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Forums - Politics Discussion - A reactionary post, I guess.

RolStoppable said:

Yes, absolutely. All of your examples, except burying your grandparents as a kid, were extreme ones that more than 99% of the kids weren't going to suffer. And the one example that wasn't extreme wasn't uncommon even before COVID-19.

I guess that's were we disagree then.

My youngest is afraid to go to school because he fears killing his immunocompromised mother. Afraid because the school never did their work to make the classrooms safer, stopped contact tracing and now testing is no longer available. What they did do is send him home into Covid quarantine because he had a stomach ache... The second day he was back in school. The stomach ache was all stress of course, great way to scare my kid even more. Brave enough to go back while his mom still can't go anywhere because Omicron is still all around.

His brother is no better off. He has to skip yet another birthday party getting left out. The parents of his friend are anti-vaxxers, don't believe in Covid, can't go there. My wife just feels immense guilt for not being strong enough to survive covid.

It sucks, but it would have sucked a lot more losing their mother, and losing my wife to a preventable disease. I'm glad they still have their grand parents for the necessary break now and then. They couldn't see their nephew for a while since he lives with a couple teenagers that didn't take it seriously. Self-responsibility is not enough, you are responsible for all the people around you in society.

Without the measures it would be far more than 1% that would have been affected by the loss of loved one.
This is NY with all the measures we've 'had to endure' https://projects.thecity.nyc/covid-19-deaths/

There was not right answer, only wrong ones. Whether we picked the least wrong one, dunno. In my opinion we should have done more so we could have had much shorter lock downs. But that's mostly from my personal situation. I'm sure there are a lot of people that lost their jobs and/or livelihood from the pandemic. They would likely have been better off with stricter shorter lock downs as well, but that's just my view on the situation.



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faustian.empire said:
EricHiggin said:

Just an appetizer as to the confiscated trucker fuel being poured on the fire, in meme form, and why it'll only grow in support until something breaks.

Lol............they find racism in everything

They find something quite, if not extremely negative, in everything they don't like, right this second, which is a lot.

Tomorrow it could be the greatest thing in the world however, as long as the right people say so.



nemo37 said:

I haven't posted on this site for a while, though I check-in here regularly. But I honestly have to provide my view point which counters that of the OP. But before I begin, I will say that I am sorry for OP due to the pressures that the current situation is placing on his/her life. I do agree that it is a trying situation, for some more than others. With that said though, I will start my critique.

First of all, I will talk about my views regarding mask mandates. I do not understand how requiring the public to wear masks is an over-reach. It is similar to the expectations to wear at least some level of clothing (shirt, underwear, etc), when we are out in public. Certainly, even in the pre-pandemic days, if you walked in most public spaces without basic levels of garments you would be charged in most placed. I would argue that the requirement to wear a mask during a pandemic makes more sense than the rule to not be naked outside in a regular situation. Masks (when used correctly) can help reduce the spread of the virus. This has more of an effect on normality than you would think. Let's for example say a new variant is circulating, by taking measures to reduce/slow the transmissibility of that variant, hospitals will not suddenly become overwhelmed with an influx patients that will result in human and material shortages (even a variant like omicron, which is milder, can have a devastating impact on healthcare resources because it is more transmissible and will result in a large number of hospitalizations happening at one time if left unchecked). Similarly, when you look at the supply chain, implementing no measures to contain the virus means that individuals working at a certain workplace with one another will infect one another at the same time which will disrupt that workplace and potentially add additional stress on the supply chain. Just wearing a mask and following other basic guidelines to reduce transmissibility does more to sustain a level of normality.

First of all, great to see you back! It has been quite a while since I've seen a new post from ya. And also, I appreciate your sensitivity (I do indeed struggle with mental illness) and your being more civil than I was in my original post. I'll try and reciprocate. Since you've neatly itemized your arguments, I'll respond to them individually.

The first case you make here is that it's not unreasonable for people to be expected to mask in public during a pandemic. It's a simple enough argument. Too simple to match the reality of the point in time. I would argue that you're not taking into account the evolution of both the virus itself over time or the evolution of the tools we have available to combat it at our disposable over time either. Your mindset here seems frozen in the world of 2020 when we didn't have vaccines. Matter-of-factly, my motivations for getting vaccinated in the first place were two-fold. One motivation was, of course, to do my part to minimize the spread; the responsible thing. The other motivation, which was just as compelling to me, was to be able to go forward with life in a way that was reasonably safe without having to mask in public anymore. During the early days of the Biden Administration last year, that seemed to align with the direction things were indeed moving in: most people got vaccinated, virus cases collapsed, and the masking requirements went away, including at my workplace. For two months. I'd characterize that brief interlude as the happiest two months I've experienced in the last decade. Now that was for a number of reasons of which the lifting of remaining Covid restrictions was only one part and which also included factors like my deepening relationship with my at-the-time girlfriend and my sweet $1,400 check from the Covid relief bill the same administration had also recently passed that made it possible for me to actually pay my bills on time for a while and even enjoy some rare frills on top of it -- literally the best thing that's ever happened to me financially -- but it was a big factor for me psychologically. The onset of the virus and the lockdown period were both genuinely traumatizing experiences for me for reasons I don't have time to go into here and to me, and I think to lots of people who had similar experiences, masks aren't just a piece of fabric on your face, they're a symbol of an era and a constant reminder of those traumatic experiences. Not having to wear them anymore made it so much easier to start psychologically moving forward with my life and feeling I'd say dozens of times better. Then compulsory masking came back in response to the delta wave late last summer. That I would say for me was a very negative turning point in my mental health (and in my relationship to the Biden Administration).

