We’ve seen lots of heroism in the last several coronavirus pandemic weeks. We’ve come to expect that from Americans, whether it be our medical workers or everyday Americans making sacrifices in their commitment to their neighbors and their community.
Now certain politicians are asking the citizenry to lower themselves to a level normally occupied by the establishment’s cynical and self-obsessed machinery: Snitch, they say. Spy on and turn in your less-than-perfect neighbors. You will be rewarded, the politicians say, for indulging the worst in yourself. The system needs you to become a cog in the wheel of a system run by politicians who ruin cities and lives.
This column has previously detailed the … lesser angels of politicians in this country. At least we have ways in which to remove the con artists in our midst who wallow in and abuse their power in a time of crisis. If a politician has decided that your community can buy pot and booze during a pandemic, but forbids you purchasing home gardening tools and from growing your own food, we can kick them out of office when the time comes.
But what are we to do when those same bottom-feeders attempt to corrupt the citizenry itself? We can say no; that’s what we can do.
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, exposed this growing trend in liberal cities.
As this newspaper reported, Mr. de Blasio made a statement this past Saturday praising New Yorkers for their success at social distancing but then encouraged New Yorkers to turn from helping their neighbor to spying on them.
“New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents Saturday to turn in neighbors who fail to follow social distancing rules, encouraging them to text photos of violators and report their location to a government hotline,” The Washington Times reported.
Mr. de Blasio told New Yorkers to use the city’s non-emergency 311 number, “and action will ensue.” He said “Now it is easier than ever. When you see a crowd, when you see a line that’s not distanced, when you see a supermarket that’s too crowded, anything, you can report it right away so we can get help there to fix the problem,” he said in a statement, the newspaper reported.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson took aim at this absurdity by noting on his program, “The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has asked all eight million New Yorkers to become informers to snitch on their neighbors. Sounds a lot like East Germany actually, except now everyone has a smartphone.”
But it’s not just New York where liberals are excited at the opportunity to train people to further divide their own communities. The mayor of deep blue Austin, Texas, is urging citizens there to snitch on their neighbors, too. Red State reported the mayor urging residents to report those who are not complying with his order, “If you see violations in the community, construction sites, restaurants, it would be good to call 311 and let the city and county know what’s happening.”
The website then went on to detail some of the reports people have called in to the Austin 311 app, ranging from people not standing 6 feet apart at a park, to two workers sitting together, to, gasp, “two guys on roof not practicing social distancing.”
In the meantime, a Fox News headline tells us, “LA Mayor Garcetti encourages residents to report violators of stay-at-home order: ‘Snitches get rewards.’ ” Additionally, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that due to Salt Lake City’s informant policy, “Hundreds of Utahns report social distancing violations using new hotline.”
The newspaper noted, “Complainants often report personal behavior that can’t be verified by the time the health department visits. … ‘Some businesses report that their competitors are doing wildly inappropriate things … And some complain about their fellow customers not social distancing in store aisles and the like,’ ” according to a local health department official.
Utah Rep. Chris Stewart expressed his outrage on Twitter over the order: “I have always supported social distancing. It is a necessary sacrifice. But a hotline to tattle on your neighbors? What is this the East German Stasi? If [the mayor of Salt Lake City] won’t end this, [Gov. Herbert] of Utah should. … This will only create divisiveness and distrust in a time when we should be helping each other. Snitching on our neighbor. Threatening fines and jail time. All of this is far too heavy-handed.”
There are situations requiring a call to the police. Recently, there was a bust of an underground bar in New York City, open in a secret location involving a dozen people drinking and gambling. But to ask individuals to turn in their neighbors because they are deemed to not be standing far enough away from someone, or sitting next to a coworker, or for not wearing a mask somewhere, is a fascist bridge too far.
We know the Democrats love to “never let a good crisis go to waste.” But only they would think that turning neighbor against neighbor is a good idea. And now when we’ve actually surpassed what could’ve been a catastrophe because Americans everywhere, in blue, red and purple cities, chose to change their lives in order to help others, now leftists and other Democrats are resorting to encouraging people to do the opposite.
Of the many lessons we’ve learned through this disaster, one is that we should avoid not just the virus but also completely reject the prospect of becoming as cynical and repugnant as Democratic establishment politicians.
• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.