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I mention this not because I want people to follow my example — like every other American, you should be free to weigh the evidence and make your own choice — but instead to head off the errant email or Twitter comment accusing me of being the kind of person who goes into a Stop & Shop and starts screeching at anyone with a facial covering, liberally using the word “sheeple” in my rant. My general feeling is that it’s more likely than not masks work at some level.
Thus, I’m confident I’m not coming from a place of anti-masking when I note Joe Biden’s messaging on facial coverings, which was already being served with a soupçon of dystopia, has now gone full-on totalitarian propaganda.
The transformation has been a steady one. Take this tweet from the campaign, which sounds suspiciously like it could be lifted from a wartime propaganda poster:
Yessir! It’s not quite “Loose Lips Might Sink Ships” or “Know Your Place, Shut Your Face,” but this was the kind of messaging the Biden camp thought would win over recalcitrant non-maskers.
That apparently didn’t work, since some Americans persisted in not doing what they were told. Well, now things have changed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new masking guidelines in the wake of increased COVID-19 vaccination and the president is taking a much lighter tone about all of this.
Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens. Wear a mask.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 18, 2020
The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.
The choice is yours.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 13, 2021
UPDATE: If you are fully vaccinated against #COVID19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance. More: https://t.co/FJMon7WlFO
— CDC (@CDCgov) May 13, 2021
A requirement to do one or the other of two things demanded by another person, against your will, is not called a choice; it’s called coercion, and we reject it in a free society. https://t.co/vvaN3w6tg9
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 14, 2021
This is not, in fact, a rule https://t.co/c3MyW2nQaf
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) May 14, 2021
Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants. https://t.co/rUsHdi8UJq
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) May 14, 2021
Hey #POTUS – the rule is simple. Kindly, screw off. You will find the rules in a little read document called ‘the constitution’. The sequel is even better. You can find it on line under ‘The Bill of Rights’. You and your authoritarian pals will find it a quick read. https://t.co/ENuNLQkHlU
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) May 14, 2021
We’ve heard of laws, even rule of law, but just “rules”? No. https://t.co/boaJxe0H4k
— The Hope Of Audacity (@GHBrady_28) May 14, 2021
We have replaced “mean” tweets with nakedly authoritarian ones. This is fine. https://t.co/PTJIrvuuOF
— James Lindsay, legendarily bad interlocutor (@ConceptualJames) May 14, 2021
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