I understood the seriousness of the delta strain, considering that it was not only more contagious than the preceding alpha one, but also deadlier as well: truly the worst of both worlds. Politically speaking, my response to this development was to become a champion of vaccine mandates, which I viewed as a less onerous and constant life invasion than compulsory masking and a way back out of that regime, and also back out of the fresh wave of lockdowns that got imposed in some parts of the country. I've never understood anti-vaccine sentiment. I was okay with lockdowns at first when the science around masking was unclear because I didn't know what else could be done to slow the spread. Once the science around masking became clear, I supported that as an alternative to lockdowns. Once vaccines became available, I supported those as an alternative to compulsory masking. That's been the evolution of my thinking on appropriate Covid response measures over time. Omicron has thrown a monkey wrench into all of that by being both milder on a per capita basis than previous strains and also more inevitable by way of its ability to evade the vaccines that most people have taken. There was nothing we could do to stop it. It was functionally as if most people were unvaccinated once omicron hit. In a way though, I take it as good news. In contrast to previous waves, the omicron surge lasted only a few weeks rather than a few months and is leaving behind extremely high levels of immunity that could potentially last for years rather than months like our vaccines do. This kind of development is often how pandemics end: they become weaker over time because vaccines stop the more severe, deadlier varieties, allowing only weaker variants to spread. Then those peak and the situation stabilizes from there. That's what I feel like is happening right now. It's possible that a more contagious strain yet may emerge, but unlikely, most epidemiologists seem to believe, because viruses have limits too in terms of their transmissibility, and even if one does emerge it'll likely be a less severe variety even than omicron. In other words, we are almost certainly at the tail end of the pandemic phase of this thing. Cases and hospitalization rates fall pretty dramatically by the day now. I feel it's plenty safe to start phasing out Covid restrictions at this time, especially for those of us who've already been boosted (and for whom, as such, masking provides only marginal additional protection at best). I'd like to believe that politicians are responding to that reality in lifting restrictions suddenly in this wave all in one week last week, but it's hard for me to be that naive in consideration of political developments like the Freedom Convoy blocking access to that bridge to Detroit from exactly the start of the week.

Okay, so that's where I stand on the public health stuff. So the second thing you address here is impact of the virus on the economy. You contend that the virus spread hampers goods production and distribution, thereby causing the price inflation that we're seeing today, and therefore Covid restrictions are the fastest path out of this predicament available. Most liberals take that position, but events have proven it to be mostly a myth. When the virus spread is especially acute, it does indeed cause delays and problems and sometimes those are very visible, like all the flight cancellations that occurred in late December and early January because there weren't enough healthy pilots and flight attendants. Even in the case of that example though, you'll notice that the Biden Administration's response was to have the CDC reduce its recommended quarantine time for those who test positive so that airline workers could get back on the job more quickly after recovering from Covid. The reality is that businesses have chased after states and localities with fewer Covid restrictions, and to which end areas that lifted restrictions earlier have experienced a faster economic rebound than others.

EDIT: For some of the larger moral concerns I have with the continuation of Covid restrictions at this point, see my response to some of JWeinCom's comments back on page 5.

nemo37 said:

