Someone I respect took the position that mask mandates by governors are government overreach.
Trouble is, he’s not wrong. Technically.
The role of an executive is to make on-the-spot decisions within certain boundaries. If there’s an immediate emergency, the president can send the Marines; he’s got thirty days before Congress has to step in. If a governor needs to activate the Guard, it’s the same thing. And mask mandates are only justifiable under emergency conditions, same as a “police action”; the legislature needs to get involved if it’s going to be broadly enforced long-term. That’s their job.
One of the things that very much doesn’t matter, and I can’t stress this enough, is Donald Trump’s opinion on anything.
After five years of being a windbag who dominated the press, he has been silenced. His last messages were “Go down to Congress and tell them…” followed by “We love you; you’re special; go home.” He is now off Twitter, off Facebook, and if Parler were still functioning— but of course it’s not.
All Cops Are Bastards, until they’re beat up by a right-wing mob. When that happens, they’re heroic defenders of our proud democratic institutions, and the flag goes to half mast. They should be defunded — until you don’t have enough force to stop that angry mob. Which, by the way, was a tenth the size of any of the other angry mobs we’ve faced this year. We’re horrified to watch police violence on television, until the moment when the dumbass eating the nightstick is wearing the wrong color of hat — or the wrong color of skin, as some news outlets would leap in to mention, salivating over their ratings bump.
Oh, I get rooting for the home team. You’re a Democrat; you hate when Democrats get beat up. You’re a Republican; you’re embarrassed when Republicans riot and do dumb shit on a selfie cam. That’s perfectly normal. Last thing you want to do is identify with the loser, so naturally you justify the riot and blame someone else. All summer BLM has been blaming the right wing fringe for the fires and looting; now, Republicans are blaming antifa for busting down the doors. Yet it’s perfectly obvious to all and sundry that there’s plenty of room for copious and extravagant dumbassery on both sides of the political aisle.
I’m going to be frank with you, and I want you to know why.
The thing is, we spend so much time pussy-footing around dangerous thoughts and ideas these days because we feel we can’t discuss them openly. Cancel Culture has taken its toll; the list of former celebrities only ever grows. Attrition is less among politicians, but pundits and journalists vanish almost daily, because they say something that society refuses to accept — there’s invisible lines, and they cross them, and that’s just something that cannot be borne.
Without judging this phenomenon, I want to acknowledge it and explain in terms accessible even to the meanest understanding why it does not dissuade me from being brutally open and honest about this topic.
“I don’t know who would learn history from monuments. We have history books for that!“
People in general don’t read. This is nothing new; literacy has traditionally only ever been for the elite, not the general masses that make up the work force. Very few have ever learned anything from dry histories anyway. History books and facts as names and numbers and dates — that’s why we fell asleep in class.
But spend a day with me at Gettysburg and I can show you what it meant to fight there. I can take you to the spot where the future was created, tell you the tale of the lost shoes, show you where Reynolds fell and why it mattered, where the 20th Maine made their stand and how, and let you see the terrible beauty of Pickett’s Charge. (more…)
I’ve long believed that a President-elect shouldn’t be held to the same standards as a sitting President. So when I tell you that Mr. Trump’s recent Twitter activity is lauding the efforts of a bunch of bikers who want to ride in and build a “wall of muscle” to protect the Inauguration, please understand that this is not a criticism of Mr. Trump’s decorum. That starts Saturday.
Instead, I’d like to talk briefly about the different protests and counter-protests that we should expect both in the nation’s capitol and across the (more…)