I touched on this, recently, in a former post, about elected officials telling us what we can or cannot do regarding our supposed personal freedoms in the “Land of the Free.” During the pandemic, it seems like mostly liberals are the ones barking out orders to constituents, but authoritarians run the gamut and come in all political stripes. Years ago, believe it or not, it became a big deal in the Seattle suburbs, but even in Seattle itself, for politicians to tell dancers of clubs how close they could dance to patrons, which in effect, stymied both dancers’ and patrons’ preferences or determinations for entertainment. A lot of these same politicians have no problem with saying, pretty much, that people should have basic autonomy, even about abortion, but, hypocritically, have the gall to impose their morals on something like dancing & distancing, and in effect, which is what they were really after, whether exotic dance clubs should even exist.
This probably seems like a small or unimportant matter to most people, but it gets to the root of authoritarianism and how much control we allow the government to have over us. So the point of this post is not to argue for or against the merits of exotic dancing, but how much latitude do we give the government to control the most personal aspects of our lives. The example I used about club dancing doesn’t effect most people, so you may not even care, but the “pandemic” mandates and regulations affect virtually everyone, so suddenly authoritarianism may get your attention. Nonetheless, one leads to the other; in other words, if you give them an inch (on one thing), they’ll take a mile (on another thing).
JIm Ferrell & Company (Ferrell as a councilmember, not mayor at that time) were in charge in Federal Way when the dancer-to-patron distance rules were imposed (and the 4 ft. rule still stands in F.W., I believe), but if politicians can impose a distance measure for how close people can be to each other, of all things, then it’s no wonder that they think they can tell you to follow whatever edict they damn well feel like imposing, including whether, when, how and where we can wear a mask during a pandemic, and whether or not we can even go outside of our own houses and apartments or not, let alone if the so-called emergency has subsided to their satisfaction, enough.
This is ceding too much authority to the government, which, as everybody knows, can impose harsh penalties on people. I would even go so far as to say that some of the rules and mandates contravene natural law, but people, generally, will tolerate only so much authoritarianism before they throw off the yoke. I say it’s best not to elect authoritarians in the first place, or if they’re already elected, not retain them, but that’s just me.