Since I haven’t prefaced a column with song lyrics in quite some time, at least for today, let’s revive that old opinion column tradition. Though in this case, I’m only gonna apply the applicable passages:
There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
A-tellin’ me I got to beware
There’s battle lines being drawn
And nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speakin’ their minds
A-gettin’ so much resistance from behind
What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singin’ songs and a-carryin’ signs
Mostly say “Hooray for our side”
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line
The man come and take you away
Had you told me that Buffalo Springfield song would be more relevant now than when I first heard it back in 1967, I would’ve encouraged your significant other to lock up the liquor cabinet. So much for the evolution of the species because here we are!
In all my 62 years on this planet, I’ve never lived through a time where polarization reigns so supreme and facts matter less, and that includes “enjoying” a front row seat to those 1968 festivities.
But before we continue, given some recent social media commentary, let’s review some basic journalistic standards that some folks somehow completely fail to grasp. My regular readers – the ones who read newspapers back when they were newspapers – know that:
- I will not name a source simply because you believe you’re entitled to it.
- I may allude to insider information to make a point, but I will not share my hard-earned professional work here simply because you think I should!
- I am neither a Trump supporter nor a progressive.
- Despite being an opinion columnist, I generally deal in facts and evidence, and the fact that you may not believe me is wholly immaterial to the “conversation.”
With that out of the way, let’s finally get to today’s point and that point is I’m so perturbed with both ends of the political spectrum that I want to bang my head against a brick wall for at least an hour just to make the pain stop!
And that’s particularly true of the preposterous preponderance of bi-partisan pandemic pandering that’s turned a demonstrably minor disease into a force majeure. And neither “side,” to quote the great Harry Chapin, has done anything “to make the folks write home!”
In fact, it’s just the opposite!
On the right, we have Campton Hills’ own Luau Coffee making the papers by publicly declaring their establishment to be a “mask free zone.” (Deep sigh, followed by another one!) What those fine folks fail to understand is, unless a business forces their hand, the Kane County powers-that-be have no intention of applying the Governor’s unconstitutional dictatorial edicts.
And I know this because I’ve made a point of knowing this, so don’t ask me how I know this!
But when a business so boldly flaunts the purported public policy it forces those powers’ hands. Now they have to take enforcement steps or they that progressive rage and all the bad press that goes along with that if they don’t.
That’s exactly what’s happening with Luau Coffee as we speak.
The problem is, when the Sheriff’s Office and Health Department are left with no choice but to publicly intervene, it emboldens the rest of those nanny-state busybodies who will increase their efforts to self-righteously seek out and report any perceived entrepreneurial COVID-19 slight.
And most businesses can’t afford a hefty fine or another closure right now.
Trust me! I understand the absurdity of the Governor’s seemingly random edicts. I also understand the irony of watching a plethora of our pandemic compatriots wearing those utterly ineffective neck gaiter, bandana, and thin cotton masks. But when wearing a mask to Meijer is such a small sacrifice, and the potential economic consequence of not wearing one is so dire, then that’s the time to go with the flow.
As Mr. Spock so eloquently put it, there are times when “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Put more simply, if the enforcers have no intention of enforcing unreasonable decrees, don’t force them to enforce them by making the enforcers look bad in the press.
That means my eminently simple advice to Luau Coffee would be to issue a public proclamation apologizing for their recent coronavirus recalcitrance as they also assert they’ll be benevolent business neighbors going forward.
Then, after that, if they choose not to enforce the mask edict, it’s between them and their customers. Local papers are so decimated these days that those editors wouldn’t even consider “wasting” a reporter on a “story” about how some customers at a coffee shop weren’t wearing masks. But if you put a large sign in your front window clearly demonstrating your rebellious intent, they will!
And those utterly unnecessary news stories make it that much more difficult for those Kane County small business who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.
It’s a pretty simple concept, so get with it!
But as bad as the right can be, at least for now, the left is so much worse. On Friday, we’ll discuss how, if progressives continue to persist in their pandering pandemic panic porn endeavors, they’ll be responsible for getting President Trump reelected.