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Kira Davis: Tyrants in Charge, Citizens in the Lead

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

We who keep our politics right of center have always talked and joked about how badly progressives and Democrats wish they were dictators. They envy the type of control nations like China and Russia have over their citizens. They have the idea that if the politicians they love could have unlimited power for even just a temporary time frame they could finally institute all their big ideas by fiat. That way Americans would be forced to see that those ideas really work and then they would finally understand that all of this has been in their best interest all along. Boom…utopia. C0median Patton Oswalt once opined out loud that if only we could give President Obama unlimited powers for a few months we could finally see the superiority of progressive politics.

I have pointed out before that this attitude is exactly the same attitude that drove the communists to build a wall between East and West Germany. I once watched a documentary on the design of the Berlin Wall. Yes, believe it or not there was an architect behind the concrete monstrosity. The film included some rare footage of an interview with the architect whose name escapes me now. He was justifying the necessity for the wall, and clearly perturbed to even have to do so. He didn’t seem like someone who was very excited to see communism fall. He said that East Germany needed to build the wall because so many people kept leaving for the West. He said they had to build the wall to keep them in so that they could see that socialism (as he referred to it) worked. They had to find a way to force people to stay so they could finally understand that their lives would be better under socialism.

I think about that snippet a dozen times a week for various reasons. I have never forgotten and I never will. I remember physically shuddering when I saw that. That is the very heart of tyranny. “Stay still so I can tie you up so you can see how good it is for you to stay still.”

We are currently watching blue state governors in our free republic build their own virtual Berlin Walls around their citizens. They are gleefully putting up metaphorical barbed wire and cement blockades. This will be good for people, they say. Finally, we can force people to understand that progressive politics are in their best interests, they say. We need to keep these people locked down so they can finally see that there’s nothing to be afraid of…we only want the best for them, they say.

Of course, just as the East Germans found out, we are seeing that socialistic tyranny is actually quite dangerous. Blue states have fared the worst in the pandemic response. Their response policies and decrees have consistently ignored science and common sense. They’ve forced COVID into nursing homes and then forced nursing home residents to stay in said nursing homes with no visitors and no protections. They have essentially legislated murder…for the good of the people, of course. That’s only the tip of the iceberg but it’s a pretty tragic tip to be sure.

Americans everywhere are seeing the results of these power grabs and they don’t like it. They don’t feel comforted because they can read the numbers and science for themselves. It is plainly obvious that blue state leaders have no idea what the science and trends of COVID are saying and they don’t care. Their priority is building that wall so we can all be forced to see how prosperous tyranny can be for us.

There is no doubt that blue state governors (and the red state governors, for that matter) have far too much power. There are few people who can resist the pull of absolute power and our governors have proven they just don’t have the stones to say no to it. That isn’t surprising.

But something is happening amongst the people. What began as earnest fear has morphed into the realization that none of this makes any sense. We have now gone far past the point where the cure is worse than the disease. Americans are no longer sitting around hoping their governors will bestow mercy on them and let them live their lives and run their businesses. The governors still have lopsided and outsized emergency powers and they continue to use them spitefully but more and more you can look around and see average Americans have simply stopped listening. I’m not just talking about the protesters (although they are so very needed and I applaud every American who gets out there to make some noise).

I’m talking about regular Americans, average people doing average things. They’re not being defiant, they’re simply getting on with it. In my own California neighborhood, “social distancing” has become a term we use in jest. People are having birthday parties and social events. Everywhere that anyone can go, they are going. There’s plenty of construction and home renovations still happening. Kids are going on playdates and folks are going to the beaches. I recently visited a good friend at her home for cocktails and chat. We haven’t seen each other since the beginning of all this and it was a salve to the soul.

We shared war stories and talked about how we keep seeing more and more people simply choosing to get out there and get going. The numbers and pronouncements don’t match what we can clearly see with our own eyes and people are responding. It isn’t just in my state. I am seeing more and more social media posts from people in blue states across the country who are moving forward with social events, visiting friends, holding pool parties, and ladies’ nights. Some businesses are taking the leap and opening up in the face of fines and jail time (can you even believe I just had to write those words? Insanity). Southwest Airlines recently claimed they’re booking new flights faster than they cancel old ones. Even the price of gas is beginning to creep up as America gets mobile again.

Governors like Newsom and Whitmer still have a lot of power to wield but they are no longer in control. They may be in front of the podium and still outlandishly imposing arbitrary rules but Americans are leading now. Our country will return to full freedom when Americans go to the beach anyway.

The tyrants are in charge, but the citizens are in the lead.