Now let's talk about the Freedom Convoy. As a Canadian, I can certainly say that I do not support that movement. I certainly do not speak for everyone else, but neither do they. Pandemic mandates in Canada is a very polarizing topic, and there are strong opinions on both sides (with support for both sides roughly polling in at around 50%-50%); these "for the people" or "populist" movements are not representative of a clear majority view. It is important to point out that opinion regarding these protests are split even among those in the trucking industry itself. I do believe that their right to peaceful protest ought to be respected. However, they do not have the right to block roads, block access to emergency services, honk horns in residential neighbourhoods, harass people choosing to follow health protocols, etc. In addition, there have been bad actors among some of these protestors who have displayed hate filled symbols, they are certainly not the majority but they are clinging onto these protests to spread their political agenda. This is not unusual for any protest movement, as the far-left and far-right will cling onto movements where they might find sympathetic recruits for their causes. Certainly based on much polling, the group that has broadly latched themselves onto this particular movement (and again they are not the majority, but they are there; similar to how aspects of the far-left latched itself onto, say, BLM protests). It is important to point out those protesting with confederate flags, swatikas, Trump signs because they are there for reasons beyond protesting mandates, again they are not the majority but their attempts to hijack these protests should certainly be highlighted. I will also add that those blocking bridges are doing more harm to your goal of returning to normal, as that will further disrupt the supply chain (more so than not having a small minority of truckers not cross the border). I will say the benefit of the protest is to show the government that there are those that are not in favour of these measures, whose lives have been disrupted, and that perhaps a more moderate road needs to be plotted as we live with this virus; and while I do not support the bulk message of what these protesters want, I do believe that the government should be put on notice about these matters.

There's actually not much here that I disagree with. I mainly just disagree with your argument against the civil disobedience of blocking traffic. I mean yeah, of course it's not legal to do that, to which end you're seeing arrests now, but civil disobedience, especially that causes economic pain, has proven the most effective tack here; the thing that has gotten the swiftest policy concessions, and I don't just mean in Canada, but here Stateside as well. The disruption to normal life caused by the Convoy pales in comparison to that which has been caused by Covid restrictions and has proven effective at accelerating the end thereof in more than just one country. The truth is that if you want to make an omelet, you have to be willing to break some eggs. If you're not willing to do anything controversial, you prolly ain't gonna change much.

That said, I would add some more details here, like the fact that more than 80% of Canadians and Quebecers have already gotten at least two vaccine shots; a fact that, combined with the roughly 50-50 nature of people's positions on the Convoy, implies that most Convoy supporters themselves are already vaxxed, not fanatical loons who've always opposed restrictions because they're selfish and place little value on other people's lives. I'd also point out that the surveys reveal that the difference of opinion on the Convoy in Canada and Quebec breaks down primarily along age and class lines, with substantial majorities of both younger and poorer people landing in the supportive column. Those are the people statistically most exposed to the virus; the most likely to work public-facing jobs and so forth. Restrictions on those people's lives, by contrast, are favored mostly by more affluent people who lead a safer, less public-facing existence. That's the picture that's emerging here.

Speaking of that demographic breakdown, the survey data also implies that liberal and left wing parties in Canada and Quebec have reason to be concerned about the ongoing loyalty of their supporters, as 44% of Bloc voters and 43% of New Democrats (Canada's major left wing party) are Convoy supporters. Those numbers are large enough to be politically perilous if they continue to be ignored by party leaders. It's really just the governing Liberal Party who's members are overwhelmingly against the Convoy.

nemo37 said:

One point I will mention that is a bit confusing. You have stated that you are against "open borders" (it should be noted that the US does not have an open borders policy, just two parties posing about one being tougher or slightly more lax; but that is separate discussion), which indicates that there should be a level of respect for another country's rules. Yet you are supporting a movement whose goal is to have truckers cross into another country and not follow their rules (which happens to be vaccine mandates). Similarly, this is a movement that is getting significant funding from outside (lots of money is coming in from the US), which is certainly not in keeping with maintaining sovereignty.

You're conflating issues here. I'm very much in favor of the natural internationalism of the working class. I'm also not against immigration.

But you're definitely wrong if you're suggesting that the situation on the U.S. southern border is currently reasonable and well in-hand because not only is it not, but the fact that it's not currently polls as the leading issue of concern among the residents of my border state of Texas and the main reason why our once-unpopular governor Greg Abbott is currently polling 11 points ahead of his top Democratic challenger, Beto O'Rourke, and why Biden fares significantly worse here still at present. It's the main problem for the Democrats' hopes of turning this state blue in the near future. Border policy has long been, in fact, the issue on which the current presidential administration is least popular. It's the Biden Administration's single worst issue. Illegal border crossings are currently at their highest levels in decades.

Here are a couple articles that provide what I consider to be a reasonable and nuanced perspective on the current situation at the U.S. southern border: Here's Pew Research's data analysis. And here's National Public Radio's summary of the situation. One especially noteworthy excerpt I would highlight here though would be the words of Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents:

Spoiler!

"I've never seen it as bad as what it is right now," said Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents. Agents spend hours handling paperwork for migrants who are allowed into the country to ask for asylum, Judd said in an interview. And that's distracting them from trying to stop smugglers from bringing drugs and other contraband into the U.S.

"We just don't have the manpower and resources to do what we need to do to both detect and apprehend everything that's crossing the border," he said.


