Ben Shapiro: COVID-19 pandemic exposed an ‘enthusiastic authoritarian streak’ in our politicians

on Dec9
by | Comments Off on Ben Shapiro: COVID-19 pandemic exposed an ‘enthusiastic authoritarian streak’ in our politicians |

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a troubling “authoritarian streak” among Democrats who have publicly violated their own rules while imposing crippling restrictions on businesses and communities across the country, Ben Shapiro said Wednesday.

The conservative commentator addressed the hypocrisy of elected officials who have been caught flouting the guidelines they imposed on their own states and cities in a Wednesday column for the Daily Signal.

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“When these political actors suggest that we must act out of an abundance of caution, they mean that they ought to enjoy abundance while benefiting from our caution,” Shapiro wrote. 

Democratic mayors and governors have been caught publically violating their own rules against public dining, social distancing and traveling, drawing bipartisan backlash.

“That’s no surprise,” wrote Shapiro. “Throughout the pandemic, one set of rules has applied to America’s most ardent lockdown advocates, and another set of rules has applied to everyone else.”

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed both dined at the upscale Napa County restaurant The French Laundry after encouraging residents to avoid gatherings and imposing restrictions on indoor dining. Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler was caught vacationing in Mexico while urging residents to shelter at home. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited a hair salon, deeming it an “essential” business activity, while promoting lockdowns.

“The message is obvious,” Shapiro wrote. “Our intellectual and moral betters in politics are free to make their own rational calculations on COVID-19 risk. The rest of us are to be locked in our homes until further notice.

“You and your family are capable of making the same decisions Cuomo, Garcetti, Newsom, Lightfoot, and Adler do,” he went on. “You should be careful. You should engage in social distancing, mask up when in close proximity with others and generally avoid social gatherings involving those with preexisting conditions.

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“But you can do all of these things and still live in a free society,” Shapiro argued. 

“Our politicians don’t believe that, because our politicians have seen how easily so many Americans were willing to indefinitely suspend their freedoms out of trust in our authorities. Until the incentive structures change, our freedoms will continue to be throttled by people who have no problem exercising their own.”

Addressing his critics, Shapiro argued that “One need not be a COVID-19 skeptic in order to question whether the enthusiastic authoritarian streak revealed by those politicians can be curbed. The longer we tolerate it, the more our politicians will normalize their power grabs.”

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Until then, he warned, the country will be ruled by “a political class incentivized to pursue tyranny rather than rational policy.”



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