Coronavirus

It's Not Just Face Masks. Everything Is Now a Political Death Match.

An "oil spill" of politics has polluted American life, leaving little room for common ground.

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Somehow, it became a sign of bedrock conservative principles to refuse to wear a face mask anytime, anyplace, in the middle of a pandemic. Likewise, it's now a marker of devout progressivism to shriek like banshees at anybody who fails to don a mask even for a stroll along a deserted path. Forget health concernsmasks have become signifiers of tribal affiliation.

The politicization of face masks is stupid enough, but research suggests that polarization in the United States has permeated many seemingly unrelated issues, leaving little of life unpolluted by partisanship. Those few who remain outside the scrum may have to bear heavy burdens in the days to come.

"What if polarization is less like a fence getting taller over time and more like an oil spill that spreads from its source to gradually taint more and more previously 'apolitical' attitudes, opinions, and preferences?" writes Pennsylvania State University's Daniel DellaPosta in an study published last month in American Sociological Review.

DellaPosta has been on this beat for a while, co-authoring a 2015 study finding that "as people congregate with the like-minded, they reinforce their shared views, "producing a stereotypical world of 'latte liberals' and 'bird-hunting conservatives.'" That earlier work helped explain the dynamic by which Americans sorting themselves by lifestyle choices that tend to correlate with politicsrural homes for conservatives and urban dwellings for liberals, for exampletend to become more ideologically representative of their chosen communities.

The new study explores evidence that "many initially apolitical lifestyle characteristics, from musical taste to belief in astrology, can become politicized as signals for deeper beliefs and preferences."

For his data, DellaPosta crunched data from the General Social Survey, which is overseen by the University of Chicago and has been compiling information about Americans' opinions since 1972. He found growing evidence not only that Americans are increasingly at odds with one another, but that they've chosen partisan sides over things that have no obvious political content.

Some connections seem to accrete almost accidentally, so that sports and beverage preferences become political signifiers.

"You may have heard politicians referring to 'latte-drinking liberals,' for example, which captures the idea of the oil spill," DellaPosta told Penn State News. "Why should something like drinking a latte become associated with your political ideology?"

The connections may start off as loosely linked lifestyle choices, but they become firmer as people come to associate a preference with a tribal choice shared by other fans of that preference. They then adopt a host of new preferences as symbols of their tribal affiliation.

"If every time I go to a football game, I see parking lots full of cars with Trump bumperstickers, I will tend to see football fandom as being associated with Trump support. If I already like football but do not yet support Trump, I might conclude from this that I should naturally support Trump due to my other preferences," writes DellaPosta.

By the same token, he adds, "once I come around to drinking lattes through this practice's association with liberalism, I might also proceed to adopt a series of other beliefs and practices associated with latte-drinking—such as driving a hybrid electric car or listening to indie rock."

That is, many people—enough to mold much of our society—tend not to pick and choose their beliefs through careful consideration, but to purchase the package deal. Their weekend plans come with a party affiliation, and that party affiliation pushes them towards dinner preferences.

And that's how we got to the point where "wearing a mask is for smug liberals. Refusing to is for reckless Republicans," as Politico noted. "Prominent people who don't wear them are shamed and dragged on Twitter by lefty accounts. On the right, where the mask is often seen as the symbol of a purported overreaction to the coronavirus, mask promotion is a target of ridicule."

The call-outs happen even when those with naked faces are far away from the risks associated with crowds, or when those donning them are in busy indoor spaces where viral transmission is a real concern. Forget about the risks or lack thereof of infection; it might as well be an argument over MAGA caps vs. pussy hats.

As you might guess, it's not a good thing when politics ooze across the landscape like an oil spill to pollute music choices, restaurant preferences, recreational activities, and sports fandom. This leaves a declining number of activities in which people can engage that don't carry partisan baggage.

"Cross-cutting cleavages have collapsed to form more encompassing partisan identities with little common ground between them," notes DellaPosta. "The existence of polarized 'super-identities' feeds affective polarization by leading people to simplify the outgroup (e.g., as an evil force unworthy of civil engagement) and attach negative stereotypes."

Experiments with exposing people to different viewpoints and activities just drive the subjects further into the embrace of their chosen tribe. The sides are so entrenched, now, that there's not much remaining that people of opposing views can mutually enjoy.

While DellaPosta doesn't get into it, the remaining cross-cutting alignments in American culture appear to be in the hands of those who have rejected both of the dominant political tribes and their package deals of ideology and culture.

"Not all of us have chosen a side. Some of us dislike them both but are perfectly willing and able to cross the boundaries of culture, lifestyle, and partisanship to socialize and do business," I wrote last year.

Those of us still willing to break bread or play games with people who think differently may be the best hope for the troubled world in which we live. Libertarians and others who haven't turned life into a political package deal may need to serve as translators and peacemakers for countrymen who have lost the ability to talk to one another.

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  1. The Left doesn’t want peace until after the election, if then
    They want Trump gone by ANY means necessary. That’s what this is all about. I for one, do not reward toddlers who throw temper tantrums.

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    2. Which is why you’re voting for Trump!

      1. Cry more White Knight.

        1. Hey, now. There’s no call for that. I am most definitely not Tony.

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          2. Burn any lower case “t” lately?

      2. The Hag was the one who threw a violent tantrum after she lost the election. Trump just hits back. And you progtards hate that.

    3. The media is largely to blame, made worse in recent years with social media, and on top of that technology that has segmented us down to tribes. With cookies websites can deliver individuals information based on their clicks, shopping, viewing habits, etc. We’re not getting the same news and not the same way. Some of us recognize the plusses and minuses of such an individualized focus to our ids and egos, the rest believe the world revolves around them. Hence, “no peace unless…” radicalism. The billionaires and MSM depend more on the latter for power.

    4. They’ve declared all out war on America. If you’re a white person who has the audacity to think America is a great country in spite of its past and present flaws, the scummy psychotic verminous left says that makes you “divisive” and possibly even a white supremacist.

      1. Normal people walk around all day every day without being called a white supremacist, so what are you doing wrong, do you suppose?

        1. Reading the NYT, probably.

        2. Yes, because where I live we are no surrounded by people like you. Who call everyone a racist that won’t be bullied by your progtarded bullshit.

        3. Umm, Tony, don’t you know?
          White silence = white violence = white supremacy
          White people are inherently guilty until they act to affirmatively support the Black Lives Matter movement by physically protesting and donating money.

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    7. My heart truly aches for so many. It aches when the world is a place where we need more community and connections, more help and helping others. I live in a family divided by political ideologies. People who love each other are turning away from each other based less on deep values and more on this oil slick of identity.
      If it helps, one way that I am finding has had a bit of success recently is to validate what I can from each person or side. “Yes, the country could be badly crippled if we cannot get back to ‘normal’ life” or “Yes, an amount of caution may make a difference.”. At times, it can soften the speaker toward a bit of humility and open pathways to better communication.
      Unfortunately, COVID is just the lightning rod du-jour. Something else will come afterwards, to divide us and push us to pick sides for our political home team and cheer for them to ‘win’.
      WHat I desire and hope for is a true, open forum where all parts of the spectrum are heard, validated, listened to and respected. Where honest concerns, hurts and fears can be voiced and talked through. And, while many of these issues may not be resolved, we can, at least, come together as PEOPLE to talk, listen, hear and do our best to love. It feels like a fairy tale, but I see it happen in very small ways. Perhaps it can, one day, happen on a national stage.

  2. The left has been saying “the personal is political” for like 50 years now. The left made politics a personal brand. Having leftist politics is a brand that shows you are on the side of tolerance and so forth.

    Combine that with the left’s politicization of everything. and you get this. Everything is a way to show your brand to the left. So everything is political.

    1. Yes-when your solution to every problem is “more government” then every issue become “political” by necessity.

      1. Somewhat ironic, coming from a person whose handle indicates that he’s worked for the federal government for at least a few years.

        1. I am retired from the Army National Guard, which is the origin of my screenname. I think that delegating most defense functions to the reserves is the best path forward from a libertarian perspective, and, because I am not an anarchist, I think that defense is one of the few tasks that it is legitimate for the government to undertake. I do not advocate for government to try to solve every problem that arises in American society and understand (largely from my experience as a soldier) that the government is very often a giant machine for creating perverse incentives and unintended consequences.

          1. > and, because I am not an anarchist, I think that defense is one of the few tasks that it is legitimate for the government to undertake

            Careful! The anarchists-pretending-to-be-libertarians around here don’t like classical libertarian formulations like this.

      2. Exactly. When government is small and has very little effect on your daily life, it’s tolerable. When everything you do requires government permission and supervision, it gets mighty tiring, and people soon realize that it is literally more profitable, both financially and emotionally, to mind other people’s business pre-emptively before they mind yours.

        The coercion is the definition of government, and tolerable when seldom used on law-abiding folks. The monopoly is the main problem. If there were only one store with one variety of a small subset of all the stuff we have now, and elections decided every aspect of store policy, people would not put up with it. Yet they can’t see the parallel with every day life, and keep voting for more government.

        1. It is more than that though. I cannot go to dinner at a restaurant without some liberal chef or customer or guy standing outside talking about farm to table and slow food, etc. They aren’t calling necessarily for government intervention, but they are signaling their liberal bonafides.

