Patrick Hampton / Jan. 16, 2021

Power to the People in the Pandemic

With tyranny rising even among the citizenry, what's a Liberty-loving man to do?

Recently, a group of friends and I visited a local grocery store to stock up on emergency supplies. While walking around the rather large and open warehouse, a store employee approached us, lecturing us about wearing our masks properly. Her eyes filled with this gleeful sense of authority. It was almost as if she looked forward to the encounter.

Unwilling to budge until we complied, I put on a mask, only for it to break. Already prepared, the employee pulled out a new mask for me to wear. I put that on only for it to also break. The now irritated drill sergeant then pulled out her PA radio and called another employee to request a face shield. She would have been any store manager’s dream, but people like this are a nightmare in the midst of this pandemic.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and desperate people sometimes fall into one of two camps — childlike and seeking comfort and entertainment, and authoritative tyrants who embrace paternalism, rules, and regulations to maintain power. The latter is what I’ve encountered quite frequently. As a man who loves Liberty and practices it liberally, I am the very threat that these tyrants look forward to each day. Liberty-loving people are target practice to these “Masketeers.”

The people who have a tendency to become tyrants are typically without power themselves. But once bestowed with a new role — be it through new workplace rules or because the TV said so — these individuals feel empowered by a false sense of control. All of this is in response to perceived fear. In this case, the China Virus (and its low rate of death for most populations) has fueled the paranoia that created every tyrant standing in front of businesses ordering people to put on their masks. From receptionists to restaurant workers, now everyday people can feel like they’ve done their part — for society’s sake, they claim.

It doesn’t just stop at deathly glares and accusations of killing Grandma. Videos are going viral in which noncompliant people are being pursued and followed by Masketeers. Angry masked drivers roll down their windows to shout expletives at random people who are enjoying their God-given fresh air.

Another incident that comes to mind was my one trip to a music store. Maskless, I entered the shop, browsing the merchandise and making selections. Eventually I was tracked down by a manager who confronted me and ordered me to comply with the mask mandate. I chose not to cower to her demands, resulting in the police being called. By this point, all of the customers were ordered out of the store, even as they were checking out. Soon the police officer arrived, and when the manager shared what happened, the officer rolled his eyes and saw us off.

The situation left me thinking this: What did the manager hope would happen to me? Did she expect for me to serve jail time over her misappropriated fear of a virus? Did she enjoy the idea of a fellow citizen being handcuffed and carried away? Would seeing that grant her the satisfaction she needed to feel like everything is under control?

What America is witnessing is canon to the Marxist playbook. This notion that gives power to the people comes packaged with a police state enforced by the very people it oppressed. Desperate for life to return to normal, these tyrants will do anything to offer atonement to the state, including putting down their fellow countrymen. This terrifying notion is growing like a cancer. It’s an infection that has made America very ill. The diagnosis is the deprivation of freedom from within. The cure? A return to the one who is truly in control of our health and well-being: God Himself.

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