"Vilified, threatened with violence, suffering from burnout, dozens of state and local public health leaders around the U.S. have resigned or been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak."
So, just as we need these epidemiological specialists and public health officials the most, they are being forced out of their positions in droves. Why? What gives? Well, we have a significant low I.Q. segment that is not only gullible to propaganda and tripe (like the "plandemic' idiocy of crackpot quack Judy Mikovits), but also energized to attack public health officials trying to do their job, using their pseudo "liberty" as an excuse.
Among the deranged examples are the "Freedom Angels" that stalk and harass health officials online (e.g. on Facebook) as well as other misfits, worms and vermin firmly convinced a real virus (denoted SARS- Cov-2) is a hoax created by Dems to take down Dotard. Even 165,000 deaths can't convince these fools it's not a hoax and you even have some of the numbskulls driving to hospitals, looking in reception areas and asking in loud voices: "Where are all the Covid patients?" As I said, low I.Q.
And what are all these crazies most exercised about? Well, being mandated to wear masks, and practicing social distancing - the only ways to avoid another lockdown, or nationwide quarantine. The only practical means to avoid hundreds of thousands more infections and hospital ICUs being flooded with desperately ill Covid patients.
It is sad, as one continues to behold the parade of maskless morons fighting with Walmart 'health sentries about having to wear masks and bellowing about their "rights". Truly they have zero conception of true freedom, and the critical role of responsibility. What they are operating on instead is a caricature spawned by Trump and his enabling goons.
This was brought home to me even more on reading Kwame Appiah's essay ('Rejecting Masks Puts Freedom In Danger') in the WSJ Review (AUg. 8-9, p. C1):
"In the grand American tradition, freedom is about being unfettered, undominated, i.e. 'You're not the boss of me!' In truth, what political theorist Benjamin Constant called 'the liberty of the moderns' is also a very ancient idea. When people in classical times wrote about freedom they were usually distinguishing the condition from involuntary servitude. .. To be free, as a matter of definition, was not to be enslaved."
But wearing a mask to prevent spread of a pernicious virus is certainly not being enslaved. No medical specialist or health officer, after all, is chaining anyone up, then forcing them into forced labor. So how did the original clear definition get mutated into now believing that any mandated regulation, say for seat belts, or not smoking in planes, or wearing masks - is an imposition or limitation on one's freedom?
Technically, the Bill of Rights in the Constitution first set out rights available to citizens. What is truly mind boggling in the current climate of invoking rights is that barely 1 in 10 citizens can name even 5 of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights. Hence, their incessant blabbering about their rights being violated isn't even credible when they can't even name them! Indeed, many of these nitwits actually believe the states also have rights, which is twaddle as Prof. Gary Wills ('A Necessary Evil: A History Of American Distrust of Government’) has admirably explained, noting only human persons- citizens can possess rights, while states "retain powers and prerogatives." Hence, "states' rights" is a fiction, an ignorant creation of modern federalists or denizens of the Federalist Society. As Wills goes on to explain:
“The states have no natural rights. Their powers are artificial, not natural – they are things made by contract.”
But I warrant that not one in a thousand of the maskless twits even knows that. Then there is the difference between "positive rights" and "negative rights". Again, I doubt even 1 in 1,000 of the anti-mask brigade know the difference.
The conviction that there are only “negative” rights and there can be no “positive” ones is a long standing trope of the Right. A negative right implies that there are ‘x’ things the government can’t do to you, e.g. take away your guns or your property without good legal basis ("eminent domain"). . By contrast, positive rights assert there are actual positive rights to which you are entitled under the Bill of Rights, say health care and privacy. Most of those on the Right, who have only passing acquaintance with the Federalist papers, assert positive rights don’t exist, but they are wrong. They merely show they fail to grasp the concept of an "unenumerated right".
Clearly, refusing a law or mandate from a state or local government entity to wear a mask (or wear a seatbelt, or wear a helmet on a motor bike) is seen as a negative right. "YOU of the commonweal have NO right to tell me what to wear! I will wear what I damned well please!" And yet they happily (ok, maybe not) choke down another negative right they believe they have by not smoking in planes or in medical offices. So they essentially pick and choose the extent of their exercise of negative rights.
This is why I suspect in the case of the mask wearing (or refusing it) they are falling into a political trap originally set by - who else ? - Donald Trump. Who, on numerous occasions, has refused to don a mask himself and sent relentless signals it was "weak" or "unmanly". Well, of course his zombies would follow. Not only that, but the zombies would start spreading tropes and trash on their own to justify their reckless behavior, e.g. one anti-mask nut protester in FLA (WSJ, ibid.):
"Everyone is responsible for their own health care decisions. We want our choices respected as well.."
Which, of course, is nonsense given YOUR stupid choice here (not to wear a mask) can affect my health, especially as a septuagenarian. Thus, to go out and about talking loud, coughing, laughing, spitting or whatever is a sure way to spread the disease and especially to older, vulnerable people. (And don't bloody well tell us to 'Stay inside then!' given our remaining years have already been severely circumscribed because of the limitations in movement and travel, outings etc. imposed by Covid 19.) Thus, the "choice" not to wear a mask is tantamount to spreading the disease, and as Appiah admits (ibid.): "Those who recklessly spread disease have long posed a challenge to liberal democracies." And as he goes on to write: "Pandemics don't just imperil our health they imperil our freedom". Because if not contained on account of terrible choices, they will force the hands of governments to enforce mass quarantines, lockdowns.
In many ways, as Janice has put it, refusing to wear a mask- especially in closed public spaces - is like a gas station customer refusing to stop smoking while he fills his gas tank and others are there for service too. At first I thought that might be too extreme an analogy but on further rumination I believe it fits. So the Florida mask protester's demand to 'have our choices respected" is really a demand to respect their spreading of death.
Jefferson wrote in his 'Notes on Virginia', that to the extent the people's minds are improved they will hold check on the worst excesses of government. But the less discussed converse side of that is people's minds need to be improved enough to distinguish between claiming a right without any responsibility, and claiming a right which demands responsibility. There is no doubt Jefferson would eschew the bogus right not to wear a mask during a pandemic as the former.
Retail workers are being pulled into the latest culture war: Getting customers to wear masks
by Robert Becker | August 13, 2020 - 6:45am | permalink