          I want to say that this has been going on since climate change got going, but it even predates that. 20 years ago it was all about Free Trade coffee and banning sweat shops in china. Before that it was baby seals and cruelty free cosmetics. And before that, it was a constant dance between plastic or paper bags being superior.

          1. The current epidemic of statism was triggered by the 1964/5 Civil Rights acts imposing reverse segregation and went full throttle with Nixon trying to distract the public with the EPA etc.

            Those people talking about farm to table and stuff *are* in favor of the government carrying out their agenda. It is implicit in everything they do — GMO and organic labeling, for instance. Voluntary labels would tell as much, but that’s not good enough. They are statists through and through, The only solution is a government which cannot interfere like it has been, but that was what the original Constitution set out to do, and it fell by the wayside because government defines its own limits.

            1. It’s always so nice whenever someone openly admits that states’ rights and anti-big-government rhetoric is 100% absolutely about racism and nothing else.

              1. It’s even nicer when people admit they can’t read.

              2. … said the nationalist.

              3. Tony, an SJW progressive, such as yourself, is obsessed with identity politics. If people like you were gone, racism would be nearly non existent.

                Essentially, you’re the problem. YOU are the racist. And I know I’m sure as hell not. Given that my family isn’t white.

              4. Aaaaaaand the actual racist is the one who looked at something that had nothing to do with races and screamed “racism”.

                1. You can hardly find a part of the US constitution that wasn’t influenced by the wishes of slave states for the purposes of maintaining slavery. You absolutely cannot separate “states’ rights” rhetoric from the historical context from which it emerged: the civil rights era. Cons and Southerners really, really don’t like having black neighbors.

            2. but that was what the original Constitution set out to do

              “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”

              ― Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

          2. Yup, and the Right has their own signaling: from American flag lapel pins to wearing a camo hunting cap to poses for pictures holding a Bible. Both Red Team and Blue Team play the game.

            1. Oh look sarc is crying again.

            2. Except you Team Blue cretins have made support for the country a Team Red thing instead of a Team America thing. Possibly because you’re not on Team America any more.

      3. I recall when breast feeding became a “movement” rather than something females have been doing for a million years. Even then there was public shaming when a woman nursed with bottles. Some women cannot breastfeed for numerous health reason, including a rare toxin produced in breast milk that can kill babies. That never seemed to bother shamers. Some people will always prescribe to ideas like they’re in a cult. Only avoiding media can this be lessened. Wow I’m having a major deja vu.

        1. Who can be a ‘better’ mom is a continual contest for women of a certain class. Basically, educated upper-class women who don’t need to work or who have jobs that allow them to hire people to hand-make baby food and whose job it is to not let the tykes pollute their minds with TV. If these women actually had to work and take care of kids at the same time like the rest of us, they’d be bottle feeding and turning on Nickelodeon to babysit too.

        2. Does the “collapse of cross-cutting cleavages” have something to do with breast feeding?

    2. Combine that with the left’s politicization of everything. and you get this. Everything is a way to show your brand to the left. So everything is political.

      I agree. The left does this. However, the conservatives are just as bad on this.

      1. No they’re not, eunuch.

      2. [citation needed]

    3. You morons made basic hygiene political. And that was like a few weeks ago.

      Back in simpler days you morons insisted that we all support wars based on lies or else lose our patriotism card and be shouted out of the room.

      It’s bad enough that you have no intention of ever not being terrible people, but at least own up to your own bullshit.

      1. You morons made basic hygiene political

        “it’s always my enemies fault!!! I cannot act on my own!!!’ – Tony

      2. …you morons insisted that we all support wars based on lies or else lose our patriotism card and be shouted out of the room.

        This “if you’re not with me, you must be a conservative” shit you pull is really getting tiresome. You simply refuse to consider that people fall into more categories than “leftist jackboot fan” (such as yourself) and “cousin-fucking redneck neocon”. It’s like the whole concept is just too complicated for you.

        Also: who’re you calling “moron”, you willfully ignorant dolt? Just go back to hiding under your bed — you’re just embarrassing yourself at this point.

      3. Would this be before or after the CDC lied about maks not being beneficial? I mean, it’s almost as if the government did something untrustworthy which then triggered mistrust in the side already biased towards disliking bureaucracy.

        1. Your inability to keep up with the facts of the matter is your problem, because you are doing it deliberately. Who cares if the CDC was wrong a few months ago? This is a novel virus. They’re bound to be wrong at times, especially early on. What’s your excuse?

          1. Way to miss the point again. They *lied*. Intentionally misled people. By admission.

            1. And you’re going to put yourself and others at risk as a protest?

              1. Are you just messing with me? Or do you really not understand ravenshrike’s point regarding the CDC’s trust issues?

                1. Say the worst-case scenario is true and the CDC lied in order to hoard masks for doctors and nurses. It’s a fucking emergency. You guys want everything to be perfectly normal and you don’t want to lift a finger for anyone or anything. Good for you. Leave the tough decisions to other people. It’s for the best.

                  But really the CDC didn’t know masks were effective and were freaking out about the shortage in hospitals. Then once the evidence was in they changed their tune. All of this is in service of solving the problem. What are you doing to solve the problem?

                  Even if the CDC were wrong liars about everything, that doesn’t give you the right to make up alternative facts to fill the void. That’s a lesson y’all need to learn across the board.

          2. “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” — Ronald Reagan, 1964

            1. He prefers the company of monkeys.

        2. That was not the lie. The lie came when they said they were effective.

      4. Tony, you are queen of the strawman.

    4. So, you, who are on the right, have been forced into playing this game. You are, once again, a poor conservative victim of circumstance with no personal agency.

      1. No, we’re just tired of progtarded bullshit. Without progressives, America would be a paradise.

    5. You may be correct that “the Left started it” when it comes to personal brand, but the Right sure has brought their A game to playing up their victimhood.

      1. god damn bitch you arw really upset you’re double posting

      2. You’re more predictable and boring than the spammers.

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  3. What rock have you been hiding under the last 20 years? The fact the left wouldn’t stop politicizing non-political spaces has been a major complaint for pretty much my entire life. The only thing that has changed in the last four years is that people finally got sick of it and started flipping progressives off when they hysterically declare they feel threatened by a 60 year old grandma disagreeing with them.

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  4. >>Somehow, it became a sign of bedrock conservative principles to refuse to wear a face mask anytime, anyplace, in the middle of a pandemic.

    no it is a sign of principle to refuse to *be told* to wear a face covering based on fallible science. also principle to not be afraid of words like pandemic.

    1. And it pisses the Karens off to no end.

      1. had to tell one in my office it was offensive for her to treat me like a leper and if she truly believed I was going to kill her w/my presence she should go home and stay there.

    2. And it’s not just conservatives by a long shot. I know plenty of people who are definitely not on the political right who are just as defiant about masks.
      For me it’s about resisting mandates to some extent, but mostly it’s about how it affects the culture and the health of the person wearing it. We can’t allow this to become a new normal. Wearing masks in public is fucking weird. It also makes you feel like you can’t breathe, which increases anxiety which is very likely to cause you more harm in the long run than exposure to the virus.
      One of the most insane things in all of this is how people have lost sight of all the other health problems and diseases people might have here and behaved as if the only thing that matters is whether or not people get this one virus that has turned out to be not particularly more deadly than the flu. If that really were all that mattered, then maybe wearning masks would be a good idea. But it’s not all that matters. And once the precedent is set the fucking nannies and Karens of the world will want such measures deployed more often.
      People need to stop being such fucking pussies and get over it.

      1. I have a lot of conservative friends. It’s probably an even 50-50 split for me between liberal and conservative friends. Not all conservatives are anti-mask. Some of my conservative friends are very vocal about the need for masks and rant about people not wearing them or ignoring social distancing.

        1. “Friends”

        2. I have a lot of conservative friends.

          AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

          AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

          NO YOU DON’T YOU FUCKING LIAR

          AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

        3. Cloth masks don’t work. They also inhibit breathing to a small degree and increase continuation due to ill fitting, which encourages excessive touching of the face. Any bacteria or viral matter will pass right through a cloth mask.

          1. Yes, and the “studies” that the mask cult keeps claiming as proof that masks work don’t take into account things like how actual people wear masks in real life, or what happens after the first ten minutes of wearing the mask (by which time the study is over).

      2. yes all this. ^ especially the stop being fucking pussies part.

      3. So you’re whining about an additional hygiene measure during a pandemic, something that otherwise would be totally neutral if not for your manbaby crying about it, and other people need to stop being pussies?

        Masks help prevent the spread of disease from you to other people. You don’t get to make choices that might kill other people.

        1. >>additional hygiene measure during a pandemic

          this isn’t even a thing dude. brush your teeth twice.

          1. I realize that hygiene to your typical Trump supporter is a yearly dunk in the crick whether they need it or not.

            1. you can tell when you got Tony by how super bitchy gets

              1. props for crick though. makes me miss my great-grampa

                1. Tony is self hating coutry trash he told us that years ago

                  1. Mocking the victims of circumstance routinely referred to as hicks, bumpkins, rednecks, and such, does stray me from the path of perfection. I often wonder if I’m not being unfair.

                    On the other hand, these people have spent the last four years insisting as their top political priority that they never be criticized for bigotry and just stop being so hypersensitive about everything, gosh! So, fuck the cousinfuckers.

            2. Tony, I know you’re hyper sensitive due to your HIV status. Maybe licking up all the dried loads off your local bathhouse floor wasn’t such a good idea.

