Despite what the title says, no, I am not going to begin this piece by telling you about how the mainstream media and the government are gaslighting the American people over Afghanistan, COVID-19, the economy, crack pipes or (insert virtually anything here). If you don’t know that by now, it is time you moved out of your remote cabin in the Idaho wilderness. On second thought, you don’t happen to have a spare room do you? I can use a chainsaw and cut firebreaks and I know how to raise chickens. I promise we’ll earn our keep.
I’m talking about the different perceptions of reality.
On one hand, you have the federal government ramping up security ahead of the Super Bowl in order to gin up fear that protesting truckers might do something “bad” on the same day. “Bad” in this case refers to protesting. But fear is one of the most important ingredients in enforcing an official narrative. Fox News reports that according to White House Press Secretary Jen (P)saki (because she probably needs a few before taking the podium these days), the DHS is working with state and local authorities in California, just in case massive traffic jams of truckers bring the nation to a standstill. On Super Bowl Sunday. When most of America is indoors, anyway. And who the hell is left in California, anyway?
So we should all run around pulling the “aaoogah” horn and manning the battle stations over a trucker protest. A protest that reflects that attitude of much of the nation and a world that has had it up to eyeball-level with never-ending mandates, moving goalposts, vaccines, and the virtue signaling and pearl-clutching of their alleged intellectual and social betters. But fear can be a powerful motivator, and our rulers are prone to turning to that to try and elicit our compliance or allegiance.
Not that it doesn’t work on some. I had to go to the post office on Friday and didn’t put my mask on. It wasn’t a protest and I wasn’t making a statement. I just didn’t bother to put the thing on, despite the fact I have several in my car, and streets and parking lots have become littered with them.
But the lady in front of me made an incredibly dramatic pretense of glaring at my unabashedly bare face and promptly moved about 12 feet away (double the recommended distance) to make the point that in her eyes I was one of the 21st-century lepers. I guess I should have walked in shouting “Unclean, unclean!” So the narrative is still working for some. And I get the impression that those people are enjoying a sense of moral and intellectual superiority. Of note, the woman behind the counter could see that I didn’t have a mask on and really didn’t give a rip.
Look, I did my part. I holed up when they told me to; I got my three jabs. I wore my mask in between my table and the men’s room at restaurants. Been there, done that, don’t want a t-shirt, thank you. I have shop rags in the garage to check my oil. I’m over the mask thing.
On the other hand, earlier in the week, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu took to Instagram for a Q&A session with her constituents and quickly wished she hadn’t. You can view the video here to start your weekend off with a laugh. It’s the feel-good story of the week, and you’re welcome.
The comments fly by pretty fast on those feeds, so let me hit some of the highlights for you:
“YOU DISCRIMINATE. PERIOD.”
“You are ruining our great city!”
“Medical discrimination and apartheid.”
“How long will you mandate tyranny?”
“You’re ruining the city. END THE MANDATES”
“Allow individual choice.”
“STOP SEGREGATION. NO VAXX PASS.”
“Mandates cause division and segregation.”
“Sad for our beloved Boston businesses”
“Unmask our kids!”
“When will you stop destroying the city with this mandate?”
You get the picture. To be fair, there were a few complimentary comments including one person who tried to score some points by wishing the Mayor a Happy Lunar New Year. But the majority of the responses were similar to the ones above.
I actually feel a little bad for Her Honor. You can see her struggling to keep that smile from turning upside down during the feed and searching for some positive feedback. At one point when the pressure starts to mount, she threatens to log out and log back in. The wheels really fall off at about the 1:00 mark.
Undoubtedly, the overwhelmingly negative response will at some point be attributed to an organized astroturf effort or MAGA hat-wearing white men who are seething with Asian Hate. However, Massachusetts has never been known as a breeding ground for right-wing activism. As a former leftist, I can tell you that the truth is far more troubling than that since she was seeing firsthand what the residents of Boston are honestly feeling.
First, the elites simply cannot fathom the idea that anyone might have a viewpoint different from theirs. They are wealthy, educated, live in the best neighborhoods, and champion all the right ideas. On the strength of those factors alone, they must be right. The plebes must be wrong simply because they are the plebes. It is a stunning example of narcissism.
Second, in those cases in which the elites are uncomfortably aware that they are actually wrong, the narrative must still be preserved. Once the Left admits that it is wrong about Thing A, it opens the door for people to question the veracity of Things B-Z. And then the leftists run the risk of not being elite anymore.
You can see the disconnect in Mayor Wu’s face. She cannot comprehend that by listening to the vox populi, her own worldview would be shoved into a buzz saw. She probably honestly believed that she would be greeted with rose petals and laurel leaves. And that ignorance and perception of reality can only be advanced by blatant propaganda or worse yet, force.