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At 10:28 am on September 11, 2001, the first of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center tumbled to the ground. Collectively, Americans stood in unison and cried, oh freedom. Weeks later George W. Bush stood on the pitcher's mound at Yankee Stadium and threw a ceremonial strike to usher in baseball’s World Series, simultaneously, he thought, sending a signal to Saddam Hussein that America’s fastball was back. History has proven that Mr. Bush was horribly wrong and we are still paying for his mistake. It took a while for the Democratic Party to come around and decry the freedom war chants, while Republicans doubled down. The absurdity reached such a point that the country abandoned the freedom that it screamed for, in the guise of the Patriot Act, loosening the privacy of our phone records, banking information, and credit histories.

Those same forces who were willing to turn over the Constitution to avenge the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the name of oh Freedom are refusing to wear a mask with the death toll from the coronavirus approximately 90 times higher. Just like the decisions in the aftermath of 9/11 wearing or not wearing masks has become a partisan statement. Republicans, in large numbers mock, deride, and cry…oh Freedom when asked to cover their noses and mouths to save themselves and their loved ones. I am not saying everyone objects out of political spite, but in some cases it is obvious.

South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem…  

In August South Dakota’s three largest hospital systems were imploring the citizenry to wear masks. Noem took the opportunity to undermine doctors and science, using anti-masking as a fundraising pitch in her campaign literature. Surely things would change after hosting a potential super-spreaders event, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Even after the recent rise in cases a Noem spokesperson continues to say, “The facts are simple: mask mandates, harsh lockdowns, massive testing, and contact tracing haven’t worked – in the United States or abroad,” said Policy director Maggie Seidel. This despite neighboring North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum acknowledging the need by saying, “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it.” England reported a 30% reduction in cases after a second lockdown.

The witting death cult that Trump supporters are participating in is not restricted to just his followers, we are all in danger. With the virus infecting his immediate circle of family and aides at the White House one would think that would serve as a warning to Mr. Trump’s followers. Nonetheless, it seems to have given them more resolve to sacrifice their lives.

All freedoms come with a cost, the freedom of driving a car requires seat belts.  The freedom to watch a movie in a crowded theater requires that you do not yell fire. Even lighting up a cigar or cigarette is restricted in restaurants, planes, and stores. Only one of those restrictions was around when I was a kid. I have the dent in my nose to prove it from not wearing a seat belt and having my face slammed against a dashboard. I wish I had coined the phrase “ no man is an island.”  We must work together to solve the pandemic, there are no blue Covids or red Covids.

Georgians, Vote for Change  

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