        2. Demanding a person to wear a mask is demanding them to mitigate a natural effect for you. That is not neutral. It is a positive encumbrance on their rights, no matter how small.

          1. Yes it is a small encumbrance on people’s rights. So is being sick and dying for a month from a horrible disease. That’s why we make trade-offs sometimes.

            I don’t know where “natural” comes into it at all. Everything’s natural.

            1. “”Everything’s natural.””

              Perhaps not, I think your stupidity is self inflicted.

              1. So is being sick and dying for a month from a horrible disease

                Nope.

            2. “I don’t know where “natural” comes into it at all. Everything’s natural.”

              Natural means that it is an act of nature. That virus is tearing through the population just has similar viruses have done for millions of years. Water flowing through the mountains of Colorado have contained giardia, a nasty intestinal microbe, for at least thousands of years. That a virus uses people as a bridge to others is as natural as a stream through my property carrying giardia to your property.

              I am not ethically required to treat stream water going through my property, and if I chose to do so, that is a favor for you. I am not ethically required to wear a mask to reduce the risk of natural pathogens transiting my body. If I am aware of being sick, I am ethically required to limit spreading that disease. One could even argue that I have ethical requirements if I am reasonably suspicious that I have been exposed.

              Just as I refuse to give the government the power to stick needles in kids arms with forced vaccinations, I refuse to give the government the power to force people to wear masks. I am happy to encourage people to weak masks, and I will endorse vaccinations for everyone. But I will never consider it ethically negative to refuse to do either.

              1. Refusing to do it harms other people in both cases. The world is not as simple as you need it to be to justify your political theories.

                1. [citation needed]

            3. Yes it is a small encumbrance on people’s rights

              Then why are you crying like a retard when people tell you to fuck off.

        3. I want you to lay out all of the possible choices that one might make that “might kill” other people. Please enumerate them. All of them.

          I also want to know from that list what choices you, Tony, think others are not or should not be “allowed” to make since they might kill people. Is choosing to drive a gasoline powered car one of the choices on the list, since deadly accidents happen? Or, because it’s spitting out CO2 and ruining the planet, hence killing everyone? Would you be happier if cars were banned, since that would reduce accidents and carbon emissions, hence deaths from those two sources, both good things?

          Or are you just referring to the choice (singular) in this case of wearing a mask, which you didn’t clearly enunciate? You wrote “choices”. Which is it? I really want to know what the rules of your world are so I can better understand your position.

          Seriously, Tony, put it out there for everyone to see.

          1. If you’re going to highlight instances in which we as a society have decided to make certain trade-offs to balance safety vs. liberty, then you need to explain to me why a mask is a bridge too far when we already accept things like seat belts.

            I suppose the libertarian solution is to let the family members of the dead attempt to find the person who transmitted the disease and sue them?

            1. Answer my question. What are your rules? What is the list of choices? Stay on topic.

              1. It’s not my position, it’s the libertarian one.

                You want maximum individual liberty, and you get it by promising that you’ll be on the hook for any harm to other people you cause.

                Now in a normal society, we let people off the hook all the time. We accept realistic risks and pay attention to ones we can meaningfully do something about. Everything is a trade-off and we’re all in it together.

                It’s the libertarians who have to explain in what instances they get to harm other people with impunity. My answer is a case-by-case judgment based essentially on common sense. Yours is the one that’s entirely transactional.

                1. Your position was that “you can’t make choices that might kill other people”. That is your position, is it not? So I’m asking you to please explain what those choices are or might be, and you refuse to do it. It’s “case-by-case” which is a cop out and you know it. You’re the one who thinks people are making choices that might kill other people and they shouldn’t be allowed to do that, so what are those choices? Have a nice day.

                  1. For the sake of argument, I’m OK with how liability is calculated in our current system, for the most part. (We could definitely balance more toward responsibility when it comes to entities like corporations that exist for the purpose of limiting liability.)

                    Your liberty as a car manufacturer is limited by seat belt requirements. Your liberty as a driver is limited as well. But on the other hand, not being dead is the biggest boon to liberty imaginable, so I like trade-offs that actually enhance individual liberty. Safety is not in opposition to it but constituent of it.

                    The subject is masks. People seem to be claiming that there is only one side of the equation. They’re being imposed upon for nefarious reasons without any matching trade-off for public safety. But that’s obviously the opposite of truth.

                    And for that matter, imagine a different global emergency scenario, like armed invasion or something. Lots and lots of conservatives would be willing to scrap entire systems of liberty protection to guard against those kinds of threats. Hell, a 5 year-old crossing the border is threat enough for them to suggest eliminating basic rights.

                    1. They’re being imposed upon for nefarious reasons

                      No one is claiming that retard.

                    2. You can’t make an argument about why people should do something to protect other people with an example of something people do to protect themselves.

                    3. Here is why I willingly wear a seatbelt but not a mask:

                      1) The amount of discomfort from a seatbelt is much less than that from a mask.

                      2) A mask impairs my breathing. A seatbelt doesn’t.

                      3) I believe the consensus that a seatbelt makes me safer. There is no consensus that masks make others safer. There are contradictory studies.

                      When two people came to my house last month to do some work, I told them that they do not have to wear a mask if they don’t want to. I am not going to live my life in fear. The only thing I ask from others is that they stay home if they are sick.

                2. Tony won’t answer, because he has no real answers and has no defensible position.

            2. in which we as a society

              I never agreed to be ruled by your “society”

              1. Yes you most certainly did. In much the same way as you are expected to pay the bill at a restaurant once you’ve already eaten, you owe the Treasury for the services your civilization provides. Whether you asked for it first is beside the point. As a newborn infant you don’t have the capacity to make such a choice, so it was made for you by your parents. After you reached adulthood you were more than welcome to renounce citizenship and go away.

                1. I’m going to enjoy watching you progtards get put down like the rabid filth you are in the near future.

        4. Masks help prevent the spread of disease from you to other people.

          Cite please, bitch.

            1. Two sentences. There’s *two* sentences in that entire article that imply face masks can help. With zero backing data. That ain’t evidence.

            2. Masks were shown to be no help for the Spanish flu 100 years previous.

              https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.10.1.34

              1. And they do help for this other disease.

        5. Who are you, fake Tulpa? I’m not crying. I’m annoyed and concerned about the future of humanity. There are real reasons to be concerned about this. You may disagree, that’s OK. But don’t be such a fucking bitch. There are reasons to disagree besides insecurity about manliness or whatever the fuck you think it is.

        6. If you get in your car and drive, you’re making a choice that can kill other people.

      4. Most of us would have worn the mask initially if they hadn’t lied and many of us avoided elderly relatives out of caution but they lied and they lied and all their predictions were either wrong or a lie to scare everyone. they do want us to wear mask for ever now that is why they are comparing it to wearing seat belts and helmets. It is a political by those on teh left to see how far they can push and control. I wear a mask at a store because they can require it since its their business but outside no way that is scientificly unsound

    3. DellaPosta has been on this beat for a while, co-authoring a 2015 study finding that “as people congregate with the like-minded, they reinforce their shared views “producing a stereotypical world of ‘latte liberals’ and ‘bird-hunting conservatives.'”

      As a latte-drinking bird hunter, I feel attacked.

      1. You should feel attacked for being an imbecile.

      2. I don’t drink lattes OR bird hunt.

    4. May you be lucky enough to not find out how stupid you are being by not protecting yourself and those around you.

  5. “Not all of us have chosen a side. Some of us dislike them both but are perfectly willing and able to cross the boundaries of culture, lifestyle, and partisanship to socialize and do business,” I wrote last year.

    Those of us still willing to break bread or play games with people who think differently may be the best hope for the troubled world in which we live. Libertarians and others who haven’t turned life into a political package deal may need to serve as translators and peacemakers for countrymen who have lost the ability to talk to one another.

    All I’ve seen the last 10 years is one side taking the other in mostly good faith only to be repeatedly shown they can’t be sated until they dominate every aspect of life. This pox on both the houses was tiresome 5 years ago and it’s exponentially dumber now. People are actively getting fired for simply having dialogues and trying to understand the one sides grievances or come up with solutions. And it’s really not a left vs right issue. It’s one group trying to eliminate white male heterosexuals from even having a seat at the table unless they bend the knee to whatever the current hysterical bleating is.

    1. Yeah, which side is carrying out a racial pogrom, and has a pack of Neo-Red Guards successfully destroying the Four Olds with the explicit approval (and material support) of the ruling elite?

        1. Why would Seattle even have a confederate monument in the first place. There’s no possible reason besides racism.

          1. Well, Seattle has a statue of Lenin.

          2. I’m assuming this is sarcasm. IF so, well played.

      1. I can’t decide if I’m more scared by the red guard Maoists or the fact If I’m almost willing to consider a reactionary type populist culturally right figure to squash them by dismantling the university system and censoring big tech for fucking president it could be a frightening reactionary shift.

        1. No, that is an entirely rational fear. The left has become so insane, and is being enabled and supported by almost every corporation, celebrity and media outlet, that I might actually vote for Trump in November.

          1. I live in California where the Dem will win by a landslide, so my vote is free. If I thought it would be at all close, I’d hold my nose and vote for Trump.

            1. If you live in California and you (even occasionally) don’t want to vote Democrat, you could safely vote for Adolf Hitler and never have to worry that your vote might help him get elected.

