There’s a point to be made about the zealots insisting on individual liberty, when they go ballistic about refusing to wear masks (example links below). Do they bristle at the intrusion on individual liberty that there are laws that prevent them from smoking cigarettes in department stores? Do they object to their exercise of personal liberty by being obliged to buy auto insurance, or to wear seat belts? (There actually was a debate about personal liberty and government intrusion, in the 1960s when seat belts came to be required.) To buy homeowners’ insurance to get a mortgage? Do they object to having to stop at stop signs because their individual liberty should allow them to blow through intersections never mind the risk and danger to themselves and others? Answer: No, they do not. They’ve accepted that these are matters of policy that are part of the formal or informal social contract, agreements made to enable us all to get along and to suppress selfishness at the expense of others. Yet they don’t understand that the mask situation is exactly like that. Thus Americans’ perverse obsession with personal liberty, and denial of scientific expertise, is resulting in more deaths, proportionally, than all but a dozen other countries on the planet.
I think these people are upset not out of principle, but because they resent anyone telling them to do something today that they didn’t have to do yesterday. Resistance to change.
This relates to my issue with Libertarianism; we don’t all live separately on isolated islands or ranches on the prairie. We live in a complex society, even those who don’t live in big cities, that depends on the cooperation and interconnection of us all. Americans seem to have this fetish about personal liberty that is especially dangerous in situations like a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, when people should behave in ways that promote the common good. It’s not socialism, it’s not communism — it’s the most effective strategy for SURVIVAL. Thus compared to many other countries, the US is miserably failing in our response to the pandemic. And our moron president is in denial of this; and a substantial portion of US voters believe anything he says. Sigh.
These people are dimwits, or worse.