We are ruled, in many places, by clowns. Often vicious clowns, but still clowns.
On some level, politicians have always believed that they deserve special treatment, that the ordinary rules don’t apply to them. They have pushed for limits on school choice for the poor while sending their own children to private schools. They have advocated for gun control and defunding the police while being protected by armed security guards. They have denounced the influence of money in politics while courting wealthy donors at closed-door fundraisers.
But the coronavirus protocol breaches we’ve witnessed this year could wind up being far more consequential if they lead to less support for nanny-state policies. Conservatives, who are more constitutionally averse to busybody politicians making decisions for people, were always warier of lockdowns and the rationale behind them. What has changed since the spring is growing skepticism of public-health edicts among liberals. . . .
These people are perfectly aware that infection rates are rising and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly cautions against celebrating the holiday with people outside your household. Alas, many of them don’t seem to care anymore. According to the American Automobile Association, there could be as many as 50 million Thanksgiving travelers this year, only 10% less than in 2019.
This is a form of mass civil disobedience like nothing the country has seen since the 1960s. Some of it is born of Covid fatigue, to be sure. But the endless parade of politicians flouting their own rules surely has also played a role. It began shortly after the spring lockdowns and if anything has become more commonplace, even farcical.