Confederate Flag Waving Right-Wingers Who Don't Care If People Die Are The New Rosa Parks, Says Trump Advisor
In 1955, civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus to make room for white passengers at the front, defying a racist Montgomery, Alabama city ordinance requiring segregated bus rides.
In 2020, a bunch of right-wing yahoos, many of them waving confederate flags, took to the streets across America to demand their right to put others at risk of contracting a deadly virus.
These things are exactly the same, according to right-wing economist Stephen Moore, a member of Trump's White House council to reopen the country. Because in one case, you have a person defying an obviously racist and incredibly pointless ordinance, and in the other, you have people who don't think saving the lives of other people is worth having to wear a mask to the grocery store for a hot minute. I guess.
"I think there's a boiling point that has been reached and exceeded," said Stephen Moore, a conservative economist. Moore is a member of both the White House council to reopen the country and a coalition of conservative leaders and activists seeking to push government officials to relax stay-at-home orders.
"I call these people the modern-day Rosa Parks — they are protesting against injustice and a loss of liberties," Moore said of the protesters.
So, first of all — not injustice! It would be unjust if one kind of person was allowed to flit around and do as they please and others were required to stay home, but everyone has to stay home. And not for a stupid reason! They have to stay home because they could kill people. Like, people could lose their actual lives. To my knowledge, black people sitting in the back of the bus did not save any lives. That wasn't really a life or death issue for white people, that was just them being gross bigots. There is kind of a difference!
Moore is really doubling down on this analogy though. In an interview with CBS, he said:
"Where are the civil libertarians on the left? I mean, one of the things that I've found most interesting in my 35 years or so in politics and economics is it used to be the left was the — the American Civil Liberties Union — stood up against big government taking away our rights. I'm not hearing a lot of objections of people on the left," said Moore. "It's interesting to me that the right has become more the Rosa Parks of the world than the left is."
Ooh! The Right is getting better at comedy and it's making Lefties nervous!
As a really big civil liberties gal myself, I can tell you exactly where I am! I am at home (well, my parents' home), not infecting people or getting infected. Because this literally has nothing to do with civil liberties and everything to do with not killing people / understanding what a contagious virus is. As far as I know, the ACLU has yet to argue for anyone's right to kill someone or infect them with a virus. That's not their job. No one's "rights' are being taken away! That is not what this is. At all. For any reason.
And by the way, I don't think any of us need to be lectured on "civil liberties" from the party that brought us the USA PATRIOT Act, thank you very much.
The only people who this is about "rights" for are extraordinarily stupid and selfish people (and the #FloridaMorons who just want to go to the beach), which Rosa Parks was very obviously not. But Stephen Moore and people like him know that. This is all about marketing for them. They know Rosa Parks is respected, they know the ACLU is cool, and they want some of that shine to rub off on them — or for those on their side to at least feel like it is. They want their people to feel empowered and like they're doing something really historically important, instead of just fucking us all over like they always do. That's how you get people to do this kind of shit. I've said this a thousand times, but the Right has figured out how to manipulate people by making them feel really important and really good about themselves. That is an incredibly powerful thing.
Stephen Moore does not give a flying shit about these people and their "civil liberties" — he cares about his bottom line. He wants those morons out there risking their lives to buy shit so that rich people like him can continue to be super rich. He doesn't give a fuck if they get COVID-19, or if they die. He cares that they are out there spending money, and if he has to tell them they are Rosa Parks to do that, he does not mind.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse