In old-timey Westerns, there’d always be a scene where the bad guy would shoot the gun at the feet of some hapless fellow and sneer, “Dance!” The idea was terrifying. One wrong move and the guy was dead. The shooter was demonstrating his raw coercive power. That’s been our neighbors for the last two years. They pointed metaphorical (and in Antifa and BLM’s well-funded cases, literal) guns and told their fellow Americans to dance … or die.
Masks were mandated in schools that made absolutely no difference to health outcomes: DANCE! Government-mandated vaccines were a thing for a couple months around Christmas, instilling fear of not being able to take care of the family: DANCE! Then the vaccine mandates, after lawsuits, just kinda went away … in some places: DANCE! Restaurants were moved outside into plastic tents: DANCE! No funerals: DANCE! Wear a mask to your table but take it off to eat: DANCE! No family in the hospital: DANCE! Stand in lines six feet apart: DANCE!
Barack Obama partied with his friends for his birthday. Gavin Newsom partied with his lobbyist friends. Nancy Pelosi got her hair done in a salon forced to close — except for her — due to COVID rules. Joe Biden hugs people unmasked after an outbreak.
Average citizens were emboldened to persecute their neighbors. How many videos can one find of psychotic people screaming at a non-mask wearer in Target and Costco and on playgrounds?
Police officers dragged families without vaccine cards out of restaurants in New York City for a couple weeks. They pulled parents out of bleachers. They raided bars and stores. They taped off outdoor playgrounds. They fined beach-goers $500 for sitting on the beach in the fresh air without a mask. They filled outdoor skate parks with sand.
There are toddlers in New York City still being forced to mask. Why? DANCE!
Average citizens were emboldened to persecute their neighbors. How many videos can one find of psychotic people screaming at a non-mask wearer in Target and Costco and on playgrounds? And then, magically, the whole world watches the elites take in the Super Bowl and there’s not a mask in sight.
Airline attendants, some of them, were a special breed of tyrant. Sing-songy lectures before flights and threats of being put on no-fly lists repeated ad nauseam. There was one instance where I’m convinced that the airline agent was trying to provoke a riot. And Americans were forced to sit there like good little children and take the hectoring by a power-drunk Karen.
After arriving at a destination, I received a warning from Uber. I had been reported by the driver for letting my mask slip beneath my nose for about 15 seconds. The indignity was enough that I switched to Lyft, but the inane rules were the same. The worst part was being reported for something that was essentially worthless. I was being treated like a criminal when the masked insane people were the ones who were off their rockers.
The dishwasher repairman came to the house wearing a mask last week. Company policy, you see. I told him not to wear it on my account as it doesn’t work. He sighed with relief and got to work and could breathe while doing it.
The teachers unions and Randi Weingarten sacrificed American schoolchildren for over two years for policies to protect the fragile psychology of teachers. To this day, violence has been a problem in America’s schools. Is it any wonder? On the flip side, violence against the self has increased, too. There were more suicides, self-harming behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse among young people. And why not? Solitary confinement over extended periods of time is considered torture. I remember reading about a mom of a 5-year-old isolating the child at one end of the house while she and her new baby stayed at the other end of the house. Is there any doubt that the child shut in her room for weeks on end, alone, has been damaged?
Yesterday, a federal judge overturned the mask mandate on domestic air travel, asserting that the CDC had overstepped its bounds. The hysterics in the media are doing their performative thing, but they’ll be flying, and without a mask, tomorrow, oblivious to the damage they’ve done.
A friend told me a story of his workplace where they had fired a bunch of people for not abiding by the vaccine mandate and the maskers were asserting their confidence in vaccines and masks to save people. When the mandates got struck down, they took their masks off and acted like they didn’t say what they had said the day before. Like magic, the “science” for masks gave way to the “science” of non-masks. They suffered no crisis of conscience about the people they helped fire. Nothing.
Now that the last vestiges of COVID theater are being ended, the Maoists in our midst will just melt into the mist, impervious to the damage they’ve done. A Chinese neighbor recounted how the Maoists came to their family farm, stole it, moved into their house, and pushed them into the street after killing their dog. They escaped, barely, with their lives and the clothes on their backs. These new farmers couldn’t farm, of course, and China starved. Did the rampaging zealots acknowledge the damage they did? While they slept in the bed and sat at the kitchen table of someone else, did they feel any shame for what they had done?
Central planners and their vast army of mercenary zealots don’t seem particularly inclined to self-reflection. They torment children, participate in the firing of their fellow workers, and force their fellow citizens into performative acts of self-abnegation to salve their own needs and desires. It’s an exercise of raw power, and it couldn’t have happened without the willing participation of average people turning on their friends, family, and neighbors.
Human nature is a vile thing. Men are weak. When given power, too many like to make those under their power dance.
In the West, there’s been a delusion that in the other places where tyranny has taken over, it was because of the kind of people there. No. Government bureaucrats, police, neighbors, friends, and family were, and are, willing to destroy those with whom they disagree for little more than the psychologically satisfying feeling of exerting power over others and being perceived as good people while doing it.
The mask is off. Remember the people behind them.