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All That and a Bag of Mail

Rejoice, it’s Friday and you’ve made it through another week.

We are gearing up for our downtown Nashville NCAA Tournament tipoff party on March 19th where the new Outkick 360 crew — Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky — will be broadcasting live, and we’ll all kick back and watch games, gamble and have some drinks. It should be lots of fun. If you want to be there, go sign up for the Outkick VIP today.

Okay, here we go with the mailbag questions:

Coach writes:

“Is the pandemic over? At least in some states?

* FL no hospitals overrun (ever)
* FL vaccinated 50% of people 65+
* FL no statewide mask mandate (never had one)
* 0 youth/pro/college athletes lost from OR with COVID

Can we get back to outdoor sports and stop the charade?”

Yes, it’s over, at least for anyone behaving remotely rationally, which is, sadly, probably still less than half the country.

I keep saying this, but my life hasn’t really changed that much because of COVID, at least not since May of last year. We spent the month of May in Florida last year. From that point forward, my family has pretty much behaved normally. Our kids have been in school in person since August, my kids have played football, soccer, basketball and we’re about to start baseball, we went to Universal Studios in December, just got back from Mexico and are heading to Utah for the kids’ spring break next week.

We’ve gone to NFL, college football, and college basketball games.

I’m taking my three boys camping this weekend.

I’ve been going to the gym several times a week since May, and I’ve kept right on rolling with radio and TV on a daily basis, all while expanding OutKick into a pretty decent sized business. Honestly, I can’t even point to anything we’ve wanted to do that we haven’t been able to do since May of last year. March and April of last year were a mess for pretty much the entire country, but since then we’ve been fine.

My parents and in-laws are all vaccinated now, and none of us had any COVID-related health issues in my entire family.

I understand that hasn’t been the case for everyone, but I’ve lived my life without fear — and so has most of my extended family — for the past year. And we’ve all been fine.

I hope the same thing has been true for you and your families.

I suspect once the $1.9 trillion “COVID relief bill” becomes law that Democrats will declare victory over COVID at some point this summer and try to take credit for ending this insane farce.

Because the truth of the matter is this: Joe Biden based his entire electoral campaign on COVID fear porn, and he took office in the eighth inning of a nine inning pandemic game. Operation Warp Speed, which is probably the most tremendous governmental achievement since the Manhattan Project, put the country on track to officially end the pandemic via vaccinations. We were vaccinating over a million people a day by the time Joe Biden took office, and the COVID case load was already declining substantially as well.

If COVID happened this year instead of last year, then I believe Trump would have won a landslide electoral college victory in 2020 — I think Trump would have won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota and New Mexico — in addition to all the other states he won.

Biden would have gotten trounced if COVID didn’t happen, and I suspect his campaign knows it. Heck, I’m not even sure Biden could have held up on an aggressive cross country campaign. But I do think he would have gotten smoked.

Trump would have been running with the best economy in any of our lives, and I don’t think anything would have beaten him.

Instead COVID happened, and Democrats played up the fear porn to snag an incredibly narrow victory by around 40,000 votes.

But I think the American public is going to come to see this, and the result will be Republicans taking back the House and Senate in 2022 and then if the Republicans nominate a decent candidate in 2024, I think Kamala Harris will get shellacked and the identity politics and cancel culture universe is going to collapse on Democrats.

I really do think that’s where we’re headed.

And I think it would have happened in 2020 with Trump winning re-election with ease, absent COVID happening in a presidential election year.

Instead, I think we’ll see Democrats have to reap the whirlwind in 2022 and in 2024 instead of in 2020.

My early prediction for the 2024 presidential ticket for Republicans? Ron DeSantis as presidential candidate and Kristi Noem as vice presidential candidate.

Frog writes:

“How can it be that all of the liberals haven’t seen the Florida data on COVID? Any rational person can look at state vs state comparisons and it’s clear what should be done, but states like California just keep ignoring the math. Why?”

Because they refuse to actually look at the data. That would require acknowledging that their lockdowns haven’t worked.

Look, the truth of the matter is this, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has followed the science and the data more than any governor in the country. That’s meant that DeSantis is sometimes on an island with the choices he’s made. But he’s been, I believe, the best performing big state governor during this entire pandemic.

His decision to focus on vaccinating seniors first, his keeping Florida schools open, and his ability to keep theme parks and sports open across the state means that if you happen to live in states like Florida, Texas, and Tennessee, your life during the pandemic hasn’t felt that much different than normal.

Whereas if you live in states like New York, Michigan, California or Illinois, you’ve been on an never-ending lockdown and the pandemic has rocked your family’s world.

Only, again, the data makes it clear, lockdowns made no difference at all. As I’ve been arguing for months, every state should have followed the data. If they had, they would have looked like Florida.

Earlier this week, I laid out the data comparing the big state responses, and there’s no argument in favor of the choices that New York governor Andrew Cuomo and California governor Gavin Newsom have made. Florida and Texas made the right choices, and New York and California didn’t. Again, that’s what the objective data show us. You should go read it yourself, if you haven’t already.

As frustrating as it is that Newsom and Cuomo are making poor decisions for their state residents, I’m more disappointed, by far, in the American media for continuing to sell the falsehood that both men have done good jobs.

But it appears much of the country is finally waking up to the false bill of goods sold about Cuomo and Newsom. Both men may end up getting removed from office.

One thing that I’m confident will happen but that will be unfortunate is that many people aren’t going to get the vaccine. I think what we’ll see once the vaccine is fully open for anyone who wants it, which I think will happen sooner rather than later, is that there will be tens of millions of healthy people who either have already had COVID or don’t feel threatened by it, and there will be a monster battle over this.

