Baa! We Don’t Know How To Be Free

by | May 19, 2021 |

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“North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper lifted the mask mandate for most indoor settings, with the exception of nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. But some restaurant owners are pushing back on his decision, saying they’re not ready.” This is according to a report by WLOS-TV in Asheville, North Carolina.

Not Ready for No Masks?

Not ready? What does it take to be “ready?” Just serve customers like you always did. Here are two factors that I suspect are the real reasons for restaurant owners to whine that they are not ready:

1  Restaurant owners and servers are now institutionalized by the government to do what they are told. “How can I seat customers and take their orders without detailed mandates from the CDC or my state Governor? I can’t figure this out for myself! I have to be told what to do!” A restaurant owner doesn’t know how to seat and serve customers unless they are wearing a mask? Really? 

2  Restaurant owners and servers have enjoyed our role as “enforcers.” We get to tell the customer what to do instead of customers telling us what they want. We have been the “Mask Nazis” empowered to speak sharply to customers. “Sir! You have to put on your mask when you stand up from your table!” The role reversal allowed restaurant servers and hosts to treat adults as children. “Wear your mask! Wipe your nose! Tuck in your shirt!” We restaurant people were given power, and we have learned to like using power over others.

It only took 323 Days

323 days to what? 323 days to train us to follow orders. People to sheeple in 323 days. Baa!

Governor Cooper first issued the mask mandate for public places (including restaurants) on June 24, 2020. He removed the mask mandate on May 13, 2021. That is less than a year: 323 days. 

In 323 days, restaurant owners forgot how to run a restaurant without masks.

In 323 days, customers became habituated to wearing masks in retail stores, grocery stores, and restaurants. I find myself halfway to the door of my grocery store before I turn back to the car. “Forgot my &%?! mask!” Can’t get in the door to buy groceries without a mask. As of last Thursday, I can forget to remember or remember to forget that dog-gone mask. Free at last!

Power Corrupts

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton

My father once observed that the less power and authority a person has, the more they will use it and abuse it. I express it as an equation: how much a person exercises power is inversely proportional to the amount of power the person has. AKA petty dictators and Mask Nazis.

Eighteen-year-old waitresses reveled in their newfound power to bark orders at adults: “Ma’am! You must wear your mask when you go to the restroom!” Now the governor is going to take that power away? “Wait! We’re not ready!” they cry. Not ready for what? Not ready to give up their powers of petty dictatorship. Ever try to take away a toy from a two-year-old? Temper tantrums ensue. The cry of “not ready” is the temper tantrum of Mask Nazis who don’t want their power toy taken from them.

The Power of the Oppressor

“The power of the oppressor is defined by the oppressee,” said black abolitionist Frederick Douglass during the Civil War era. I was reminded of that truism during my interview with Malcolm Out Loud on his talk show, the Voice of a Nation. He said he refuses to enter a restaurant that requires a mask, passing as many as four establishments before finding a restaurant that seated him without a mask—the free market at work. “Free to Choose,” as the famous free-market economist Milton Friedman said. Malcolm chose mask-free dining.

This mask-mania foolishness extended to the spectacle of people hiking and biking outdoors with masks on, where they are more than six feet away from anybody else. If this is oppression, they are oppressed themselves. 

Free to Choose

The WLOS-TV news story continued, “Anderson [executive director of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association] also reminded the public that mask mandates are really up to the restaurant owners. “As independent businesses, we can ask people to wear a mask; we can mandate them to wear a mask in our establishment,” she said.  

Notice the use of the word “mandate.” “We can mandate them…” And we as customers can choose not to patronize your business. We are not mandated to spend our money with you. At least, not yet. Independent business owners have always been free to ask customers to wear masks, without the benefit of an order from the governor. Independent business owners are free to ask customers to wear clown masks, dress in polka-dot shirts, or stand on their heads. And customers are free to say “No thank you,” and take their business elsewhere.

Americans Don’t Ask the Government for Permission

America was founded on the premise that citizens don’t ask the government for permission. The government asks us for permission. In 1791 the ten amendments to the Constitution comprising the Bill of Rights were ratified. Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution lists the enumerated powers the American people gave the government permission to exercise. The Wuhan virus gave the government the excuse to reverse this and claim citizens needed permission to operate without masks.

Restaurant owners don’t need the government’s permission to require masks on their property. We citizens don’t need the government’s permission to choose mask-less establishments. 

While these restaurant owners are “getting ready,” the rest of us will exercise our freedom to choose. 

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a life-long student of liberty, limited government, and free-market economics. As a young man, he taught and crewed at the Flint School aboard the 156’ two-masted schooner Te Vega sailing in Europe. Atlas Shrugged was required reading.

In 2010 he saw the acceleration of big government control in politics, business, and culture. Hoping to reach the next generation through fiction entertainment, he wrote the prophetic novel The Noah Option. Powerful politicians target brilliant black scientist Dr. Grace Washington. Her story continues in the sequel, The Rainbow Option, when powerful elites unleash a deadly virus on unsuspecting Americans, and Grace must develop a cure. In The Timshel Option, ISIS invades and creates The New England Caliphate, making women second-class citizens. One teenage girl fights back.

"The things I predicted in my novels came true in the nightly news. Our country is in trouble. Like Abraham Lincoln, I hope for a new birth of freedom,” says McCarthy.

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