “never forget, always remember, this was the Republicans.” What happened? Why was there a faction of individuals that thought it was fine to go ahead and storm the capital?

Bob Zadek: We’re gonna need a semester, not a half hour. I’ll give you 30 seconds to withdraw your question. I will do the best I can to give the short answer. The immediate cause was Trump’s irresponsible words that incited a riot. Inciting a riot, in general, is a crime. I’m not accusing Trump of a crime. I’m not getting into that. Just to put it in context. That’s all I am doing. He did something that is criminally wrong, it’s civilly wrong, and it certainly is so much beneath the dignity of the office that it cannot even be mentioned anymore. People believed this concept that the election was stolen. That’s a strong word.

When you are trained that your vote is important, and the right to vote is a cherished, right, and then you are told by the President that a cherished right has been stolen, that’s akin to the President saying members of Congress have just killed a family member. It’s the same kind of statement. It touches a nerve that is so sensitive to begin with, during these times, when everybody is at a very high state of agitation in general, because of the split in the country that’s so dramatic, that you had the proverbial lighted match in the haystack.

It was waiting for anything like that to happen. So the immediate cause was Trump’s behavior. Trump could have said something like, “We’ll get him next time at the election. Now go and work for the Republican Party and get your neighbors to understand and use the very ballot that you cherish, to throw the sons of guns out of office.”

Two years will come by fast. We have an election coming up. In two years, everything gets to be made right again. If you would have said that everybody would have been writing checks to a political party, and then go home and go to work. But he didn’t. So that’s the immediate effect.

Now, to go back a step, what happened earlier in 2020 that set the stage was Black Lives Matter and the riots and George Floyd, et al. The mainstream media tolerated it. Elected officials said, stay at home, don’t get together in groups, but it’s okay to riot for Black Lives Matter. So what happened was you saw the establishment endorsing and encouraging rioting. Rioting became king of the new normal. If you’re angry, don’t sulk. Don’t go out and become active in politics. Break a storekeeper’s window. A storekeeper who is less money than you will have and is equally powerless. Go break that storekeeper’s window that’ll show him that it became acceptable.

A Perspective on the Biden Presidency: A Critical Moment

Mike Schindler: What do you see happening moving forward? Do you think this is just gonna be a wash? Do you think people are going to go back to their tribes and just get reset? Or do you think this is the beginning of the end?

Bob Zadek: Governments cause the results they want. I am profoundly supportive of small government and want to keep government out of our life. However, libertarians almost universally believe that we must have government, but government has to do only certain things. Primarily to protect me from having somebody else deprive me of my rights. Matt Kibbe wrote a book explaining libertarianism, and his title says it all, Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff.

Reason magazine has as their tagline “free minds and free markets.” Who doesn’t believe in that? That’s the government’s role — just to let me live my life, make mistakes, so long as in enjoying the full breadth of my rights, they do not cause you to be deprived of the very same rights that I value in myself.

Therefore, I think Biden has an extraordinary opportunity. If Biden can keep the progressives at bay, and can do what he boasted about when he was in the Senate, which was reaching across the aisle, then it’s not going to be, as Obama said, “elections have consequences.” That statement is true. But the consequences don’t have to be a victory march, they don’t have to be showing off in the end zone. It simply has to be calming everybody down.

I don’t know that Biden is up for it. Here is a chance for Biden to adjust the image he has in many people, by being statesmanlike and not being, “Elections have consequences. We’re in charge now. So now it’s going to be raised taxes and all the stuff that you fear.”

If he is calm, the trumpism will wane. This is an extraordinary opportunity to really be a profoundly important one-term President. Whether he’s going to have the power to do it, the will to do it, or the political power to do it, we will only know. I could live with some of his policies that may happen, like higher taxes, less freedom, compromising freedom of speech, giving up students sacrificing student debt, writing it off, some of that some of that, I can sort of hold my nose and say I’ll wait till 2022. If, in exchange, I get the civil discourse on which the country was founded.