What that sounds like to me is ramifications to the end of the previous administration's Stay in Mexico policy. The theory I used to hear from liberals on the matter was that the sudden resultant surge was just the consequence of pent up need from the Trump years that suddenly had access thanks to the new administration and that that unnatural surplus of demand for access to the U.S. would shortly subside. And yet here we are.

nemo37 said:

I also question how you can hate all news media but Fox News. In essence, you are choosing the right-wing mainstream media because they are likely saying things that you want to hear, while ignoring centrist or left-wing mainstream outlets (and I certainly do not believe that there is a apolitical news outlet).

MSNBC was my overall preferred news outlet during the Trump years. Guess part of me just finds the sharpest critiques of the people in power to be the most compelling.

As it pertains to this moment in time though, the issue is that the way the press writ large has responded to this largely working class political action with smug, moralizing scorn and demonization has just been very clarifying as to what they actually think of people like me in the final analysis. Fox News coverage of the Convoy has been by far the most honest. They provide all kinds of footage and interviews and a clear picture of the situation on the ground that, while stilted, is much more complete and believable overall than the other coverage. I actually find it pathetic that Fox is now the source I turn to the most often for something at least adjacent to the honest truth about this and most other news. I have traditionally garnered my info from a variety of sources, with Fox being an especially rare choice that came off as especially deceitful. Not anymore.

On another level, it's also a matter of the topics that are covered by the different cable news networks on a given evening. When I watch Tucker or Hannity, they've got lots of topics to talk about that seem pertinent to my life. When I change the channel to CNN or some other rival news source, it's most often topics like the death of Bob Saget or how we need to start sending aid to Afghanistan apparently without regard to who controls the country and therefore the flow of its finances. NBC grade questions for the current administration are in the vein of "Why aren't there enough Covid tests out there?" and other half-hearted concerns that are neatly compatible with a left wing worldview. They're not serious, and sometimes more offensive to me than anything I hear from Tucker Carlson. It just seems like most of the press bends over backward to coddle, shield, and defend this administration. And I think that perception many people have is why the whole "Let's Go Brandon!" thing has caught on as a slogan; because it concentrates that perception, alluding to a cartoonishly pathetic example. I mean one can understand why, given the last administration's dangerously hostile relationship to the press, endorsing violence against journalists who questioned him (which was...a lot) and so forth...but still. It really does seem like there's a press overreaction to the Trump era that has led them overall to a highly partisan place in favor of the Democrats, of which the prime time CNN anchoring career of Chris Cuomo, brother of disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has symbolically epitomized in my mind. They used to market themselves as the politically neutral network.

The fact is that you can't understand the current political reality of the United States -- why Biden and the Democrats are polling so terribly heading into this midterm election year -- without watching Fox News. If you get your info exclusively from other television news sources, you'll never figure it out. If you're just too good to ever consume any right wing media then you're too good for the working class because lots of them do so.

nemo37 said:

I will also question your return to "normality", because you are mentioning things that are extending beyond pandemic mandates. Your return to normality includes ending the call on the left to "defunding the police and ending bail". People who are making these calls are doing so because of an increasingly over militarized police which is unreasonably harsh on everyone but particularly harsh on certain minority communities; certainly the solution will not be end policing, and most agree on that, but reforms will be necessary. As a supporter of a so-called freedom convoy, do their complaints not matter? Similarly, bail reform is being called for because it results in coercive and unbalanced punitive measures on those that are less well off. Do their freedoms to a blind justice system not matter? It seems your return to normality involves sweeping the issues these groups have with their freedom under the rug.

There's a leap of logic here. You go from my critiques of the progressive movement's disastrous soft-on-crime policy prescriptions that are leading to major spikes in violent crime across the country to the conclusion that I'm against criminal justice reform itself. That's just not the case. There's absolutely no question in my mind that our current system has shielded racist cops from justice and frankly targeted non-white people for imprisonment in a disproportionate and criminally unfair way that has to be stopped, to which end I do actually consider myself a critical supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and favor serious reforms ranging from abolishing qualified immunity for police officers to ending incarceration for drug possession and a number of other changes in-between. I also support reparations (including in the form of direct payments) for this nation's long era of slavery and subsequent Jim Crow quasi-feudal repression of black Americans in particular. Maybe I come off as callous toward the cause of racial justice sometimes anymore, but I do in fact care.

