Hypocrisy has been the name of the game for our leaders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom was found to have violated his COVID-19 guidelines and regulations by attending a private dinner celebrating a lobbyist’s birthday. Surprisingly, critics on Twitter almost unanimously condemned the governor for the blatant violation of the same excessive COVID-19 restrictions he supports, like not sitting with more than three separate households and avoiding private parties.
Early into the pandemic, Newsom stated that Californians were all in this together. Reality over the last few months has shown quite the opposite: the wealthy ruling class is allowed to play by its own rules as working and middle-class Americans suffer from social detachment and economic fallout.
Despite many believing this report is the end for Newsom, it merely follows a pattern of double standards seen since the start of the pandemic. Two weeks ago, the governor began sending his children back to private school, which was conveniently allowed to reopen under California’s absurdly strict guidelines. The same policies prevent Newsom’s very own public-school district from reopening, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting that schools have not been hotbeds of COVID-19 transmission.
The story does not end here. Newsom’s chain of hypocrisy, exceptions, and elite privilege was demonstrated months ago when he issued an executive order for 19 California counties shutting down indoor commercial businesses. Conveniently, his own winery in Napa County was not required to close. Perhaps Newsom thought it unwise to impose the devastating economic hardship seen throughout the country on his own investments. The mainstream media, content with destroying the lives of fed-up business owners, had nothing critical to say about the Democratic governor.
California, one of the most liberal states in the country, has seen some of the most blatant examples of executive overreach handed down from the governor to his subjects. Many Californians have grown tired of the elite governor’s ramblings and holier-than-thou attitude toward the people he is supposed to serve, and the backlash against Newsom’s Thanksgiving directives demonstrates a perfect example. Absurdities like a maximum of three separate households, gathering for no longer than two hours while wearing masks outside and not singing, show how our politicians are out of touch. In Congress, the House of Representatives is allowed to assemble indoors for hours for the all-important task of celebrating new members, but Americans throughout the country are being shamed for the audacity of wanting to see their families for the holidays.
Americans throughout the country are starting to defy public health guidelines even in the wake of a new wave of COVID-19 hitting the country. Who can blame them? Congress refuses to provide new forms of economic support to the country due to legislative gridlock; everyday people see politicians living mostly normal lives compared to their own isolation experiences. It is time for politicians (and most notably, Democratic politicians) to understand that a “rules for thee, not for me” attitude subverts everyday people’s willingness to listen, regardless of their arguments’ validity. Pointing to bureaucratic health experts signing off on their hypocritical behavior points out how politicians no longer treat themselves like public servants but as part of our ruling class.
Read more from Jose Backer.
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