Feehery: The face of left-wing authoritarianism
Left-wing authoritarians love mask mandates and they hate it when Republican politicians end them.
Mask mandates have turned out to be very useful in compelling social order, despite overwhelming actual scientific evidence that they play almost no role in limiting the spread of COVID-19, or any other respiratory virus for that matter. We concluded then as we should conclude now that mask mandates cause more problems than they are worth.
And yet we persist, because mask mandates are not about controlling the virus. They are about controlling Western civilization.
And this control comes not just from big government but also from big media and big corporations. I was talking to a friend of mine who works for an investment firm. He is not a believer in masks, nor does he think the government’s response to COVID-19 has been appropriate or worthwhile. But there he was on the street corner, wearing a mask.
I was incredulous. “Why are you wearing a mask?” I asked sharply. “I know you don’t think they work.”
He looked at me sheepishly. “You don’t understand because you don’t work in corporate America. If people see me on the street without a mask, I could get fired.”
We now live in a society where if people don’t wear a mask in public, outside, when they are socially distant, in full compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, they could get fired from their big, cushy jobs. Perhaps that’s why so many people just put on the damn mask.
Others don masks in the morning when they leave because they probably believe the media hype. You can’t escape it. “Mask up,” they say on television. “Mask up,” the homey, country lawyer type intones on the radio. “Mask up,” says the billboard. This is what a full-fledged propaganda campaign does. It changes minds, especially those who are weak-minded or who don’t have the time to do their own research.
My friend thinks that most mask wearers think it is all nonsense, but they don’t want to cause any trouble. They don’t want to lose their jobs. They don’t want to be shunned in their social network. They don’t want their kids to be bullied on the playground. They don’t want to get kicked out of the club. And so, they put on the mask, and walk out onto the street from the sidewalk if they see somebody who is not wearing a mask cross their path. They are far more likely to get hit by a car than catch COVID-19 outside by crossing paths with a maskless agitator.
Because there is almost no chance to catch COVID-19 outside. That’s what the studies show. And yet, millions of Americans put their masks on, so they can fit in, so they can go along to get along, so they can survive in a left-wing authoritarian state.
It is hard to resist when big government, big corporations and big media are all on the same side, pushing the same story, achieving the same goals. They were all-in on the Black Lives Matter movement. They are all-in on climate change. They are all-in on total mask compliance.
And they were all-in on closing down small businesses, small restaurants, small gyms, small musical venues, for 15 days to slow the spread. Or was it six months? The airlines took a hit, as did the hotels, but they have good lobbyists, so they got their bailouts. But for the little guys, the shutdowns were horrible. Same with those who live on the margins, who struggle to make a paycheck. But for big government, big media and the biggest corporations, especially big tech, it was no skin off their nose. In fact, it turns out they all did pretty well.
The left-wing authoritarians knew that shutting down society wasn’t sustainable. Give them credit for that. And so, in exchange for opening up, they make the people wear masks. A small price to pay, I guess. That’s what most people reason. But when you give in to the left-wing authoritarians, masks will never be enough. Just wait for the next thing they make you do.
Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).