Matter-of-factly, I don't understand why progressives so often view concerns about social violence and the need of our society to address drug addiction and sex trafficking as attacks on non-white people, considering that there's no one more concerned about those things than non-white people. The question of whether one feels there should be more or fewer cops on the streets, for example, is one that I find breaks down primarily along class lines, with wealthier white people who live in safer areas being the most apt to favor fewer and poorer black people who live in more dangerous neighborhoods landing solidly in favor of more. If we define reductions in law enforcement itself as the goal here, the result is just going to keep being more dead black and brown bodies like it is right now and I don't see how that outcome exactly epitomizes the idea that black lives matter to us as a society. Does it really matter, in the final analysis, if the perpetrator is a cop or not? And if so, why?

nemo37 said:

Finally, Biden's polling numbers have very little to do with the freedom convoy or a particular direction your country wants to go in regarding mandates. Certainly those that supported him but were also in favour of mandates being lifted are likely going to disapprove, but that is just one group with grievances. I think a major issue is the tribal nature of politics in the US, which has resulted in deep polarizations. There are those that voted for moderation, and they might believe Biden has now gone too far to the left. There are those that voted for FDR-like New Deal presidency that are now disappointed. I frankly don't think you can get a President that will poll in the same manner as the earlier ones in the post-WWII period (barring slight jumps that they might experience right after an elections, ie the honeymoon phase, and during the early parts of a national emergency; and even there I expect the jumps to be less pronounced due to hardened polarization).

I definitely disagree with the contention that President Biden's current unpopularity was just inevitable. Relative to the analogous point in their respective terms, Biden is currently the second or third-least popular president we've had in the last century, and the absolute least popular Democratic president we've had in that span of time. The end of the honeymoon period that accompanies the start of most new administrations is pretty inevitable, but this grade of failure definitely isn't.

Don't get me wrong, I don't fault Biden for everything that's currently wrong with this country, but he is the Commander-in-Chief presiding over it after all; not exactly powerless to affect anything. To me, the main problem with Biden isn't ideological in nature, it's his attitude. Biden comes off to me as a lazy, entitled president of general inaction. One sees that attitude reflected in his foreign policies, his border policies, his economic and monetary policies, his disinterest in the crime wave we've seen tick up pretty steadily in recent years, in his general lack of press conferences and public events, his routine whining about the few and generally mild criticisms he gets from the press (not even talking about Fox here), in his insistence on running for re-election despite this spectacular job he's done so far and the fact that less than 30% of Americans want him to...etc. He feels that his long years of experience in Washington entitle him to the White House and to the unconditional and unquestioning respect and admiration of all. That's how he comes across to me, and that attitude is precisely the core problem with his presidency, I think. People tend to expect something other than apathy from their presidents. If you don't care about the issues, why run for such an office in the first place? Why are you president if you simply don't care? The perception that you cared is the whole reason you got elected in the first place!

Last edited by Jaicee - on 17 February 2022

Whelp, there's one more fairly major update to offer here: in addition to the 12 U.S. states (11 of which were blue states) that have now moved to reduce compulsory masking requirements since the blockade of that one bridge to Detroit began last week, Joe Biden's CDC itself just announced yesterday their intention to loosen their own masking recommendations as well so as to align with hospitalization rates instead of raw case counts (a higher bar). THAT's the big one; the one that will likely result in my company finally dropping their compulsory masking policy for employees because, like many other major business corporations that operate in this country, their policy is to follow CDC guidance. In other words, Biden and the Democrats at this point have basically conceded the issue, to what will likely be my personal benefit. With this I am happy. Also Biden's State of the Union Address is scheduled for March 1st, so, you know, time was of the essence here.

In stark contrast, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded to these protests -- which are based in his country -- by declaring a national state of emergency that suspends many basic rights of the population and limits people's freedom of movement...! Personally, I'll take Biden's response any day of the week over this preppy hipster snowflake who has the audacity to accuse, among other people, a Jewish lesbian of color who's descended from Holocaust survivors of "standing with people who wave swastikas" because she opposes his declaration transforming of Canada into something remarkably akin to a police state, apparently failing to grasp the irony! The Canadian Prime Minister's lack because of self-awareness is galling! Frankly, it's worth watching the entire exchange I'm referencing and the aftermath because it's so telling about what the mindset is here. I'll post it below for your (anyone's) edification.

The difference, of course, is that the American Democrats face midterm elections this fall, whereas there's no new election in sight facing Canada's governing Liberal Party. No accountability, no restraint.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 17 February 2022

EricHiggin said:
faustian.empire said:

Lol............they find racism in everything

They find something quite, if not extremely negative, in everything they don't like, right this second, which is a lot.

Tomorrow it could be the greatest thing in the world however, as long as the right people say so.

sorry didn't understand you.can you say it in simpler words?



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Jaicee said:

Personally, I'll take Biden's response any day of the week over this preppy hipster snowflake who has the audacity to accuse, among other people, a Jewish lesbian of color who's descended from Holocaust survivors of "standing with people who wave swastikas" because she opposes his declaration transforming of Canada into something remarkably akin to a police state, apparently failing to grasp the irony! The Canadian Prime Minister's lack because of self-awareness is galling! Frankly, it's worth watching the entire exchange I'm referencing and the aftermath because it's so telling about what the mindset is here. I'll post it below for your (anyone's) edification.

Can you really call it so outlandish when swastikas and other neo-nazi symbols have literally been displayed at the Convoy? It seems like he is just accurately describing reality to me.