        2. The truth is, we NEED a Sulla to fix this mess.

          Regular political BS is no longer enough to fix the problems that sane people allowed the left to create.

          The kind of purge needed in the deep state, academia, media, etc will not be possible without at least temporarily going outside the bounds of Americanism or the proper role of government in peace time… But that’s just how shit is. Things that are acceptable during a time of war are different than those during a time of peace.

          Maybe there hasn’t been truly wide scale, typical war like violence YET… But we’re in a war. If we stop it now we may be able to avoid the massive bloodshed portion. But regular politics as usual will never achieve that.

    2. That’s just the white male heterosexual fragility that comes with being successful. Or something.

  6. I don’t know how Tucille came to the conclusion that it has become “…a sign of bedrock conservative principles to refuse to wear a face mask anytime, anyplace, in the middle of a pandemic.” Lots of conservatives are wearing masks without suffering any opprobrium from their fellows, as near as I can see anyway. Now, maybe they are chafing at being required to wear one, but I don’t see how a libertarian can object to that.

    1. Most normal people don’t give a fuck who wears what. The only thing I see conservatives repeatedly pointing out is the masks don’t necessarily work. Which is probably based on the fact that’s what they were told at the beginning by *checks notes every medical authoritative body on record. And as far as I can tell no long term clinical study has been published to contradict that.

      1. My understanding is that masks (long term clinical studies do show this) protect other people from you. I believe that the idea is that if everyone wears a mask, everyone is protected from everyone.

        But, yes, I agree, all the information out there when this first started was exactly that: Your mask protects other people from you, but won’t do shit to protect yourself– and might make it worse because as the mask becomes ‘damp’, it attracts pathogens.

        1. Masks partially protect other people from you.
          It’s better than a lockdown, but mostly for style points.

        2. This notion that one should be required or pressured to wear masks “to protect others” is a most dangerous idea, and my main objection (along with wearing a mask is reinforcing and implicitly endorsing the hoax that covid19 is some kind of uniquely dangerous threat)

          1. Is there anything you should be required to do for the sake of not killing other people?

            Are you sure you understand how this libertarianism thing works?

            1. You could stay inside if you’re scared bitch.

            2. You should stop driving cars, since you might accidentally kill someone.

            3. we could require that no one drive anymore so that no one dies from driving. a few may die because they couldn’t get to the hospital in a timely matter but thats collateral damage and okay

    2. My parents are both die-hard Republicans. My father still regularly listens to Rush Limbaugh. They also are fastidious about wearing masks everywhere they go and in keeping hand sanitizer or sanitary wipes handy. Even though they’re both reasonably healthy and active, they’re in their 60s and know they’re a vulnerable population.

      And there are plenty of other conservatives who act the same way. So perhaps this tribal affiliation is a bit less pervasive than the social media firestorms might suggest.

      1. Same with me. I hate the left but it’s not going to stop me from protecting myself. I could care less what either radicals or reactionaries in the internet think. Ignore the online mob and live your life. If the violence spills out into the street then throw down.

        1. Unfortunately there’s some growing evidence that if the violence spills out into the streets and you throw down, if you’re on the wrong side of the violence, you’ll be aggressively charged with a crime.

          The thought that I could be attacked by a rabid pack of intersectional twinks and if I dare defend myself, I’ll be facing felony charges scares the shit out of me.

          1. This. You shoot one of these people for being hysterical chimps throwing feces at you walking down the street or run them over because they mob your car because of some unsanctioned gathering they never pulled a permit for your going to get crucified by literally ever cable news outlet and paper.

            1. On Friday (I believe?) two protesters who were gathered on I5 were hit by a car. Based on the video evidence, it looks like it may have been a case of poor judgment and bad driving on the part of the driver, but the Seattle Times has painted an entirely false narrative of the incident which borders on an outright lie.

              They indicate (several times) “Hit & Run”. That is absolutely false and has been repeatedly confirmed. Driver stops shortly after the impact, his car is mobbed by protesters, so he flees further down the road, then stops again and waits for police. The driver hasn’t even been charged with felony hit & run, only vehicular assault.

              The Times article has enough weasel words and tricks of writing to suggest “the protesters say”, while still presenting a kind of finality to how the event played out. The article drones on (and on) about Black Lives Matter, makes sure to inform us that both of the womyn who were hit are to be referred to as ‘they/them’, but never mentions that the driver of the vehicle is black- likely from Ethiopia (although country of origin hasn’t been confirmed). We’re always told that in any violent confrontation, the races of the people are material when trying to root out systemic racism. If that were the case, then we should ALWAYS discuss the races of people involved.

              This is the mainstream paper of record in my town. Journalism has really gone to shit.

              1. Honestly, that whole story is even worse on Twitter where you see reporters refer only to “a luxury car” or “a white car” without ever once mentioning the Ethiopian immigrant driver (who I think has an excellent defense).

                1. If you watch the video carefully, it appears the driver was surprised to see a crowd of people as he rounded the curve (extremely important to the details of the case)… swerved to avoid, then when the crowd moved with him, he swerved again to go around but hit the two… (I don’t know if they’re women because they want to be referred to as they/them, so in keeping with the rules that seem to change every day… I’ll say– persons) persons. He was going the wrong way on an exit ramp to get there.

                  However, if you know anything about the current state of Seattle, I can’t help but wonder with all the temporary detours, poor signage, re-routed traffic (often due to protests) that he was merely confused as to the proper direction to go.

                  1. Isn’t he also a driver for Doordash? I could see him trying to follow the crappy GPS directions you get in downtown Seattle where the freeway and the roads overlap and the satellite has no idea where you are.

                    Yeah, the reporting on this has been insanely deceptive. You can tell the media was getting all excited that they finally had some ‘right-wing’ violence to exploit when the narrative sizzled in their face. Is the fact he was driving a white car proof that he has Black Fragility and is therefore implicit in white supremecy?

              2. Dancing the Stupid Shuffle….

                Funny how the protesters spent the last three weeks saying “Fuck Cops” and “Don’t call the cops on black people because it endangers their life” but now that someone else decided the law doesn’t apply to them either and got themselves a short career as a hood ornament they are mystified that someone disobeyed the police and then call the cops on the dude (who will be in jeopardy because racist pigs will see a black man to lynch)
                I hate to sound like a dick but fuck that bitch and anyone who thinks they get to block traffic because they get off on it

                1. “Whose streets?”
                  “Our streets!”

                  Nope.
                  Cars win

      2. “‘And there are plenty of other conservatives who act the same way. So perhaps this tribal affiliation is a bit less pervasive than the social media firestorms might suggest.””

        It’s not about reality. It’s about pushing people into labeled boxes. Everything the Rs do is bad so if you are an R the reality doesn’t matter to them. Their projection onto the box they push you in is all that counts to them.

    3. I think it’s still more a class thing than a left-right thing. Almost no one I hang out with thinks wearing a mask is what you should do. Of course, that may have a lot to do with why I still hang out with them.

  7. Somehow, it became a sign of bedrock conservative principles to refuse to wear a face mask anytime, anyplace, in the middle of a pandemic.

    I thought refusal to obey petty government diktats of any kind was a bedrock Tuccille principle.

    1. That’s only for illegal immigrants. Citizens must obey the law!

  8. It’s Not Just Face Masks. Everything Is Now a Political Death Match

    Is this an update on Celebrity Deathmatch? If it is, I’d totally watch.

    1. Is this an update on Celebrity Deathmatch? If it is, I’d totally watch.

      I’d only watch it if instead of claymation they went live action. And have the actual people throwdown to the death, not actors or lookalikes and no special effects. Bring on The Thunderdome.

  9. J.D. Tucille, apropos of your article, I recommend Douglas Murray’s book, “The Madness of Crowds” and in particular, the last chapter titled “Depoliticize our lives”.

  10. Everyone should be wearing sheep masks at this point.

    1. I suggest full face masks, as in the Nixon masks from the time before time.
      If it would fit, I would wear my son’s Darth Vader full head mask just to give the world the finger.
      My not wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is the consequence of medical conditions. So if I can’t stay the approved anti-social distance of 6 feet, I don’t go.
      By the way, have they ‘reviewed’ the science on that magical distance? Maybe it could be just 5.5 feet?

  11. “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”

    Anthony the Great

  12. Who politicized face masks?

    At the beginning, when people started wearing them without waiting for a go-ahead, the left, and it’s government minions started shrieking that you shouldn’t do it and anyone who did was taking them from the first responders and healthcare workers.

    And the shrieking karens massed.

    Then, the subject went questionable. Should we? shouldn’t we?

    And then, it was okay, and the shrieking karens flipped and massed.

    Then people started protesting and rioting. With and without masks. And some ‘hey, what about this?’ And they were literally told, ‘THIS is okay–but it’s NOT okay for you….unless you’re protesting or rioting’.

    And, like it or not, that revealed the whole thing as a farce.

    When people talk about things becoming politicized or polarized that usually–and often conveniently– forget what side of the political spectrum has such mantras as–

    ‘the personal is political’

    ‘everything is racist, everything is sexist, everything is problematic’

    ‘silence is violence’

    This is the left, trying to keep everyone at everyone elses throat. For any or no reason in their endless quest for power.