Just get ready for it.

Kevin writes:

“What do you think of this $1.9 trillion stimulus package that’s on the senate floor now?”

I think it’s unnecessary because only a small amount of the stimulus package has anything to do with COVID and because the best possible stimulus is opening the country up and making sure that all kids are back attending schools in person.

Public schools still being closed is America’s biggest public policy failure since Vietnam.

On a broader level, I’m concerned that we’re going to set off inflation in a major way in this country with the massive governmental expenditures.

I hope I’m wrong, but most people living in America today have never dealt with rampant inflation. And we seem to have amnesia on issues such as these. In the late 1970s, inflation was an economic disaster, and I’m afraid that most people have forgotten what that’s like. Or even that it can happen at all.

Given that most things in history are cyclical, we tend to overprotect for current threats and under-protect for threats that seem remote. And I think right now inflation seems like a remote fear, even though it isn’t.

My concern is that it’s virtually impossible to increase the overall supply of US cash in the world by around 25% in the space of a year and not have some substantial negative consequences as a result.

When I was a kid, I remember wondering why the national debt was a real problem since America could always just print more money to pay whatever the debt was. Then, of course, I learned about the concept of inflation. But it feels like most of our electoral leaders are making the same child-like argument I made back in the early 1980s when it comes to American governmental policy — they think we can just keep printing money with zero consequences.

And I worry that we’re going to have a white hot economy, fueled by trillions of dollars in governmental spending, that is going to send inflation soaring.

I hope I’m wrong and we manage to grow the economy at a massive rate without triggering inflation, but that seems unlikely.

Ciro writes:

“When are you running for political office?”

I’ve said for a long time I need to make plenty of money first so I don’t have to worry about being beholden to big donors to run a political campaign.

I’m in the process of doing that right now.

Once I do that, then I’ll sit back and survey the political landscape in a more significant manner.

But one of the things I’m thinking about now is this: the platform I’ve built with OutKick and on radio, TV and in the media, arguably, is more influential already than the platform most politicians have. That is, I have a bigger audience on a daily basis now to talk about issues that matter to me than almost all politicians in the country.

And I think we’re making a substantial difference in the national discourse at OutKick right now. Heck, if OutKick didn’t exist in the world of sports, there would be no one making the arguments we’re making. Which is truly remarkable.

So one of the things I wonder about is this: would I actually have less influence as a politician — at least a politician in most political offices in the country — than I would running OutKick?

I think you can make that argument.

In addition to this, I have to get my wife comfortable with the idea of running for political office. We have three young kids and a pretty great family life right now. As my kids get older and start to have their own lives, it gets much easier for me to focus on something other than being a dad and running my businesses.

But for right now being a dad is pretty great, and I love all my jobs.

I’ve got all three boys, for instance, on a family camping trip tomorrow, and the kids were all excited beyond belief this morning thinking about the camping trip tomorrow. I know they won’t always be this excited to spend time with me, especially when they are all teenagers, so I’m trying to soak it up while I can.

Troy writes:

“When will I be in a packed stadium as if it was Fall of 2019. Honestly?”

I think by May there will be full stadiums in many parts of the country. Now, to be fair, full stadiums doesn’t necessarily mean every seat is sold. It just means everyone who wants to go to a particular game can go. For instance, the Miami Marlins only averaged 10,000 fans in 2019 and the Tampa Bay Rays only averaged 15k in 2019. So there will still be lots of open seats in those stadiums, even if everyone who wants to go to the game goes.

Remember that most MLB stadiums aren’t full, not even close to it, for games in April and May. Particularly up north, where the weather is often still very cold.

But I think by May, potentially even in April, several states will be allowing anyone who wants to buy tickets to attend sporting events to go to games. And I hope the same thing is true for concerts, plays, movies and any other entertainment option out there.

I believe Major League Baseball will be the first sport in America to have a 100% full stadium again.

And that college football and NFL will be played with full stadiums this fall as well.

I believe sports, in many ways, will lead us back to normalcy first.

Jake writes:

“How can we pressure school boards to open schools for 100% full time in person learning? Why are they so stubborn?”

One of the sad things that many Americans have learned during this process is that teachers unions don’t care very much about kids, they care about themselves. And those unions have refused to look at the data and go to work, even though their COVID risk is minimal.

We also know that remote learning is a pale approximation of in-person learning, especially for young kids, meaning the real victims here aren’t teachers, they’re the kids.

I know there have been many fantastic teachers all over the country going to work every day this school year — my kids are fortunate to be in these schools — but many unions have fought to keep this from happening.

I think parents need to keep track of who has supported opening schools and who has supported closing schools, and I think there should be electoral consequences for those decisions. Personally, I will never vote for any politician for the rest of my life who supported, in any way, keeping schools closed this year.

Thanks for reading OutKick, and I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

9 Comments

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  1. Rampant Inflation from the 1970’s was eased out by The Iran Hostage situation and eventually Reaganomics. We were lucky. Post WWI Germany had inflation so bad that a wheelbarrow of money bought bread. That ended not so well for them as Hitler and the Nazi Party took them into WWII.
    What people thought Trump did or could do to the country is only a small drip when you try to curb rampant inflation. May God have Mercy on us.

  2. “So one of the things I wonder about is this: would I actually have less influence as a politician — at least a politician in most political offices in the country — than I would running OutKick?”

    This is a big reason why Rush (RIP) never ran for office. Well that, and he probably wasn’t interested in the significant pay cut.

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