Others have addressed some of the OP's non-COVID talking points, so I just want to focus on COVID right now. And this isn't directed specifically towards the OP, but rather towards the general politics surrounding this pandemic.

I totally get "COVID fatigue." I do. It's been almost two years since this started. That's a long time. But the pandemic is still here. The bodies are still piling up, with over 10,000 Americans dying each week because of this disease, and countless thousands more around the world. At its worst point it was producing a death toll in the U.S. greater than that of the 9/11 attacks every single day on average. We'll likely cross the one million death line before summer (and that's just "official" deaths from COVID). The omicron wave may be in decline, but every time we think we're past the worst of it we let our guards down and another wave hits. Omicron was the fifth wave, and there's no reason to think it'll be the last. Not enough of us are vaccinated yet, and there are still too many holdouts. It takes time for things to get back to normal when recovering from a catastrophe, but getting things back to normal isn't being helped by people who think they can try to force normalcy by sheer force of will rather than through responsible behavior that would diminish the spread of a contagious and deadly disease (like masking up and getting vaccinated), because this pandemic was made worse than it should have been because of irresponsible behavior.

One of the main reasons things got to be this bad in the first place is a combination of past leadership that didn't take this pandemic seriously and an unacceptably large portion of the population, mostly conservatives, whose concept of freedom is that of a petulant child. The former kept insisting that the pandemic wasn't a big deal ("It'll be gone by April [2020], like a miracle!" among other Trump proclamations), and this helped primed the latter group to fight back against mask or vaccine requirements. Conservatives are far more likely than other groups to refuse to wear a mask in public or get vaccinated against COVID, and far more likely to protest any rules requiring either of those things.

Based on my observations, these are people who never got past their "rebellious teenager" phase. Just like some kid angry at their parents for telling them to eat their vegetables or at their teacher for telling them to sit down and do their classwork, these people are blindly lashing out at the authorities of adulthood. Sure, authority does deserve to be questioned, but a lot of the time the answer is "the authorities are correct." Yes, freedom is important, but it's not unqualified, and we have a responsibility to not do shitty or dangerous things to others. I believe societies, through their elected representatives, do have the power to regulate or ban behaviors that are harmful to other people or otherwise impose undue burdens on others, even beyond the more obvious things like violence and stealing. Things like, say, bans on drunk driving, smoking in public, and, yes, engaging in behaviors that exacerbate the spread of a deadly contagion. You don't have a right to make other people sick. It's reasonable for one to be expected to do what they can to prevent the spread of preventable disease. It's why we already have all sorts of other vaccine mandates. I and everyone else my age had to get shots for measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, polio, and other diseases before we could attend public school, and that's a good thing, because vaccination works.

But some people can't accept that reality if it means having to do something they don't want to do, no matter how reasonable the thing they are asked and expected to do is. These are the people who pitched temper tantrums in the middle of retail stores and other private businesses because the owner had a mask rule in place (and this was before state governments started mandating masks). As far as they're concerned, nobody has the power to tell them what to do, for any reason or under any circumstances. They want liberty, but without all that inconvenient "responsibility" business. They don't care about public safety if it means they have to modify their own behavior even one iota.

The people whinging on about their "freedom," or more appropriately their imagined right to act irresponsibly regardless of the potential or actual consequences, are essentially doing the adult version of pouting, folding their arms, stamping their feet, and defiantly proclaiming "You can't tell me what to do! You're not the boss of me!" It's so incredibly immature, yet that seems to be a defining characteristic of conservatives these days. And this isn't anything new. We've been through this with past pandemics. We saw anti-maskers during the Spanish flu outbreak, and we had anti-vaxxers protesting vaccine mandates during the smallpox epidemic (BTW, the latter led to the Supreme Court ruling that such mandates were legal). And it extends beyond disease prevention. For example, back in the 80s there was outrage over seat belt laws.  What makes this particular wave of adults pitching a collective temper tantrum worse is that they're wrapping all of their outrage up in layers of conspiracy theories and general misinformation, the kind that gets people killed. Bullshit like "Masks don't work!" and "The vaccines are dangerous!"

This is why the honor system doesn't work. You ask nicely and they'll still spit in your face and continue to not do the right thing. Of course, when the rest of society sees that simply saying "please?" ain't gonna cut it and decides that maybe we ought to put in rules with real teeth, all the wannabe rebels out there that watch a little too much Tucker Carlson or whatever will proceed to play a game of chicken, escalating things to see who'll blink first. They've convinced themselves that they're fighting a war for liberty, as if they're modern-day Revolutionary Patriots. In reality, they simply don't give a shit about anyone but themselves and their own, and resent being asked to care about anyone else, and they'll come up with any bullshit excuse to justify their selfishness.