    1. Well put. I’m told that I have to wear a mask in certain situations. If I don’t, I’m not going to be arrested or fined, how ever the business that I am patronizing will be held accountable. Our jerk of a Governor will have the business fined or shut down. That’s putting someone else’s livelihood at risk, so I wear the mask. My girlfriend is a nurse at a local college. She’s ex-Air Force and has had training in infectious diseases. She says the masks are a joke. The only good coming from them is relieving anxiety in some people. I had a Karen yell at me from her car to put on a mask yesterday. It was 93 degrees and I was cutting my lawn before a different Karen with a ruler came by and called the City on me. I won’t post what I told the Karen that was yelling at me. At work if I am outside my office I have to wear a mask. As I told the Safety guy, I will comply because the company made the rule, but, don’t insult my intelligence by trying make me believe that they work.

      1. hliii

      2. I had a Karen yell at me from her car to put on a mask yesterday. It was 93 degrees and I was cutting my lawn

        Are you fucking kidding me? What is wrong with people.

        I have yet to be scolded by anyone for not having a mask. And I don’t use one anywhere except at work because they say I must and they pay me to do what they ask of me, so I do it.

      3. That’s a choice by the governor “that might kill other people”

  13. Nick Cordero died yesterday of COVID complications. He was 41. I wonder if he had any underlying comorbidities. Given that he was an actor, it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a history of drug use, but that is pure speculation on my part.

    1. AFAIK, he was healthy and in good shape.

      1. Right but you’re a retard and almost completely uninformed.

    2. Well, that proves it. If you are 41 and named Nick, you will definitely die of the ‘Rona.

    3. I’m going with septicemia. From NYT Obit:

      For weeks, he was kept alive with extensive treatment, including the use of a ventilator, dialysis and a specialized heart-lung bypass machine; he endured brief heart stoppage, minor heart attacks and sepsis, Ms. Kloots said, as well as the leg amputation and a tracheotomy.

      1. What was he originally admitted for? Because, whatever it was, it sounds like a nosocomial infection that went septic is what ended up killing him.

        Hospitals are dangerous.

      2. In that case, I’m guessing he had a cold, was suspected of Covid-19, hospitalized, and then the doctors killed him with treatments.

  14. There were three distinct mask ads on this web page while I read this article. The ad server must “think” that libertarians might want to buy some masks. Or, it is trying to convert them to the “package deal”. If a libertarian buys a mask from one of the ads on this page, it is only a matter of time before they are test driving an all-electric car with a latte cup holder.

  15. Libertarians and others who haven’t turned life into a political package deal may need to serve as translators and peacemakers for countrymen who have lost the ability to talk to one another.

    Ever see someone try to break up a fight? It usually doesn’t work out too well, typically you just end up getting beaten by both sides, especially if it’s a mob or gang fight with multiple people on both sides.

    Also, the one thing that progs and right-wingers can still agree on is that libertarians are the worst because we steadfastly refuse to pick a side. The only option left at this point is to just sit back and watch the world burn and hope the fire doesn’t consume you and yours. Though it probably will, unfortunately.

    1. But you can’t sit back and watch the world burn, because it WILL eventually consume you and yours and when it does, if you try to put out the fire (or at least keep it at bay) the system will pour gasoline on you. We’ve seen countless examples of people trying to quietly go about their day and when the ‘burning’ gets to their doorstop, they’re castigated in the media and even charged with crimes when they try to stop it.

      1. But you can’t sit back and watch the world burn, because it WILL eventually consume you and yours

        I don’t disagree, I just don’t see a whole lot of options. Like I said above in my “Ever see someone try to break up a fight?” analogy, trying to play the peacemaker usually doesn’t work out too well for whoever is foolish enough to get in the middle of a bunch of squabbling imbeciles. Sometimes the only option, at least in the short term is to try and go about your business and hope no one notices the guy who’s not participating in their little shit flinging contest.

        I figure at the very least it may be better for my own sanity to just go back to being apolitical and just stop caring about any of it. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, and sometimes its best to just disengage completely from an untenable situation.

    2. Never engage in close combat when ranged weapons are available.

  16. Or

    Partisanship is part of a larger cultural divide. It isn’t the political parties that are driving this. They are being carried along by the currents as well.

    There are people who define themselves by their sexual preferences or their gender concepts. Political parties are just a tool.

    1. The QAnon Karen who trashed the mask display at a scottdale, ariz. target didn’t mention anything personal at all (other than her $40k rolex), she only mentioned that QAnon and Trump had sent her.

      She had a platform for a moment, but didn’t advance any cause. Except QAnon and Trump.

      https://www.newsweek.com/arizona-woman-destroys-target-mask-display-viral-tirade-1515525

      1. Which is weird, because her social media is pro BLM and her friends are leftists

        1. False flag operations, even ham-handed ones, aren’t that weird.

    2. Or are the activists used by the parties as tools? I suspect it goes both ways to some degree.
      I blame social media. Before that the crazy po-mo activist types could just screech at each other and hold the occasional public demonstration. Now the whole world gets sucked into their insane bullshit.

  17. One thing about masks. If Corona is as contagious and deadly as some people want us to believe, where are the Hazardous Waste containers for the used masks? Where are the instructions on how to clean re-usable masks? Last but not least don’t the masks with the flapper valve defeat the whole purpose? I can pull the front of my T-shirt up over my mouth and nose and be in compliance. Give that some thought.

    1. >>and be in compliance

      I wore a Boba Fett helmet to Kroger nobody said a thing.

    2. Are you having trouble cleaning your mask? A search will turn up a lot of hits.

      Hospitals do dispose of ppe as hazardous waste. For personal use, it is probably okay just to rotate your mask use and set the dirty one aside for the virus stuff to die. If you really need a home hazardous waster container, a search will reveal lots of sources.

    3. 1) You don’t need hazardous waste containers for masks for the same reasons we don’t use them for used tissues.

      2) Instructions on how to clear re-usable masks are available online.

      3) Pulling your shirt over your mouth and nose is certainly better than doing nothing.

      1. Unless you have really bad BO.

    4. Yeah, the CDC has been answering your questions since early April.

      Throw away disposable masks.
      Wash re-usable masks with soap and water. Your washing machine is fine.
      Yes, flapper values defeat the whole purpose. They’re no different (for this purpose) then people who wear this mask around their neck and refuse to wear them properly.

      And yes, the mask rules were written to make compliance easy. Most people aren’t going to maliciously comply, and will make good-faith efforts to meet the intent.

      “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” and all that jazz.

  18. The trouble with the masks is that they assume it’s a good thing to avoid spreading this virus among the general public. In reality, the numbers being where they are now (and have been for months), it would be better to deliberately spread this virus more quickly to more of the general public.

    This virus has the characteristics of a vaccine — a vaccine that would be acceptable by the standards of the last century but would come with a warning to not administer it to persons with certain conditions. It’s very unlikely that we’ll get a better vaccine for SARS-CoV2 than the virus itself in time for it to matter. Meanwhile we do not need to flatten the curve any more than has been achieved, although it’s possible that here and there in this vast world we may temporarily want to reimpose epidemic emergency conditions due to a local concentration of hospital cases.

    This is not political, this is my scientific assessment.

    1. Yes, this. What the fuck do people think we are accomplishing with the masks? The only way through the epidemic is when enough people get it that it stops spreading. That’s how it’s going to end. Why are we trying to make it last longer than it has to? Can someone who thinks wearing masks is something everyone should do please explain this to me? What do you think the goal of mask wearing is, and when does it end? Why don’t we want the epidemic to run its course as soon as possible? It’s going to suck if this is still around come winter.

      1. A scenario in which herd immunity is achieved by simply letting people die is one in which you have a pretty decent chance of dying. I don’t think you understand the numbers here. But since we’re apparently not willing to do any active measures anymore, you’ll find out.

        1. I don’t think that’s really true. My chance of dying if I become infected is probably around 1 in 10,000. I think that’s a pretty acceptable risk. I take a much more significant risk every day driving to work. And I regularly chose to take larger risks just for fun.
          And with the kind of masks people are commonly using and the way they are using them, the masks likely only provide a small amount of protection.

          It’s not like there’s a choice. People are going to die sooner or later. And the longer it lasts as a serious epidemic, the more chance the very vulnerable population will have of being infected.
          How else are we going to achieve herd immunity besides letting people get infected (I hope we can keep too many people from dying by keeping it out of hospitals and nursing homes).

          1. “People are going to die sooner or later” so why do anything? Why protect individual liberty? Have you really lost this argument so badly that you’re resorting to nihilism?

            One out of 2,500 Americans have died of COVID. When does it become a problem?

            1. Everybody knows it’s a problem dumbass. How to properly handle it in a way that does the least overall harm is debatable.

            2. One out of 2,500 Americans

              So its an infinitesimal risk glad you finally got smart.

            3. People are going to die of Covid-19 sooner or later, dipshit. Social distance and masks don’t stop it, just slow it down. The point was supposed to be to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. It was never supposed to stop people from getting it forever.

              And who said it isn’t a problem? Some problems you just have to learn to live with. There are much bigger problems that we already live with.

            4. And at least 45% of those were 80+ years old anyway. The vast majority of the rest had underlying co-morbidities.

              And yet you insist on using your preciouuuuus governmentsessss and its jackboots to solve a problem best solved by requesting those who are vulnerable to self-isolate. Are you that stupid?

