Posted on May 15, 2020
You, too, can be a little dictator
The coronavirus isn't the only outbreak that has ravaged America over the past couple months. There's also been a wave of totalitarian tendencies that has infected countless numbers of our fellow citizens, from our power-drunk liberal (mostly Democrat) governors, to the eager enlistees in the People's Fink Patrol, who live among us in our own neighborhoods.
One of the first warning signs is the adrenaline rush that results from one's ability to control somebody else's actions against his will. If it excites you to have another person do what you say, especially when that person's actions should be none of your concern, then you have already been infected, and there are no asymptomatic cases.
Throughout the nation, though mostly in blue states, governors, mayors, sheriffs and judges have treated the citizens they supposedly serve as if we were armless Fisher Price people, and they were the bad kid from Toy Story. With horrific callousness, they've ordered businesses closed, and sent the police out to enforce "orders" that are not laws, which deny people the right to engage in mundane activities that have not been curtailed by their own legislative representatives. People have actually been arrested for not standing six feet apart from each other, even though such a policy has absolutely no basis in law.
When politicians aren't punishing us, their praise is almost as bad. While justifying their unconstitutional, draconian measures, they thank and congratulate us for how well we're washing our hands and sitting quietly in front of the TV. How proud they'd be if they knew that we're even able to dress ourselves.
Meanwhile, neighborhood tyrants patrol supermarkets and drug stores looking for opportunities to scold their fellow citizens for such offenses as not wearing masks and touching items on the shelves. The coronavirus is not what's important to them. The illusion of power is. That's why dogmatic inconsistencies don't matter. Does it really make sense to wear a homemade cloth mask that will not stop the virus from permeating, but will only constrain the particles' dispersal? Why do the same people who angrily demand that you sneeze into your elbow also want you to bump elbows instead of shaking hands? The answers to such questions are irrelevant, because the purpose of these demands is to control people, not the virus.
There's no need to be bitter, though, because that kind of authority is there for the taking, by anybody who wants it badly enough. If you are so inclined, then you, too, can become one of the Mussolini Mini-Mes, with the aid of these helpful hints:
* When you confront someone for violating social distancing guidelines, do the same thing yourself by getting right up in his face. Your refusal to follow the very rule you're supposedly enforcing will make you feel you outrank him.
* When you provoke such a confrontation, make sure there are people nearby who appear sympathetic to your side. Don't think of it as cowardly; think of it as an application of newly acquired leadership skills.
* Go around to your local supermarkets and hoard all of the bleach, while telling yourself you're only saving people from themselves.
* Before you go out to bother people, practice angrily and sarcastically saying "stay safe" into the mirror for at least ten minutes.
* Relate the tragic experience of a family member who was infected by an inconsiderate person in a public place. You'll be making it up, but who will argue?
* Even as you're acting out your megalomaniacal fantasies, loudly accuse those who disagree with you of being selfish.
* Perfect the art of unjustifiable indignation by watching Chris and Andrew Cuomo instructional videos.
* Warn others that they'll suffer the same fate as all those poor people who voted in Wisconsin. If someone tries to set the record straight, start hollering, "Denier! Denier!"
* Just for fun, make up your own rules as you go along. Start telling people they have to wear their pants inside-out, and see how many attempt to comply.
* Go to the park and tell the children that if they have any fun, they're getting nothing for Christmas but coronavirus first responder action figures.
* Rearrange the tape arrows on the floor at Walmart so that they all point to the middle of the store. That way, nobody can ever escape.
* Try not to have a life, or else the natural impulse to get on with it could undermine your position.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press