But in my experience that's par for course with conservative "thinking" in America (and clearly in much of the rest of the world). They never believed in "law and order" in the abstract, as some broad principle. Rather, the law is a weapon to use against others and a shield to use for themselves. As this quote that's been making the rounds over the past several years goes:

"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."

In other words "Rules for thee but not for me. Rights and freedom for me, but not for thee." To be fair, that sort of thinking isn't exclusive to the right, but it is absolutely integral to right-wing politics. Conservatism is a movement driven by beliefs in tribalistic social hierarchies and fueled by spite towards anyone who might suggest that the law exists to both protect and bind everyone.

It is absolutely the exact same thought process behind everything from their disdain towards representative democracy to even something as petty and criminal as "rolling coal."

It's why they can justify banning things that merely offend them (like same-sex marriage, for example) and then turn around and act like the government or even a private business telling them to do even the most perfunctory actions for the sake of public health is the greatest travesty ever.

It's why they see no contradiction between being pro-police and supporting the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol where police officers were assaulted by a mob of insurrectionists.

It's why they rail against "cancel culture" even though they've cancelled or attempted to cancel countless others, even long before the phrase "cancel culture" existed. They complain about comedians getting cancelled for saying something racist or when Dr. Seuss Enterprises voluntarily stopped publishing a few books, but were fine with destroying the careers of The Dixie Chicks and Colin Kaepernick.

It's why they can proclaim to be in favor of unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism and then turn around and demand heavy government regulation of businesses that do things they don't like. Polluting the environment and exploiting workers is perfectly fine, but it's not okay for a social media company to ban a few conservatives over COVID misinformation or the Jan. 6 attacks is not.

It's why there's a bunch of obnoxious truckers in Canada angry over COVID measures who are blocking highways, being a public nuisance, and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses even though they'd demand immediate action against a left-wing protest blocking roads and being a nuisance (and they usually get results on that; police are far more likely to swiftly break up any left-wing protest and to take a kid-glove approach to any right-wing protest).

In conservatism, hypocrisy isn't a bug. It's a feature. The contradictions have to exist or otherwise the entire philosophy falls apart. But they don't even see it as hypocrisy. It apparently doesn't even occur to them that they're being hypocritical. From their point of view, the contradictions simply do not exist. What their actions and stances are always consistent with is the "rules exist to control the out-group and protect the in-group" mindset. It all makes sense once you realize that alone was the real principle, and never lofty notions like "law and order" or "big government is bad." It's why they fight tooth and nail against any and all rules that might regulate their behavior but think nothing of regulating behaviors that offend them. It's why they fight for some imagined right to intimidate, harass, and discriminate against people they don't like and then try to act like the victim when they're called out on their bullshit. At the end of the day, the only thing conservatives are trying to conserve is what they believe is their rightful place at the top of some imagined social hierarchy, where they and they alone are free to do what they wish and anyone deemed part of an out-group exists to be controlled by and subservient to them. "Liberty and justice for my tribe. All others need not apply."

That's why the right-wingers never wanted and still refuse to do a damn thing about stopping COVID. And its obvious that their toxic conception of individualism can easily rub off on people who might not consider themselves conservative. "Freedom with no responsibility towards anyone else" is quite the alluring message, especially for frustrated people who don't truly get why some rules need to exist. Conservatism can be very appealing to that selfish, self-interested side we all have. It's why it's so easy for conservative propagandists to hook people in with this sort of bait, and from there on it's easy to convince them of other things as well, like "Illegal immigrants are bad" or "Global warming is a hoax."

But we have to remember that none of us exist in a vacuum. We are all connected, and our actions can and do impact the lives of others. As John Donne wrote 400 years ago:

"No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

All of us should be expected to put a reasonable amount of effort towards protecting each other. Sometimes doing the right thing might be inconvenient, but I'd argue that being asked to wear a mask while you're in a store or to get a free vaccine is hardly the worst thing to ask of someone. It takes minimal effort and benefits everyone.



Visit http://shadowofthevoid.wordpress.com

In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Shadow1980 said:

In conservatism, hypocrisy isn't a bug. It's a feature. The contradictions have to exist or otherwise the entire philosophy falls apart. But they don't even see it as hypocrisy. It apparently doesn't even occur to them that they're being hypocritical. From their point of view, the contradictions simply do not exist. What their actions and stances are always consistent with is the "rules exist to control the out-group and protect the in-group" mindset. It all makes sense once you realize that alone was the real principle, and never lofty notions like "law and order" or "big government is bad." It's why they fight tooth and nail against any and all rules that might regulate their behavior but think nothing of regulating behaviors that offend them. It's why they fight for some imagined right to intimidate, harass, and discriminate against people they don't like and then try to act like the victim when they're called out on their bullshit. At the end of the day, the only thing conservatives are trying to conserve is what they believe is their rightful place at the top of some imagined social hierarchy, where they and they alone are free to do what they wish and anyone deemed part of an out-group exists to be controlled by and subservient to them. "Liberty and justice for my tribe. All others need not apply."