            5. thats some pretty fancy math you got there

            6. That number would be a lot lower of Cuomo and pals hadn’t purposefully killed off their elderly.

        2. A scenario in which herd immunity is achieved by simply letting people die is one in which you have a pretty decent chance of dying

          1) wrong

          2) masks do nothing to change anything there fuckwit

      2. The goal of masks is to signal submission, and label it a virtue

        1. Not everything under the goddamn sun is about your masculinity issues.

          1. OK, can someone who thinks masks are necessary and good who isn’t Tony and will give me an honest and non-bitchy response answer my questions?

            1. I’ll give it a shot, Zeb. Masks do a decent job of preventing someone who has Covid from spreading it to others. They are not a perfect solution, everyone (I think, maybe not Tony) knows that, but they do prevent some level of aerosol particles from leaving by exhalation, coughing, sneezing, etc.

              OK, now consider that the number of asymptomatic cases is actually pretty large, possibly greater than 50%. So unless you have tested positive and/or recovered, how can you know if you *don’t* have Covid? Therefore, the decision has been made by people in charge that the the best thing to do is require that we all wear a mask if the goal is to cut down the spread. I think that is what’s driving the government to declare that masks must be worn in public indoor areas.

              Now, the side dosing of getting to tell people what to do is icing on the authoritarian cake, but I do think the primary reason for requiring a mask is the asymptomatic cases.

              1. Thanks. But I still want to know what’s the end game? Is it just wear masks until there is a vaccine? I just don’t think that’s realistic. There is no good reason to assume there will be an effective vaccine anytime soon. Or any time at all. And if that’s not the intent, then what? Wear masks forever?
                We can’t avoid infection forever. So why prolong it? Or why require people to act to prolong it, at least. If people want to try to avoid infection then they absolutely should. But you can’t demand that everyone help you in that quest.

                1. The end game is what I said: fetishizing obedience to experts and making it a condition of social interaction.
                  The medical justification, which i think is what you’re looking for, is pretty clearly not thought through and constantly changing.
                  The initial “goal” was to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the hospital system. Society was shut down and millions of lives were destroyed, field hospitals and hospital ships were deployed, medical visits were postponed and old people were forced to die in isolation… and medical facilities were never close to being overwhelmed and the curve eventually flattened.
                  That was months ago. “Fourteen days to flatten the curve” they said, in March.
                  But then we stayed locked down. Arbitrary rules and enforcement were added. The way statistics were compiled was changed.
                  “We just need more testing” they said, in April. So millions were tested. Yet we stayed closed.
                  Now they report cases, but not deaths. Masks were good, then bad, then ok, then mandatory. Only a N95 mask was worthwhile, then a surgical mask, now any scrap of cloth that somewhat covers your face. “We need a treatment! No, we need a vaccine! No, we need herd immunity!” But now we’re back to needing a vaccine.
                  Protests were bad when directed at government officials, but good when directed at cops, white people, and US history.
                  The “experts” have no goal. They barely have any idea what they’re doing.
                  They are just making it up as they go along…

                2. Why is it unrealistic to wear masks for the next year?

                  1. Because people aren’t going to do it. No one uses masks in a way that is effective. Most people won’t tolerate it. If you can breathe comfortably and you scratch your nose every 10 minutes, the mask isn’t doing much. Especially if it’s a single layer of thin knit material, which is what most people seem to be using at this point.

                    And finally, the question no one wants to answer: why do we want this to last longer?

                  2. Who the fuck even cares if it’s realistic or not, boot licker?

            2. The biggest issue I see with masks around here is that a lot of people seem to think that wearing one is a license to not do all the other things that make sense too, like social distancing, washing, etc. In fact, wearing a mask and getting right up in someones face who isn’t wearing one and yelling at them for it (possibly exposing them to Covid) is a “choice that might kill other people”.

            3. Where I’ve asked elsewhere, the response is that it’s a matter of stalling, buying time during which a better treatment or vaccine might be developed. Of course discovering a better treatment requires people to get sick, so treatments can be tested; it’s not likely that the mere passage of time will give scientists a chance to think of something. And experience says that a vaccine safe and effective enough to be worthwhile is unlikely to be demonstrated in time for it to matter. The rejoinder is that tech is better today, they’ll come up with one faster.

              1. Maybe it’s like when you cryogenically freeze someone so they can be unfrozen in the future after a cure for whatever ails them has been invented.
                Except without the freezing part

          2. “”Not everything under the goddamn sun is about your masculinity issues.””

            Says the guy obsessed with Trump’s dick.

        2. word. the New Sharia.

      3. Can someone who thinks wearing masks is something everyone should do please explain this to me?

        I don’t think that – but I’ll try to explain why I do think it can be situationally mandatory. eg supermarkets are a high-risk work environment for those minimum wage flunkies in the checkout area who don’t have the choice to work from home. Nor do they have the assets to self-isolate for much time. Or find a high-income job where they can work from home. Nor will their employer give a rat’s shit about doing anything for them beyond what every other employer of minimum wage talent does for that level. And in supermarkets case – not enough profit margin to do anything above and beyond anyway. And in the case of all diseases/treatment in this country – and everywhere else on Earth (v this is all just like Tummytuck, Libertopia) the costs of said treatment fall on everyone else via insurance or taxes or whatever.

        IOW – this is a life-or-death workplace issue that CAN NOT be solved at the individual workplace level. That affects those least able to solve the problem for themselves at the individual level. It can however be solved by some sort of local mandate. The particulars may vary but some combo of those employees wearing masks, customers wearing masks, sanitizing those surfaces where they meet, etc.

        And yes, in a country that is not the US, there is a value in keeping the disease prevalence at any point in time below current medical capacity to treat the disease; to give a window for those with reversible comorbidities (obesity, hypertension, etc) to – you know – reverse those and lower their own personal risk, etc. Neither of those two of course are remotely comprehensible (or acceptable) to those who think tribe is everything – which is sadly pretty much the entire US – but they are reality in a world where people take off their tribal glasses.

      4. Because when you are in a crowd of strangers, you have no idea who among that group is in a high-risk category vs. who is not. It is simple courtesy to take a small measure to inhibit the spread of the disease. Just like with covering your mouth when you sneeze, under normal circumstances. You don’t want to make a mess and you don’t want to unintentionally make some stranger sick. That’s all.

        1. Keep your fatass home if you’re high risk

        2. How about I just cover my mouth when I sneeze and not go out if I’m sick? You know, like we’ve always done with things like this in the past.

          1. How about I just cover my mouth when I sneeze and not go out if I’m sick?

            Covid is infectious BEFORE symptoms appear. There is a lack of evidence about whether asymptomatics (people who will never show symptoms) spread the virus. But very strong evidence that presymptomatics spread it easily. And the sort of productive cough (just clearing the throat or lungs of phlegm/dust/etc) that everyone has is more likely to be harmful than the somewhat unique cough that is a symptom of covid.

            By the time you are ‘sick’, the most likely people you are going to infect are people who don’t have much choice to quickly distance themselves from you (family, friends, workplace, medical).

  19. This politicization of non-political things bothers me.
    Every time there’s a new story of a police killing, I hope that it won’t become a question of your politics that determines which side you come down on. But sadly, that is almost always the case.

    I do see the Coronavirus dividing people who are generally conservative in almost every respect. However, whether they think it’s total hokum, or they are deathly afraid, I’ve found people generally able to come to terms and get along.

    1. The Communist Chinese Virus divides no one; the responses of the political elite divide everyone.

      Welcome to the revolution.

    2. Also, it annoys me the things that people divide into these categories:
      Liberal: recycling, smaller vehicles, soccer (or olympics and other international sports), commuting to work on a bike, espresso, grad school
      Conservative: football, hunting, marriage, trucks, having a bigger house, dumb sitcoms
      It’s not that I’m going to change the way I live, it just bothers me the look that I get from the other side when I mention these things.

      1. That should read “Conservative: anti-marriage”. They fought awful hard, for decades, to keep people from marrying.

        1. I’m talking about lifestyle, not political positions, bro.

          Among the conservatives and liberals you know, which are more likely to marry, and which are more likely to perpetually date?

          Progressives really wanted the government to extend marriage protections to everyone (starting in, say, 2010), but don’t seem to value it for themselves that much.

  20. A lot of this is not about any direct causal connection between esthetics and politics, but of both being co-results of some other cause. Urban vs. suburban vs. rural is a huge determiner of both esthetics and politics. So are age and ethnicity or race.

    I can even explain lattes. Making them requires such equipment and time that people aren’t going to be making them at home much, but going out to special serving establishments to consume them. So they skew toward urbanity and disposable income, which factors also have a political skew.

    Racial and ethnic stereotypes exist for a reason: they’re true. For some reason tastes in such things as adult consumption of imitation grape soda or menthol cigarets persist culturally among black Americans, and they tend to sound like southern crackers who happen to have dark skin; they vote Democratic because, historically, the Republicans pushed them out. They skew urban to such a degree that “urban” is a euphemism for their race.

  21. Get people back to work or school. That will solve a lot of this nonsense bickering. Locking up a bunch of people (especially the yutes) is a recipe for disaster.

  22. All conservatives want is total domination over all other humans and no expectation that they’ll have to take responsibility for any harm that comes. Is that so much to ask?

    1. Tony nails the leftist confession

    2. Yeah. The first step on the path to total domination is to encourage people to defy social pressure and government mandates to do things you think are silly.

      1. I don’t give a rat’s crap if you think taking non-intrusive hygeine measures to protect other people from dying is “silly.”

