There are lots of libertarians at the end of a pandemic — and for good reason. For more than a year now Americans have watched the actions of dysfunctional government officials play out like the worst reality show of all time.
If the ineptitude wasn’t so infuriating, it might make for entertaining TV. There was the episode when the smug governor who asked his constituents to stay home got caught dining at French Laundry. Or what about the one when the White House coronavirus response coordinator broke her own travel restrictions to winterize her vacation home — and got ratted out by members of her own family?
The past 12 months have showcased non-stop hypocrisy from our federal and local officials. Most Americans, despite the mental exhaustion, are tuning in to this freak show daily.
Our betters originally told us sheep that we had to lock down the country for two weeks in order to ‘stop the spread’. So we did just that. Fast-forward a year and after shutdowns, masks, contact-tracing, remote-working and Zoom-learning — we are all still waiting for the Powers That Be to loosen the reins. Instead they are extending deadlines and moving goalposts. The longer they wait to let up, the bigger the coming anti-government backlash will be.
At the beginning of this nightmare, people who were vocally anti-lockdown found themselves mocked and caricatured. Last April, after protests started to pop up throughout the country, actor Patton Oswalt tweeted, ‘Anne Frank spent 2 years hiding in an attic and we’ve been home for just over a month with Netflix, food delivery & video games and there are people risking viral death by storming state capital buildings & screaming, ‘Open Fuddruckers!”’ That got 438,000 likes.
In the eyes of wealthy liberal celebrities, holed up in their palatial estates, Americans who opposed the lockdown weren’t just stupid. They were selfish.
But those small-minded beautiful people — the same ones that blessed us with the early-pandemic masterpiece in which they bleated ‘Imagine’ off-key into their iPhones — only make up a tiny portion of the left. As time goes on, I’m starting to wonder if the lockdowns are actually divisive or if we just think they are. The fact is that these restrictions and mandates hurt, regardless of your voting habits. Whether you have a Trump 2024 bumper sticker or a copy of Kamala Harris’s do-over Vogue cover on your coffee table, you’ve probably experienced the negative effects of lockdown.
Our country might be divided by politics, but right now we are actually united by the missed moments. Weddings, funerals, graduations, baptisms, senior proms, trick-or-treating, school plays, prayer group, AA meetings — you name it, someone missed it. Ignore the onslaught of painfully corny commercials telling us there is some silver lining in having our holidays over Zoom — people of all political stripes have had enough.
After 12 months of pseudo-authoritarian control, we learn that the government thinks we should start carrying around vaccine passports. Why on earth would any sane person be on board with that idea? Have the Dr Faucis and Cuomos in our government not been drunk enough on power over the last year? They need to track us at Target now?
The government has an obsession with overcorrecting bad situations to make them infinitely worse. There are plenty of disasters in 2021 for our highly-paid ‘experts’ to dream up that do not involve my vaccination status or my plans for the Fourth of July.
The old saw is that a ‘conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality.’
Maybe this year we’ll start describing a libertarian as an American who’s been paying attention.