Your spiel focuses on the law and order application of their hypocrisy, but more and more it seems to extend to being bound by facts, truth, or reality itself. It's how the majority of the party can either genuinely believe or performatively declare that Biden is not the legitimately elected president. If you haven't seen it yet, this video focuses primarily on conspiracy theorists but includes excellent commentary on reactionary and protofascistic politics in general. The ending in particular is bloody brilliant:

Last edited by TallSilhouette - on 17 February 2022

sundin13 said:

Jaicee said:

Personally, I'll take Biden's response any day of the week over this preppy hipster snowflake who has the audacity to accuse, among other people, a Jewish lesbian of color who's descended from Holocaust survivors of "standing with people who wave swastikas" because she opposes his declaration transforming of Canada into something remarkably akin to a police state, apparently failing to grasp the irony! The Canadian Prime Minister's lack because of self-awareness is galling! Frankly, it's worth watching the entire exchange I'm referencing and the aftermath because it's so telling about what the mindset is here. I'll post it below for your (anyone's) edification.

Can you really call it so outlandish when swastikas and other neo-nazi symbols have literally been displayed at the Convoy? It seems like he is just accurately describing reality to me.

Okay well then by this logic I guess we have to also conclude that the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, participated in by over a million Americans, was also a kind of sustained neo-Nazi organizing rally because there were opportunistic swastika-brandishing Nazis there too on occasion to explain to the rest of us with their crappy, moronic signs how supposedly the Jews control all the banks and yadda yadda rest of the bullshit stereotypes that such know-nothing idiots still use and rely on. That matter was widely publicized by both Fox News and CNN at the time as proof that the million plus people protesting the recent destruction of the world economy by financial aristocrats through organized, systematic fraud that they weren't being prosecuted for were all a bunch of racist, xenophobic bigots who had to be shut down and shut up. Sound like a fair characterization?

Or, by the same token, perhaps the racial justice protests that swept the nation after George Floyd's murder in late spring and summer of 2020, led primarily by the Black Lives Matter movement and joined by millions of Americans and at least initially supported by more than 60% of the U.S. population, were actually about ending all law enforcement in the country because there were small fringe groups using the slogan "Abolish the Police" at some of these events? Does that seem like a fair characterization of the entire movement, or of the movement overall, to you? Were 62% of Americans actually anarchists?

The Freedom Convoy is a Canadian movement and Canada and Quebec together have one-tenth as many people as the United States, so their protests tend to be smaller in scale, but nevertheless hundreds of thousands and Canadians and Quebecers have participated in the Freedom Convoys and surveys suggest that it's enjoyed the support of about half the population of Canada and Quebec. Would you say that half the population of Canada and Quebec consists of swastika-brandishing Nazis? No? Okay then!

The guilt-by-association pseudo-logic at work here is bullshit and you know it. You're not that dumb. That's just what people recourse to when they'd rather not bother confronting the actual positions represented by a movement's mainstream because doing so could prove a lot tougher. Neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate opportunists have composed only a tiny fringe section of the Freedom Convoy participants and I've observed that they're often forced out once the recognizable insignia comes out, much like at Occupy encampments, because nobody who isn't one of those loons actually wants to be associated with them.

Matter-of-factly, I find it a remarkable exercise in gaslighting that the Canadian Prime Minister accuses his critics of supporting the formation of a police state in Canada by virtue of opposing the one he's actually, in fact, creating right now in real life!

Last edited by Jaicee - on 18 February 2022

I'm so proud of you! About time people start waking up to the manipulation our governments use on us to abuse and manipulate us towards their agendas of totalitarian socialism.

I am a Canadian who participated proudly in the freedom convoy, and the joy I felt in my heart dancing with other canadians shouting "You're free to dance! You're free to be!" was amazing, something like the joy you felt seeing the truckers stand for our rights when no one else was doing it, last of all the government meant to care for us.

Did you know that Canada stole 10M$ in donations sent to the convoy via gofundme and gosendgo? And they are trying to control everything and now called upon an emergency act, ready to imprison Canadians for protesting, and taking their children away jailing parents for taking their kids with them? They are absolutely bonkers and lost their minds, we just don't want them in power anymore.

But what boggles my mind most are the anti-protesters, who are getting in the way of the truckers. How silly can people get, it's beyond stupid!

But let's stick to joy and cheer and encourage freedom all over the world, and power back to the people!

And you are very right about the mediatic agenda, putting race first creating the very racism they seek to heal, how incompetent! We need sounder minds back to our media platforms, we need more neutrality, and we need it asap before we drown in propaganda and desperation!