Greg Abbott On Fox News Sunday

Opinion: Banning Mask and Vaccine Mandates is About Projecting Unchallenged Power and Satisfying MAGA Devotees

If any American was curious about how far afield from reality Republicans will go to placate the MAGA crowd and reinforce their authoritarian worldview, they need look no farther than Florida and Texas. Other Republican governors and leaders are part of the MAGA enthralled death cult, and like their peers leading other red states;  their opposition to mitigation efforts to stop the rise of  COVID-19 infections is simply pandering to the culture of stupid Trump created and projecting their authoritarian bent.

It seems like every day there is another article about the declining support and poll numbers for the governors from Florida and Texas over their bans on mask and vaccine mandates whether in pubic schools or private businesses. Intelligent Americans might think Trump devotees Greg Abbot and Ron DeSantis would make an effort to stop the decline in their support, but they are only interested in openly wielding their authority and appeasing the anti-everything insanity driving the MAGA crowd.  They are certainly not doing anything constructive to aid their respective constituency’s return to normalcy or making any attempt to save lives.

There was a prescient article in the Arkansas Times explaining the mindset of Republican legislators and, to a point, Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) who are more intently focused on retaining power and ‘appeasing the MAGA crowd” than they are protecting children’s lives.

What is happening in Arkansas is no different than the deliberately tragic results of power-hungry men like Abbot and DeSantis, but at least in Arkansas there are observant people who see the problem is bigger than simply serving the insane MAGA crowd and its embrace of anything but common sense or self-preservation.

To get more stories like this, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily.

In early August an Arkansas Judge, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox, issued a preliminary injunction against the law that Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April banning mask requirements by governmental entities.

The ban that Governor Asa Hutchinson says he regrets signing was being challenged by a pair of lawsuits; one from a school district where more than 900 staff and students are quarantining because of a coronavirus outbreak. The legislation Hutchinson signed, “Act 1002 is not unlike the bans “ordered” by Abbot in Texas and DeSantis in Florida.  But like the case of Florida’s ban on mask and vaccine mandates, the Arkansas ban was blocked by a court.

To get an idea of the deadly lengths Republicans will go to hold onto unchecked power over the health community, lawyers for Arkansas Republicans made this argument that reveals their real intent is maintaining power and serving the interests of MAGA anti-mask and vaccine idiots. They are not interested in public safety, but they are desperate to control dissension against their authority and need for support from the MAGA crowd. The lawyers wrote:

 The Act 1002 Injunction is causing irreparable harm because it prevents Act 1002, enacted by the representatives of the citizens of Arkansas, from being effective. As a practical matter, it interferes with the legislature’s efforts to keep the peace and encourage the remaining unvaccinated segment of the population to get vaccinated without using mandates. There is a proliferation of disputes at the local level about local mask mandates, which has resulted in unnecessary dissension.” (author bold)

There is a lot in that “argument” revealing the real issues at play for Republicans in Arkansas as well as Florida and Texas.

First and foremost, Republicans know damn well that banning mandates for masks or vaccines is not going to inspire one anti-mask, anti-vaxxer to rush out and get vaccinated. That remark was a canard that makes the lawyers sound as stupid as their Republican clients are deadly for the people of Arkansas.

Second, Arkansas Republicans are not attempting to “keep the peace;they are supporting the MAGA acolytes who are unwilling to follow simple public health measures.

It is noteworthy to mention that the only people disturbing the peace are anti-humanity MAGA devotees who don’t just oppose mask and vaccine mandates, they oppose other people wearing masks to protect their children in public school.

There are plenty of stories making the rounds of angry anti-mask and anti-vaccine thugs “disturbing the peace” in public schools, vaccination clinics and private businesses around the nation The Republicans insinuate that the only means of “keeping the peace” is allowing a segment of the population, typically MAGA people, to endanger the public health by either not following medical advice and wearing a mask or getting vaccinated, or assaulting public servants who are wearing a mask to protect the MAGA folk’s children.

The “unnecessary dissension” has nothing to do with people following health professionals’ advice and everything to do with not following authoritarian Republicans’ executive orders and legislation that are contributing to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases – most evident in Republican states. Think of “unnecessary dissension” the way Republicans loyal to Trump see it: outright disobedience.

Florida’s governor is so intent on showing he is an honest-to-dog dictator whose orders are not to be questioned, defied, or disobeyed that he is appealing a court ruling saying he did not have the authority to ban mask and vaccine mandates in Florida.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Greg Abbot and Ron DeSantis, and Arkansas Republicans comprehend that their bans on mask and vaccine mandates are not only hurting their approval numbers, but they are also killing their constituents, including a frighteningly growing number of children.

Sadly, they don’t care about human life. They care about their authority being challenged and worse, openly defied in clear view of their MAGA supporters who revere an authoritarian willing to crush dissension no matter how many innocents have to die.

Copyright PoliticusUSA LLC 2008-2023