Issues & Insights
Californians protest state's lockdowns. Photo: Russ Allison Loar, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The People Who Enjoy Making Everyone Else’s Lives Miserable

Anyone thinking a month ago that the country was putting the tyranny of lockdowns and mask mandates in the past was being unrealistically optimistic. The U.S. is overflowing with an army of nags, busybodies, and stuffy schoolmarms clinging bitterly to the power they’ve had over others since the pandemic began, and the Delta variant arrived for them just in time.

Check some recent headlines:

Welcome to the United Lockdowns of America.

What’s that again? Our caring and kind superiors are interested only in protecting us?

Please spare us. While politicians tend to act in a risk-averse manner, avoiding to the extent they are able any blame for death, illness, and destruction, the pandemic has been a handy vehicle to control and manipulate the populace. ​​As the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Steven D. Anderson noted in clear and plain terms, “many of these leaders are, even given all we know, unwilling to relinquish their newfound power.”

Henry Louis Mencken, who understood politicians better than most, wrote in his 1956 Minority Report that “the urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” A hardly restrained lust for power, “not the chance to serve,” is what we’re seeing among so many elected officials and public health administrators. 

Consequently, much of the world is fed up with the experts and officials behind these false-faces who are subjugating them to rules that violate basic human liberties. 

“People across the globe are standing up and fighting against China flu lockdowns and vaccine mandates a mere 477 days since being told we need only ‘15 days to flatten the curve,’” according to PJ Media.

In Paris, we’ve seen, well, “mostly peaceful” and clearly passionate protesters clash with authorities on the streets. Freedom fighters – our description – in Sydney have “clashed with police,” and the Irish are bitterly opposing vaccine passports.

At home, we’re protesting largely through the written word. But the frustration could easily boil over. For instance, author Michael Walsh expresses the helpless feeling of many when he recounts arriving “in Southern California a couple of weeks ago, just in time to fall victim to an indoor mask mandate jackbooted by Los Angeles County in the interests of leftist conformity, virtue signaling, and general fascist stupidity.”

“In sunny SoCal,” he said, he “got a glimpse into America’s future,” and “unless we finally put an emphatic stop to this unconstitutional and irrational madness.”

“To put it in terms that even an Antifa progressive can understand, and which conservatives need to adopt,” he continued, “we need to start resisting by any means necessary.”

At least there’s Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has said his state will not return to pandemic restrictions, and has even talked about holding, says Politico, “a special legislative session to counter any potential mandates imposed by federal authorities.”

A pocket of resistance has emerged in Missouri, as well. The St. Louis County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to rescind the county executive’s unilateral order mandating masks. The local media reported “the room erupted in cheers” after the vote was taken.

“Too many American men and women have given the last full measure of devotion for us to be cavalier with the very liberty they fought and died to provide,” said Republican Councilman Ernie Trakas. “I will not abide any measures that seek to compromise or erode our liberty and freedom.”

Even so, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said Wednesday morning that the mask mandate put in place on Monday would remain in effect, despite the council’s vote to drop it.

But outside of a few elected officials willing to stand up for liberty, we are ruled by the worst among us. The coronavirus pandemic has proved what many of us have warned about for some time: The U.S. is devolving into a kakistocracy, meaning that our governments, from Washington down, are under the command of “the least suitable or competent citizens.” 

We shouldn’t be surprised that our political class has, with a few exceptions, degenerated into a rabble of petty tyrants. Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek explained decades ago why the worst get to the top.

“He argued with great insightfulness that ‘the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful’ in any society in which government is seen as the answer to most problems,” says Foundation for Economic Education President Emeritus Larry Reed. “They are precisely the kind of people who elevate power over persuasion, force over cooperation. Government, possessing by definition a legal and political monopoly of the use of force, attracts them just as surely as dung draws flies.” 

Put another way, decent men and women don’t want to be in the position of making decisions for others. Bullies do, and that’s why so many so easily settle into politics.

Before this is even posted we hear the sneering elitists condemn our Neanderthal thinking, and ridicule our “denial” of science. We’ll be likened to members of a death cult and labeled criminals. But let’s examine data from the United Kingdom, where dominance of the Delta variant provides a strong case study and see who’s thinking like a caveman.

