Mask Mandates Have Convinced Me That the Oath Keepers Have a Solid Point About 'Back the Blue'

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Hardly a day goes by without some new video surfacing of harsh and cruel measures taken by security forces in Europe and Australia to enforce the draconian anti-Wuhan measures put in place by governments who used to be able to fake respect for human rights.


We laugh at this stuff here because we don’t have a national police force, and, in most places, our police forces are very much in tune with the communities they serve and try to use some commonsense. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

As New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sees his time as jefe of the Big Apple come to an end, he has imposed mask and vaccine mandates on New York City businesses. Somewhat surprisingly, with a lame-duck mayor who loathes the NYPD, the NYPD has rushed into action.


Here are several arrests of unmasked patrons at an Applebee’s in Queens.

This incident also took place in Queens at a Cheesecake Factory.

One has to ask oneself, has real crime in New York City been eradicated? As our friends and PJ Media wrote:

The New York Police Department (NYPD) showed up in force to whisk the recalcitrant diners into the Patty multi-national wagon.

What else do cops in New York have to work on today? Well, maybe…

In case de Blasio hasn’t heard, his policies, as well as those of former Governor Cuomo, have left NYC in the gutter. Crime is exploding. New Yorkers, mostly black New Yorkers, are being killed in record numbers. De Blasio doesn’t care; it’s those rascally anti-vaxxers who need to go to jail.

It is easy to blame de Blasio for being the fascist douchewad that he is, but, at some point, NYPD officers a) decided to respond to these calls and b) concluded that arresting people for not wearing masks was a good idea.


All too often, we on the right reflexively back the police. This is not entirely because the left has made hatred of the police a mainstay of their politics since the mid-1960s; we understand the tough job they have of keeping order and how important their job is in preserving a civil society. Unfortunately, the Black Lives Matter riots and “defund the police” campaigns have led some to make a fetish of supporting the police. The “Back the Blue” movement strikes me as more of a way to “own the libs” than a policy position.

Unfortunately, these polar opposite impulses have served to mask a real need for some sort of police reform. The advent of smartphone cameras has conclusively, in my view, demonstrated that way too many police officers are willing to use physical, if not deadly, force because they perceive they can do it and get away with it. The culture inside most police forces covers for a brother or sister officer when they run afoul of policies and regulations frequently prevents even serial offenders from being held to account.

All of these videos show that the police are not necessarily on the side of freedom or even commonsense. When someone in power gives a directive, there will be no shortage of police officers available to carry it out, no matter the outcome. So if you think NYPD officers won’t club you senseless for not wearing a mask on the sidewalk, I think you are mistaken.


About the time of the Tea Party movement, I wrote a post highly critical of the “Oath Keepers” movement within the Armed Forces and law enforcement. The thrust behind the Oath Keepers was that there were bright lines that their membership would not cross in the course of carrying out their duties. This is the list of orders they pledged not to obey, adapted from their website.

1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.

2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.

3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.

10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.


My post is no longer available on the internet, as far as I can tell, but my view at that time was that no society could afford to have armed men charging about the landscape, making their own rules for when and how they will carry out their duty. The secondary point was that the Oath Keeper “will not” list was all fever dream stuff that could never happen here.

I now concede that I was childishly optimistic about what was possible in the United States. Though I still hold my original view on the importance of men with guns following orders, it has become more nuanced. If we demand our military and police do what they are told to do, we have to trust that they will only receive sane and lawful orders from their superiors. By lawful, I don’t necessarily mean just “legal” but also orders that fall within our constitutional and republican traditions. By sane, I mean orders that wouldn’t strike the average person as batsh** crazy.

I don’t care how many “lawful” orders are issued about social distancing; there is no circumstance where police are permitted to enter a private residence to enforce this kind of a bullsh** ordinance. Here, again, are New York’s finest in action.

No ordinance forbidding outdoor gatherings justifies police breaking up a funeral procession.


Normal people don’t arrest a mother with her daughter for trespassing — no matter how many “lockdown” orders have been flung bout.

The fallacy in my thinking was rooted in the assumption that elected leaders and senior appointed officials would balk at ordering crap that was unconstitutional and/or made them look stupid. Obviously, I was wrong. It had never occurred to me that police officers would obey orders that required them to pepper spray mourners or give a beat-down to someone without a mask or go to someone’s home to demand to know how many people were inside. This is the type of fascist nonsense we used to expect from the Soviet Bloc or, in the last 18-months, Australia.

Rather than impulsively supporting police officers, we need to be more critical. We need to know the context. We need to imagine other ways of handling the situation. We need to make it known that our support is not unconditional. You can’t enforce mindless laws and expect us to come to your defense in your hour of need. You can’t harass people on the street and in restaurants of over some chickensh** mask or vax mandate and expect us to do anything more than take video if you are getting your ass kicked. You can’t carry out the rules of a fascist government at any level and expect anyone to care when that government turns on you.



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