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Home/Rod Dreher/Anti-Mask Snowflakes Of The Right

Anti-Mask Snowflakes Of The Right

Look, I understand people are mad about social distancing and wearing masks, but a lot of people on the Right are losing their minds. Here’s something from a column by Dan Fagan in my local paper, the Baton Rouge Advocate:

The far-reaching, extreme, and radical measures governors like [Louisiana Gov. John Bel] Edwards imposed during the COVID-19 scare represent the greatest challenge to individual liberties since the inception of our great nation. Some of us are reaching a boiling point.

I’d say you’ve boiled your brain, Cap. This nation was founded in 1776. Here are a couple of challenges to individual liberties since then — challenges that took place right here in our state — that were arguably more important than having to wear a mask when you go out for a po-boy during a pandemic:

The back of a Louisiana cotton plantation slave who had been whipped by his owner, Captain John Lyon (Bettmann/GettyImages)
Women at William Franz Elementary School in New Orleans yell at police officers during a protest against desegregation at the school, as three black youngsters attended classes at the school. Some carry signs stating “All I Want For Christmas is a Clean White School” and “Save Segregation Vote, States Rights Pledged Electors” (Bettmann/GettyImages)
State militia guard a jail and courthouse to prevent a lynching. Shreveport, Louisiana, 1906. (Photo by Michael Maslan/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

 

So yeah, we have had a few things that were a little bit more of a challenge to civil liberties than the mask. Still, Dan Fagan demands to know:

How much further are they going to go? When will this all end? When do we go back to being free?

Oh for Pete’s sake. Late last year, I sat in a shabby apartment in Moscow, interviewing an elderly man whose father was tortured and executed by the KGB, and who, as a 15-year-old boy, was taken into custody by the KGB one night, and thrown into a prison for years. He cried telling me the story. And now I have to read my local newspaper conservative whine about how we’re living in a police state because of the stupid mask he has to wear when he goes out to buy a six-pack. If the KGB came knocking at the door of Dan “Boiling Point” Fagan, he would spontaneously combust. Hell, if a meter maid came for Dan Fagan’s car, he would soil his britches and squall like the Constitutional Peasant:

Seriously, what is wrong with conservatives? Can we not raise objections to masks, social distancing, and the pandemic protocols without making fools of ourselves? The stories I’m hearing from conservative friends around the country are really embarrassing. Mask off, if that’s what you want, but please, grow up.

UPDATE: A reader comments:

Rod, I believe this ties entirely to your “story about yourself” column from yesterday.
The conservatives tell a story about themselves as smartly and scrappy, yet downtrodden patriots, bravely resisting an over-weening, oppressive liberal government filled with stupid and incompetent busybodies.
– It has to be undeniably oppressive because it fits the narrative, just as “Martha” had to be hated by everyone, because it fit her narrative.
– It has to be wrong and stupid to wear a mask, because it fits the narrative.
– The people telling you to wear a mask have to be incompetent, or have ulterior motives, because it fits the narrative.
– The wearing of masks must be revealed to have been a worse decision than the hoi polloi decision to spurn masks, because that fits the narrative.
– It has to be brave and virtuous to go against the dictates of the experts with all the power, because that fits the narrative.
I have conservatives all around me who live by this narrative, and when I talk to them, they are grasping at any morsel or rumor that vindicates this story, effectively warping the truth about the reality that we live in so that it gives them their proper place in the story they tell about themselves.

Another reader comments:

It’s pretty amazing that the same conservatives who tell black people to just follow instructions from cops to avoid getting killed are throwing riots at the thought of following instructions from epidemiologists to avoid killing others.

By “amazing”, I mean, “not at all amazing, and entirely within character.”

UPDATE.2: This dispatch by a conservative media hero was smuggled out from deep inside the Dualit Archipelago:

Meanwhile, conservative radio talker Erick Erickson really did blow his stack at right-wing mask-gripers. Here’s the thread, wrapped. Trigger warning: it’s cussy, ’cause he really mad at the snowflakes.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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