The Anti-Quarantine Protesters Aren’t Rosa Parks. They’re More Like Typhoid Mary.Roundup
tags: conservatism, COVID-19
Max Boot, a Post columnist, is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a global affairs analyst for CNN. He is the author of “The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam," a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in biography.
One of the dangers of contracting covid-19 is a cytokine storm. That’s when your immune system overreacts to an infection and attacks healthy cells and tissues, with potentially fatal consequences. We are running a similar risk with our body politic. The same ideologies — freedom, federalism and free markets — that have enabled America’s rise may bring us down if they are carried too far during a deadly pandemic.
The danger is exacerbated by the right-wing crackpots who are protesting social distancing rules in states such as California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Texas and Michigan. They seek to exploit the American sympathy for freedom fighters dating all the way back to the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Trump adviser Stephen Moore even has the gall to call them “modern-day Rosa Parks” — as if the civil rights icon fought for the right to infect other people. Typhoid Mary would be a more apt comparison.
President Trump expressed his support for the demonstrations by tweeting “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and other states. Fox News’s Laura Ingraham demanded: “How many of those who urged our govt to help liberate the Iraqis, Syrians, Kurds, Afghanis, etc., are as committed now to liberating Virginia, Minnesota, California, etc?” This is deranged. Trump and Ingraham are misapplying the American impulse to fight for freedom in a situation where it does not belong. Saddam Hussein is not the governor of Michigan — and no Americans need “liberation” from public health guidelines issued by elected leaders.
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