This isn’t the same country I grew up in. When did Americans start expecting the government — not their Mommy, the damned government — to keep them safe from everything?
I live in Florida. Last week we had a hurricane. As hurricanes go, it wasn’t a particularly bad one. Here at Our House World Headquarters, we measured a mere seven inches of rain. Which is gracious plenty for a single day.
Among their other virtues, hurricanes spew tornadoes. And that is how it came to pass that I found myself standing in the porch doorway, railing at the elements, daring them to come and kill me.
Like everyone else, I’ve been hearing about the Wuhan Death Virus for months. It’s coming. It’s gonna get me. And when it does get me it’s going to kill me good. We had the lockdown. We were told to Stay In Our Homes. “Your attention please: The virus is out there and it is going to get you and kill you.” For months, this thing has been out there ready to pounce on me if I disobey my keepers in the local government. I got so tired of hearing about it that I unsubscribed from the local newspaper’s daily headline spam… it was All Virus, every day. We still can’t go to the grocery store or get a haircut without wearing a mask.
Into this environment comes the hurricane. I don’t know if you followed the path of this latest one, but it did boomerang turns, loop-de-loops, and every other goofy thing to keep the humans from guessing what it might do next. After ravaging Guatemala and Honduras, it drove over the top of Cuba, hooked left, and then came up the Gulf of Mexico alongside the Florida coast. Which means that for an entire week, the TV and the government here — via phone alerts — had the opportunity to tell us all, “It’s coming. The storm is coming. It’ll be here soon. It’s only a tropical storm now, but just you wait, it’s going to be a hurricane and then it is going to come and get you and kill you. Booga! Booga!” For a whole week we heard this.
Thankfully, the hurricane finally did arrive. Which meant that we could Stay In Our Homes. Which we had already been doing because the virus was out there hoping to kill us, only now we had to Double Secret Stay In Our Homes because it was raining buckets and the wind was blowing so hard that if you stepped outside you could be struck by a wind-borne motorcycle, or a Smart Car, or some other piece of flying debris.
So here we are, hunkered down in our governmentally-designated prison, hiding from the hurricane and the Virus Of Doom, hoping that the electricity doesn’t fail, when all of a sudden my phone makes this horrible buzzing noise. It’s the government again. Now there’s a tornado and it’s headed right for the house and we must — and in a big hurry — run and hide in our Safe Room. For those of you unfamiliar with Florida, that’s the bathroom. It doesn’t have any windows that can turn into shards of flying glass and there are lots of pipes and stuff to hold the walls up. (Nobody in Florida has a basement because the water table is about eight inches underground).
I dunno, when I read that alert, something snapped. How much government finger-wagging are we supposed to take? “Stay in your homes. Wear a mask. Don’t eat this, eat that instead. Don’t run with the scissors.” And now the two of us are supposed to grab the two dogs and the two cats, and everybody scrunches into the bathroom and hides because The Wind is coming to kill us.
Umm… no. What I did instead was go out to the porch and watch the wind and the rain do their worst while peering out through the mists in the direction that this tornado was supposedly coming from. “Bring it!” I’m thinking.
My colleague Brandon Morse wrote yesterday about the growing division in our country between what I call self-actualized adults who wish to live their own lives, make their own decisions, and enjoy or suffer the consequences… and those who refuse to grow up; who want a Big Mommy to provide for them and take care of them and tell them what to do. In many places we already have a voting majority of the Perpetual Infants, and they are slowly dragging the country toward totalitarianism.