Mike Schindler: Wow, interesting. I mean, there’s a lot at stake. One of the things we talked about in the military is this whole common principle of one team one fight principle, which is that we may have different religious views, political views, but we have a common goal. And my question to you is, do you think under this new administration that we can actually get to a shoot for the moon moment? Is it possible that we as a country can somehow get united and behind one goal I don’t care if it’s fixing infrastructure. I don’t care if it’s cleaning up the parks, I don’t care if it’s going to Mars. We need a John F. Kennedy moment in the middle of a crisis with Russia and the Soviet Union that we’re going to the moon and the country rallies.

Bob Zadek: That assumes I get teary-eyed about reaching for the moon, the John F. Kennedy moment. You say John F. Kennedy, I say to myself, Bay of Pigs, that John F. Kennedy? I say to myself, Cuban Missile Crisis, that John F Kennedy. Even going to the moon, if I had my way, and I speak for many libertarians, there would not be a NASA, there would just be Elon Musk. If Elon Musk wants to shoot to the moon, have at it. I like walking on the beach. If he likes building spacecraft to go to the moon. I wish we wouldn’t have gone to the moon, because that sets a bad precedent. Mike, there are a lot of planets out there. If we start going to foreign objects circulating around the sun we are going to be busted. We’re gonna run out of money.

Mike Schindler: How do we get people back involved in America? I believe national services should be a requirement. And I believe that civics should be a requirement. And I’ll tell you why. Because I believe that when somebody gives of themselves to something bigger than themselves, it changes their mindset. And what I’ve seen in not only people younger, but certainly people my age, is this entitlement attitude that I think permeated our culture. I don’t think it’s good.

Bob Zadek: Don’t get defensive, but you mentioned the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps public service. Am I to assume it is compulsory, or voluntary?

Mike Schindler: You’re gonna hook me. You are leading the question, because you already know the answer. The answer is, I do believe that when you’re 18 and you sign that dotted line and you say, “I’m going to give two years.” Now you can volunteer where you give your two years, but I believe that you should have to give two years.

Bob Zadek: That’s not voluntary. How could I use the word “voluntary.” It’s like bait and switch, Michael, it’s not voluntary if you go to jail if you don’t do it. That’s like a voluntary tax program.

I say that there should be no compulsory service because that is not service, then it is indentured. It is like southern chain gangs, fixing the roads, voluntarily. But I agree, people individually should give what they have to others for the right reasons. But I stop at persuading them. We all give money to charity. I encourage people to support the charities that I like, but the government compels me to support the charities they like. No, it’s my money.

If you want me to support Section 7 housing, if you want me to provide housing for people with my money, persuade me, but don’t point a gun to my head, because then I don’t feel good. The problem with compulsory service is if I volunteer to clean the beaches in California, I volunteer and I go there on a Saturday morning, and I work for eight hours, I go home, and I feel like I’m 10 feet tall. I made a decision, free of coercion, to make the world a little bit better place by cleaning the beaches. If I am told, “clean the beach or go to jail,” I’m going to be so angry. I’m going to be angry for a month for the same act.

Mike Schindler: Bob, I want people to get engaged in you. So how do they find you? How do they get your book? How do they continue to listen? We’ll probably have you back on the show for sure.

Bob Zadek: Thank you so much. It’s Bob Zadek. The podcast is the Bob Zadek Show, and there are two podcasts, there’s the “Best of The Bob Zadek Show” which I hate, because I think all of them are the best, then there’s the best of the best of every single show. The podcast has them all. The show is live in the west coast at about 8am, Sunday morning, always a live show never pre-recorded. It’s also live streamed nationally at 860 the Answer. That’s the flagship show, and the podcast is available at your leisure.

Mike Schindler: Absolutely. Bob. Well, I want people to plug in because I love it when people get out of their echo chambers and they start to listen to other people that might not share their same point of view and challenge your point of view.



-- • host of The Bob Zadek Show on 860AM – The Answer.

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Bob Zadek

Bob Zadek • host of The Bob Zadek Show on 860AM – The Answer.

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