The addiction to power continues.
Federally-imposed mask mandates in the United States are over.
A US Federal Judge in Florida struck down the Biden Administration’s mask mandate for public transportation, leading to scenes of celebration among travellers:
Mid flight a pilot announces the removal of the mask mandate.
Travellers respond by removing their masks and clapping.
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) April 19, 2022
LOOK: Passengers on a Delta flight between New York and San Francisco cheer after the cabin crew announces masks are no longer required on domestic flights https://t.co/j6aNoH3pTf pic.twitter.com/oagXmtF1Tp
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) April 19, 2022
Flight attendant sings "throw away your masks" …I feel this in my soul. pic.twitter.com/4ymc1oHVl9
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 19, 2022
Following the ruling, US President Joe Biden said wearing masks is a matter of personal choice:
Reporter: “Mr. President, should people continue to wear masks on planes?”
Biden: “That’s up to them.”
Reporter: "Mr. President, should people continue to wear masks on planes?"
Biden: "That's up to them." pic.twitter.com/Qhwcr0dPe8
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 19, 2022
Despite Biden’s remarks, there is still said to be division within the US Government over whether to appeal the ruling, or move on – especially given that people around the world are fed up with restrictions and mandates.
Regardless of what is decided, federal mask mandates in the US are now over (local transportation providers can still set their own policies), and there’s a good chance they won’t be returning.
But what about here in Canada?
“For now, there is no change in our regulation,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra in response to events in the US:
“We constantly consult our experts, and whenever the advice that we receive changes because the circumstances change, we will change our regulation. But for now, it is what it is,” he added.
So, Canadians are still required to wear masks on federally-regulated public transportation.
But of course, that isn’t the worst mandate that’s still in place.
Canadians over the age of 12 who are unvaccinated are still unable to board a plane or train to leave the country – or fly/travel within the country.
Here’s what the government says on their website:
If you’re 12 years of age plus 4 months, or older, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated in order to board:
domestic or international flights departing from most airports in Canada, including charter and foreign airlines carrying commercial passengers
- Medevac flights are excluded, regardless of where they depart or land
- Private flights that don’t require access to airports with a vaccination requirement are excluded
VIA Rail, AMTRAK, White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR), and Rocky Mountaineer trains
Those restrictions remain in place.
This is far more egregious than the mask mandate, as the Liberal government is essentially locking many people into the country with reduced mobility within the country.
Further, in addition to being a complete violation of individual freedom, the vaccination mandate for travel completely disregards natural immunity.
As the world moves on, Canada remains stuck
Much of the world – even places like Australia & New Zealand that long imposed draconian measures, are moving on. Nearly every country is realizing that ‘zero-covid’ is impossible and that individuals must be able to choose their own level of risk.
A notable exception is China, where the Chinese Communist Party’s continued pursuit of ‘zero-covid’ has transformed places like Shanghai into even more of a dystopian & totalitarian nightmare.
Yet, with much of the world moving on, why does Canada remain stuck?
I think the key issue here is the arrogance and ego-based thinking of many of our leaders, combined with a statist mindset, plus the fact that power is addictive.
To start with, Justin Trudeau seems to take criticism and protests against him personally, rather than see it as a natural part of being a famous politician in a country where many people value their freedom and speak their minds.
His use of the Emergencies Act was an example of this, as the illegal blockade of the Ambassador Bridge was cleared without the Act, and the protest in Ottawa was non-violent. It was the fact that many protestors deeply opposed Trudeau that seemed to anger him the most.
When it comes to ego, many in the current government seem to place themselves above those they are supposed to serve, and seem almost shocked that Canadians are willing to stand up to them.
Over time, we’ve seen that those who had more of a service-oriented mindset in the Liberal government (such as Jody Wilson-Raybould, Jane Philpott, Joel Lightbound, and Nathaniel Erskine Smith), are either removed or pressured into towing the line by those who would rather be loyal to Trudeau’s partisan interests than the good of the nation.
And finally, there’s the fact that power is addictive, and many of our leaders have exercised a level of power over the past two years that was beyond anything they could have imagined.
Consider this article from OXPOL, a blog from the University of Oxford Department of Politics & International Relations, that discusses the addictive nature of power:
“Power, especially absolute and unchecked power, is intoxicating. Its effects occur at the cellular and neurochemical level. They are manifested behaviourally in a variety of ways, ranging from heightened cognitive functions to lack of inhibition, poor judgment, extreme narcissism, perverted behaviour, and gruesome cruelty.
The primary neurochemical involved in the reward of power that is known today is dopamine, the same chemical transmitter responsible for producing a sense of pleasure. Power activates the very same reward circuitry in the brain and creates an addictive ‘high’ in much the same way as drug addiction. Like addicts, most people in positions of power will seek to maintain the high they get from power, sometimes at all costs. When withheld, power – like any highly addictive agent – produces cravings at the cellular level that generate strong behavioural opposition to giving it up. In accountable societies, checks and balances exist to avoid the inevitable consequences of power. Yet, in cases where leaders possess absolute and unchecked power, changes in leadership and transitions to more consensus-based rule are unlikely to be smooth. Gradual withdrawal of absolute power is the only way to ensure that someone will be able to accept relinquishing it.”
Because many in the Liberal government – especially Justin Trudeau – are looking at events through the lens of their own egos and desire for power, lifting mandates would be seen as ‘giving in’ to their opponents and relinquishing control.
The Liberals also seem to recognize that as restrictions and mandates disappear, people start to ask more questions about past government policies, and the fear-induced desire for expanded government power begins to fade away. Instead, people seek more freedom and a return to a semblance of normalcy. Clearly, the Liberals don’t want to see that happen.
As a result, as much of the world moves on from centralized & draconian responses to covid, many Canadians are still being forced to wear masks and millions of our Citizens remain unable to travel freely as our government continues to put their desire for power above the freedoms of the Canadian People.
Photo – YouTube