        If you would just stop being so stubborn about it, nobody would need to contemplate any mandates.

        1. Wait, what? That’s not at all what Zeb said.

        2. “”If you would just stop being so stubborn about it, nobody would need to contemplate any mandates.””

          Now that’s some funny shit.

        3. Damn dude you just said “do what i want or ill send guys with guns” lolol

          1. A perfectly understandable argument for you if we’re talking about trespassers on your property. And they don’t even have to be harming you in any real way before you send the goons with guns. Just setting foot on some grass.

            We’re back to a central blind spot with libertarianism: you only think things are harmful if they are initiated by human agents acting deliberately. But there’s absolutely no rational reason we should only care about that one specific type of harm, is there?

            1. That’s dumb, Tony. Of course things are harmful that aren’t caused by human agents. Like this virus, for example. Or floods or tornados or plagues of locusts. You just can’t demand that everyone take on the burden of attempting to protect you from those things. Acts of God or acts of nature has been a legal concept for a long, long time.

              1. And they are things whose harms we spend enormous amounts of money to mitigate, and rightly so. Would you rather live in a time before we had organized responses to hurricanes?

                1. How many hurricanes have hit the US in the last 100 years vs. how many pandemics?

                  Which one do you think we have enough experience with to make intelligent decisions about?

                  1. Well, there’s no such thing as not making a decision, so we better hope we’re OK at both.

            2. we get it you like threats and violence when people laugh at your hysteria fat boy

    3. “”All conservatives want is total domination over all other humans””

      I didn’t know Cuomo and De Blasio were conservatives.

    4. Again with your fucking obsession over conservatives. Show us on the doll where the nasty conservative touched you.

      Then fuck off to the National Review or some such rag where actual, you know, *conservatives* congregate.

  23. Those of us still willing to break bread or play games with people who think differently may be the best hope for the troubled world in which we live.

    One possible outcome. The various top-down powers-that-be that have been shaping this country into their tribalist overly-politicized manipulated ‘utopia’ lose credibility as the tribal elites all prove themselves incompetent. And into that vacuum step people who remember how it is possible – in a land and time far far away from here – to interact with other humans without first demanding from them the appropriate secret handshake of the tribe.

  24. I don’t think these cultural differences would matter so much if our system didn’t, for completely arbitrary reasons at best, for ugly racist reasons mostly, give the cultural special ed class outsize power over the rules we all have to live by. The senate, electoral college, etc.: it all says that the salt-of-the-earth country people get more votes than people who live in cities. And it’s not because they’re smarter and wiser.

    1. give the cultural special ed class outsize power over the rules we all have to live by.

      and now you’re upset because you have power lolol

    2. Everything is so terrible and unfair.

      1. So wear your mask and shut up.

        1. Fuck you and your jackboots, cretin.

    3. It’s so terrible that the the electoral system works the way it was designed to work! If only all the stupid people came around to your way of thinking… then everything would be great.

      1. The EC was designed for at least three reasons: to give slaveholders more votes, to prevent political parties from developing, and to prevent the election of a president like Trump. One is moot and two are failures. Jefferson would not endorse the EC today because it didn’t work, and that’s why it’s never brought up when designing election systems in emerging democracies.

        1. As usual Tony doesn’t have a fucking clue what he’s talking about. The Electoral College is there to ensure that someone who has very strong regional support but little to no national support doesn’t become President.

  25. People who refuse to wear masks indoors in public places are stupid selfish whiny babies.

    People who complain about non-mask wearers outdoors where it is easy to social distance are annoying virtue signalers.

    The whiny babies are more dangerous to other people than the annoying virtue signalers in this day and age when asymptomatic spitters can transmit Covid.

    1. Bend the knee virtue signaler

    2. ‘stupid selfish whiny babies’

      Ignoring for the moment the childish name calling, do you really not understand why some people push back against rules like this? Really?

  26. The book “The Big Sort” is about this :

    http://www.thebigsort.com/home.php

    Armed with original and startling demographic data, he showed how Americans have been sorting themselves over the past three decades into homogeneous communities — not at the regional level, or the red-state/blue-state level, but at the micro level of city and neighborhood.

  27. The personal is the political and the political is the personal. It’s the golden rule of leftist radicals, who have control of our universities and the news media. It’s also what the Marxists said when they won the civil war against the White Russians.

  28. Why does the citizenry of the US tolerate the charade from both political parties? We all know the media has favored a version of Socialism at least for the last few decades unfortunately. Physics, biology, and mathematics apparently aren’t being taught anywhere in the US for a long time? The mask and testing issues are easily understood,yet the experts tend to stray from the science and go into the political discussion which is not productive. We still need to conduct much more testing, tracing, and quarantining ALL travelers even within the US and discuss daily the progress on treatments that work and and update on all promising vaccines in the development pipelines of the companies that have shown scientific success! If we are given POSITIVE news from the science community tempered with behavior we should use to stay uninfected the opening of businesses could follow those paths toward successful containment of the virus until a vaccine can be widely distributed. We just need the leadership of cdc,who, and all governments to get on board with a positive message and encourage everyone to be responsible for each other by wearing a mask and practicing distancing and good hygiene until this page in world history can be turned.

    1. No, you need to pay attention and stop living in and spreading fear of a fucking mild flu

  29. I don’t remember the country being in quite so precarious a spot. This really is quite extraordinary. Extreme political division, a global pandemic, mass unemployment, and literally riots in the streets of our major cities. You know, I would like to read more about how Libertarians can be peacemakers. That is what Tuccille concluded with. It is a good place to start. How can we be good peacemakers?

    How does a Libertarian try to bridge the gap in thinking and ideology between themselves and conservatives/liberals? I work with lots of libs, and go to shul (well, I used to go to shul, not anymore) with boatloads of uberlibs. I always found that peacemaking came from finding a human commonality. Case in point, we all have relatives who die. Sometimes peacemaking comes about from talking about similar experiences of pain, and loss. Or it could be something as mundane as doing yardwork, and talking about your lawn care routine.

    Really hope we can find a way to make peace. The alternative really does not bear contemplation, does it?

    1. That’s a good question.
      I’ve found that relating with people on an emotional level is a good first step, especially when they are not in a rational state of mind.
      For example:
      “Wow yeah. When you see pictures of children in cages it makes you feel incredibly sad that people are treated so inhumanely. That makes me sad too.”
      “Man, that’s terrible that people feel unsafe around police. I can’t imagine being terrified of any interaction with them ending with death. Tell me more about that.”

      Relating to someone on an emotional level does not force you to take any policy positions regarding the policy at hand. With the above issues, I’d probably draw very different conclusions than the person I’m talking to. But, denying the emotion of the moment doesn’t help, and it makes me seem completely disconnected from the issue.
      Seek first to understand, then come to terms (that is, find common ground).
      I’d be interested to hear others responses to your question as well. There are certainly times that it is not appropriate for sure.

    2. I agree with your assessment of the state of the country today. And at some level I agree with your sentiment about bridging the gap / making peace. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that I once did. But at some point, differences are irreconcilable. Like a couple who stays together in a broken marriage too long, trying to make it work, despite the futility. Remembering the old days, which will never come again. I see no possibility of reconciliation between the groups of Americans who hate each other. The only options I see are continued hostility, a proper divorce, or maybe everyone just gets old and the next generation (not yet born) hates each other a little less. My vote is for divorce, but I know of no mechanism to make that happen.

      1. “My vote is for divorce, but I know of no mechanism to make that happen.”

        Minding one’s own business? Agree to disagree? Good ideas float to the top, bad ideas sink? Oh wait, I’m assuming people have been educated properly in how our republic functions.

        1. ‘Minding one’s own business? Agree to disagree? Good ideas float to the top, bad ideas sink?’

          These are of course excellent ideas. It’s just not how America works these days. It is an increasingly minority view, and we are farther from this vision with each passing week.

      2. “Divorce” can’t happen, because it’s cities vs. rural. Cities literally need rural areas for things like power, food and water. And when you look at where tax money is collected from and where it’s spent, it’s pretty obvious that rural places literally need cities to stay in the 21st century.

        So can’t happen. The best we can hope for is a better division of rights and responsibilities. But doing so would involve Texas letting Austin being weird, and California letting the high desert be blatantly racist as fuck. So it’s not likely to happen.

        1. Yea, totes not a progressive piece of trash perspective you have

    3. How does a Libertarian try to bridge the gap in thinking and ideology between themselves and conservatives/liberals? I work with lots of libs, and go to shul (well, I used to go to shul, not anymore) with boatloads of uberlibs. I always found that peacemaking came from finding a human commonality.

      I’m not sure it is possible anymore with Dems or Reps. It’s certainly still possible to ignore politics/ideology/etc – Grandma’s advice of don’t talk politics, religion, or sex. But once the discussion starts on that path, the landmines are just all over the place. Not only is there an issue of the ideology. There is the near universal notion among them that the entire world is composed of DeRp perspective. Nothing else can possibly exist. And there is no interest whatsoever in even finding out whether something can possibly be non-DeRp because when hearing something that doesn’t quite fit the narrative of the world that they believe in, they immediately respond with that tribes notion of what the other tribe is. So now you become nothing but their mental strawman of the other tribe.