Since Feb. 1, the Delta variant has infected far more Britons than the Alpha variant, yet has caused far fewer hospitalizations and the death rate (see table 4), 0.2%, is not even comparable to the Alpha’s 1.1% rate. In fact, the fatality gap might even be bigger – 0.1% compared to 1.9%, according to Politifact.

“Delta,” says a doctor who practiced for three decades at ​​Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, “is not the existential threat that the media is making it out to be. … Ordering lockdowns or mask mandates for the entire population defies common sense.”

No matter what arguments we offer, our “betters” are nevertheless determined to sow fear. Their objective is to swoop in as saviors, barking out orders, and handing down mandates from on high. Again they will forbid us from gathering and trading, and they will command us to hide behind masks, a dehumanizing effect that makes us look like superstitious primitive tribesmen,

Some elected and public health officials will declare their reluctance to issue lockdown and mask orders even as they grind their boots on society’s neck. But for nearly all it will be a perverse pleasure. This is the Democrats’ America.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Excellent editorial! If it were limited to indoor mask mandates and not part of a much larger agenda, we as a society would be in tolerably good shape. Unfortunately this is indeed about the quest for total population control and absolute power. Straight out of the Communist International playbook, the 1917 Bolshevik revolution version 4.0, updated for the digital era. Lenin studied the French Revolution, and had it figured correctly. You hijack noble causes (equity, freeing the oppressed; updated to fighting COVID, racism, saving the planet from climate). Infiltrate and ride the wave of chaos, street violence and civil disorder to absolute power. Seizure of power is inevitably followed by tyranny to combat opposition from people craving freedom. Stalin called the opposition counter-revolutionaries. Pelosi et al. demonize the opposition with varied labels (deplorables, domestic terrorists, white supremacists, MAGAs, Trump supporters). Whatever the previous tyranny, the new tyranny is inevitably worse (Stalin’s executions, show trials & Gulags exceeded even czarist brutality). Pelosi et al. seem at least as paranoid and fearful as Stalin, and have made crushing incipient opposition an early priority. The one-sided Jan. 6 congress committee sitting in contrived judgment smacks of Stalinist show trials. District of Columbia prisons house 500+ Jan. 6 political prisoners, many in solitary confinement going on several months without bail awaiting trail. The FBI continues to cull Facebook for Jan. 6 selfies, as if they are the enforcement arm of the DNC. Only in wartime has the USA had more political prisoners (draft dodgers, war opponents, dissenting editors). The media silence is deafening. Big tech will make sure it stays that way. Dissenting narratives disallowed, deplatformed, demonetized, etc. Onto level 2, the mandates. You don’t need to go to Cuba to witness tyranny.

  • Wonderful article, you sure know your stuff. I enjoyed learning the new word “kakistocracy”, yup that is what we are living under with a crazy fruitcake leading it. I sure hope we wise up and make sure elections are at least mostly honest in the future – do you think we can?

    Keep on writing these article it gives us American Patriots hope. Today gives new meaning to, “…living in interesting times…”

  • Sorry, I don’t consider the arrogant, self-absorbed, cunning, but low intelligence lifeforms known as politicians to be MY superiors. Not in any way, shape or form. Nor do I consider the shadowy illegitimates infesting government to be superior to me. Nor the self-indulgent wealthy of this planet. Most of them are inbred, like English “aristocracy.”

    Not going to do what they demand and if they try to force me, well, it’ll be interesting.

    • Rich, I do not consider any government politicians or otherwise my superiors, The issue is they are there. They are there because we either have very “stupid” voters or massive cheating, I believe the later. We must fight this by hanging onto our beliefs and not let these “fruitcakes” become a part of our lives. I do not impose by beliefs on anyone just wish more Americans would be American (read the consitution at least once). We were once considered brave people who did not go along with the crowd. Now all I see from some is frightened little children who hide and obey their leaders – how sad. I understand how you feel.

  • This hits on one topic that I have posted about many times – miserable people! I have long believed that the democrats in power actually are miserable people. They take no pleasure in the Greatness of America and the awesome luck that enabled them to live in the Greatest Nation this earth has ever seen! They are self-loathing, miserable creatures and the only pleasure they seem to enjoy is making others miserable! Just look at their faces when they comment about average Americans and their desire to simply live their lives. They can’t stand that! Now compare to when they announce another scheme to restrict or deny your freedoms – facial orgasms!! They are sick and need help, but they don’t need to be in charge!

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