I started this blog back in 2011 after living though what appears in hindsight to be a decades-long pocket of relatively rational political stability that ended with the financial crisis of 2008.

Before the financial crisis, I had been a solid Republican. I thought of myself as a Reaganite, big ‘R’ with a little ‘L’ for the libertarian stripe I had running through the middle of my preferred school of policy thought. I had been doing a daily diary on Red State which, to me, was an unpaid political blogging gig. I couldn’t afford to do as much activism as previously. I had been laid off in the onset of the Great Recession, but I could at least help rally the troops to whatever extent they thought my diary entries were inspiring.

That diary gig was a big mistake, however, because it allowed me a glimpse into the ugliness of herd mentality politics that I had never noticed. Expression of independent thought is neither encouraged nor appreciated among the herders and the herded alike, and it matters not whether these thoughts are consistent with generally accepted philosophy or what appears to be just plain common sense. One must raise one’s hand to ask permission to have a thought, and it must be approved through several layers of bureaucracy and allowed to be adopted as someone else’s idea before it can see the light of day just to be appreciated.

If it had happened to me only once and over things that really didn’t matter it wouldn’t have bothered me. But with the Great Recession in full swing, they did it with everything. The small things, the larger things, and the profound things like a deflationary recession that had little to do with housing. I am telling you all that even back then, reason played very little role in party politics, and it felt like they were more interested in reigning in Hell than serving in Heaven. You thought politicians are supposed to help people… Well, perhaps they are supposed to serve the general welfare, but they “don’t really believe in that stuff anymore.” Good governance is for the select. The rest of us are out of sight and out of mind, and Donald Trump fit right in with them.

All this business of convincing people that COVID is no big deal and a quickly launched vaccine is more risky than contacting the disease itself for self-serving reasons is nothing more than an extension of my rationale for wandering off the GOP’s thought reservation and eventually leaving the party – long before Trump came around.

And it’s no surprise then that these jerks are out there banning masks while the most dangerous and most contagious version of the COVID virus is floating around, and the number of people in ICU has more than tripled in the last two weeks. It’s one thing to try to control what state-funded schools do. But it’s quite another to go out of their way to fine private businesses for requiring masks on their premises. Businesses cannot be forced to do something like make a wedding cake for a gay couple. It’s against their religion our whatever. But wearing a mask if one has chosen to NOT get a vaccine is done for the same reason that we don’t drive down the sidewalk. It’s not about one’s relationship to government, it’s about one’s relationship to the people around them and the potential for harm. Perhaps they will start making onramps to the sidewalks for an encore? Because, hey, it’s about freedom to do whatever they damned well please regardless of the consequences to people they may or may not ever know.

We should be updating liability laws for negligently spreading the deadly antigen, not banning masks. We should be fining people for not getting the vaccine, getting sick and taking up space in the hospital so that people who need the bed can’t have it – like heart attack, stroke, car accident victims, etc. No vaccine?? Ok, pay through the damned nose – your choice – your consequences.