by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
On May 26, Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam announced that wearing masks outside one’s home will be mandatory effective May 29. He first hinted he might issue a masking order a week ago, likely to test the water.
A new refrain in public discourse is growing in volume by the day: “Things will never be the same.” The certainty with which we are assured of this pre-determined future is perplexing. Whether or not “things” will ever be the same is not at all clear, but that some people hope things will never be the same is certain.
To those looking to benefit politically from emergencies, COVID presents an opportunity to advance plans targeted to transform American freedom and the American way of life. Mandatory-masking policies provide a valuable foundation to weaponize the virus against American liberty. …
Much of our freedom is maintained by the collective resistance of the American mood. When the Minnesota governor excluded churches from his Phase I reopening plan, Catholic and Lutheran leadership announced, through counsel, that their churches would reopen with or without the state’s blessing.
The governor’s resulting about-face was probably not due to a legal epiphany. Rather, he understood he’d pushed the envelope too far. …
… Would Virginians, outside of the blue D.C. suburbs, be willing to accept a masking order? To take our freedom from us, people with anti-American agendas have to mobilize some initial quorum of consent from the population.
Mandatory masking seeks to build that consent. In addition to extending the fiction that we are in an emergency sufficient to trigger the extra-constitutional authority of local and state executives, mandatory masking acts as a peer pressure-fueled signal that encourages conformity to our coming “new normal.”
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