      It’s simply pointless. Like you talking with a dog when you don’t understand ‘bark’ and they don’t understand ‘English’. It is so easy still to converse with non-DeRps of every stripe – which would include real ndependents and non-voters. But DeRps – no. Their minds are all trapped in that tent and to them that tent is their entire world and they are happy there.

      They themselves have to decide to leave that tent. First. And fact is that that is not really happening. The rise of ‘independents’ and unaffiliateds is overwhelmingly merely a choice of the young – not a change in attitude among the older. A generational change.

      1. Early on in this, I tried a back-of-napkin age-based calc re a fatality rate by voter registration in my county. I’m in pretty much a one-party county and Dems will run everything regardless. But the IFR I came up with was 1.1% of R’s, 0.9% of D’s, 0.5% of indies, 0.3% of L’s.

        So maybe the problem gets a bit smaller with a big old-fashioned death toll. But what is actually striking is that D’s (46% of registrations) and R’s (12%) were much closer to each other than either was to indies (40%).

        To the degree that there is truth in the notion that the older we are the less we are likely to change/adapt/learn, then maybe there is value to the notion of just stop even trying to talk politics with the DeRps (if you’re not already one).

    4. It has to begin with a humanist approach to libertarian thought. One that is centered on respect for the dignity and self-worth of every individual.

      1. One that is centered on respect for the dignity and self-worth of every individual.

        Does that “dignity and self-wroth of every individual” include “died because they were too poor for [food/medicine/house/private guards/etc.]? Because Libertarians/libertarians have never been shy on finding poor people dying in the streets to be an acceptable cost.

        1. Why are you here?

          1. Because he’s a passive aggressive bitch who likes to pretend to himself that he’s not just a hive minded progressive

        2. Right, because libertarians never give to charity or help anyone out who is in need.

          1. Do they actually give to charity? You people say this a lot, as if charity were a sufficient replacement for a social safety net, which is absurd, but you only merely claim that you’re generous. You seem like the biggest selfish cunts in the world to me. And it seemed that way long before you started arguing that you shouldn’t have to take basic hygiene precautions to protect other people from death and disability because you don’t like the minor chafing you get on your face.

            1. Why do you spend so much time discussing politics with selfish cunts?
              If you’re not willing to understand libertarian thinking on social safety nets, why are you here?

              1. Is it something more complicated than “we don’t need safety nets because charity will take care of the needy”?

                I don’t think it’s frivolous to ask if the premise, that libertarians are especially given to charity, is true, considering the premium libertarianism places on selfishness.

                I could go on and explain that safety nets are different programs in kind from charity, that wise rich charity givers can never have a complete picture of the needs of their society, and that nobody wants to be dependent on the kindness (and whims) of strangers anyway, but let’s start with the premise.

            2. Even though tonee knows the neo-progressive COVID numbers are fudged, faked, and “doctored,” she chooses to rely on the fakers and fear-mongers and morally posture as a resentful victim of the genuinely woke portion of humanity that “gets” the correct read of the hard scientific data and acts in a sensible manner.

              “I CAN’T BREATHE!”
              Take off the muzzle, you are not a dog.

              1. Which authorities should I listen to instead of the CDC and WHO and doctors and nurses? Which TV entertainer or internet blogger is more reliable than they? Name names for god’s sake. You guys never do that.

                1. You guys? Really?

    5. The left is 100% psychotic.
      This isn’t a “both sidez!” situation.
      The right has their issues, but they’re rational actors.
      You cannot reason or compromise with a psychotic.
      You have to let them implode and die off, or quarantine some and put down the rest.
      This isn’t about fucking disagreement – it’s about the fundamental will to self destruction of a segment of the population, and their insistence on bringing the world down with them.
      Feel free to try to reach individuals, but if they’re not willing to confront their psychosis it won’t do any good. And in a group, they will not tolerate reason

      1. It probably makes sense to you to think that considering you get all your information about the world from Laura Ingraham’s screeching.

        1. Put down the crack pipe, Tony.

  30. My dad, 81, immigrant, started with nothing and made a fortune on real estate, and spent his working years taking on the IRS. He never once cut a check for his workers, always paid under the table. Retired at age 50 to florida, today he can’t walk into a room or start a conversation without announcing he’s a socialist. His perceptions of what a villainous country he sees America as is deflating. This isn’t an issue for the young. But perhaps my dad’s sickness is connected to the same godless world youth live in
    today. I’m not religious, but in my dad’s case I noticed his radical shift came about when he started having serious doubts in God and his catholic faith. He also retired very early and has spent most of his free time watching TV. Is there a connection to lack of faith in God and watching TV which has created these radicals?

    1. Andy, I think it’s watching TV, or more specifically watching TV in times when you would interact with others. The partisanship gets viewers and takes the place of real community.
      I don’t think it’s related to religious belief, except perhaps if you give up a religious community in favor of TV commentators who explain the world’s problems are someone eles’s fault, and your group are the righteous ones. Religion can go either way, promoting sensible living or radicalism.

    2. Sounds like he changed religions.

  31. Cross-cutting cleavages have collapsed to form more encompassing partisan identities with little common ground between them

    nice alliteration

  32. Is this really something new? Or is someone just noticing it for the first time? “Latte drinking liberals”? I can remember when “chablis and brie” were the signifiers for upper-middle class liberals. Sometime about 35-40 years ago, the Illinois legislature modestly increased taxes on alcoholic beverages; because the increase on beer was slightly more than the increase on distilled spirits(on a percentage basis, mind you), some claimed the increase hit Democrats harder than Republicans as it was assumed that Democrats were beer drinkers while Republicans were whiskey drinkers. That was something I never saw any evidence of, but the Democrats in the legislature felt pressure to equalize the tax increases.

  33. I can’t believe this is real. People used to be upset over issues: Taxes, US military actions, gov’t-funded social programs. Now it’s about nothing. It’s like people are lonely and desperate, and lacking groups like a church or civic/professional groups, they find a substitute for community in this nonsense.

    I’m amazed how some of the comments rightly point out how the political parties change sides on issues, and then go on to say it shows how one political party is evil. It seems like if you’re smart enough to see how the sides change, you should be smart enough not to buy into this partisanship that works for getting elected or getting clicks but makes no logical sense.

    1. It’s like people are lonely and desperate, and lacking groups like a church or civic/professional groups, they find a substitute for community in this nonsense.

      Damn, I’ve been enlightened. No sarcasm, you have an excellent point. Toss in a piss-poor education, and you wind up with a rudderless population.

  34. BTW – I saw someone post on facebook about how the world is really nearing an end (this time), and we need to all come to Jesus or it’s really over (this time). Jesus may have had some good things to say, but I guess this person never read about/heard about/watched any sort of documentary about WW2.

    Get a fucking grip. The world didn’t end during or after WW2 and this is child’s play compared to that.

  35. It’s like people are lonely and desperate, and lacking groups like a church or civic/professional groups, they find a substitute for community in this nonsense.

    Damn, I’ve been enlightened. No sarcasm, you have an excellent point. Toss in a piss-poor education, and you wind up with a rudderless population.

    1. Agh. Response intended for CircuitGuy.

  36. Shit, the Personal is the Political has been the rallying cry of the progressives since 1970s. Has this guy been living in an abandoned bomb shelter?

  37. As a liberal, I get my daily news from Huffpost, Slate, Dailybeast, as well as Reason. But I was surprised when I finally started looking at the DailyCaller and Freebeacon that they weren’t as nuts as I thought they might be. They didn’t seem anymore outrageous than any other opinion site on the Left.
    Also look at National Review and Mother Jones.

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  41. Wear a mask, or you will be reported to Mask Police for questioning.
    Then you will be interrogated by the Thought Police for failure to comply with our obvious betters.
    After that, you and your family will be guests at the local gulag for a few decades to re-introduce you to the joys and wonders of blind obedience to The State.
    You peasants have been warned.

    1. 2019: “What’s the big deal? They’re only Confederate statues!”
      2020: “Is that Frederick Douglas’s head on a spike”?

  42. “What if polarization is less like a fence getting taller over time and more like an oil spill that spreads from its source to gradually taint more and more previously ‘apolitical’ attitudes, opinions, and preferences?” writes Pennsylvania State University’s Daniel DellaPosta

    Heh. He said “taint.”

  43. Tom Hanks, who reached the peak of his career with the dismal “Your Mailbox is Full,” has made a career of second- and third-rate flops.

    Tom Hanks: “Wear a mask. Wash your hands.”

    Dear Tom: Sure thing. Like in your next movie, right?

    1. Heh, I was just watching The Simpsons Movie.

      “Hi, I’m Tom Hanks. The government has lost its credibility, so it’s borrowing some of mine.”

    2. Remember when Hanks was upstaged by the Somalian guy who had no prior acting experience?

      Tom Hanks isn’t the captain anymore

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  48. I choose to not wear a mask because it’s simply not backed by empirical evidence to do so. It may have beneficial impacts but it’s not to the degree that justifies mandating them or especially to have to put up with a ninny-nanny-Karen-Todd and their scolding lectures.

    Get that finger out of my face sheep.

    Alas, superstition and stupidity always wins the day so people like me are screwed.

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  50. What’s really happened is that the lefts demands have become so insane on almost every issue, that normie centrists and right leaning people can no longer go along to get along. Their requests are too insane.

    Now the real trick is they should have done this 50 years ago and pushed back when their crazy demands were smaller. Then we wouldn’t have lost thousands of freedoms and fucked the world up as it is now.

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