Our Leaders Think We’re Stupid or Complacent, or Both

Gavin Newsom

Covid-19 infections are increasing all across the United States as the race to distribute vaccines seems to be charging. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting brighter.

However, the realities of these new waves of Covid-19 have meant that politicians and leaders had to do everything they could to protect us from the virus that has claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives, including shutting down businesses prohibiting domestic gatherings for the holidays. And while these actions may have been in an effort to keep us safe according to the scientists that recommended it, it seems many of the same politicians that shut down their constituents are remarkably immune to their own coronavirus restrictions.  

The funny thing is that these politicians from all the way from Congressional leadership to mayors all have one thing in common: a “D” after their names. But we need to stay home and save lives.

For example, Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, was caught dining indoors at the French Laundry, one of the best and most exclusive restaurants in the country, if not the world—all while he kept bars and restaurants closed or at minimal operation in his state at the same time. 

I cannot for the life of me figure out what kind of immunity he has to the coronavirus, but, if he can eat at the French Laundry and not catch Covid-19, I will most certainly have what he’s having. Even after it was discovered that he attended a party there, he said, “I made a bad mistake.” Now I might be 21 years-old and naïve, but I cannot imagine a world where someone dines at the French Laundry of all places by “mistake,” because it is so exclusive that you just can’t do it by accident. 

But we need to stay home and save lives.

Maybe Governor Newsom was just one bad apple among a more compliant party. It’s possible after all, until you shift your eyes to the Midwest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, attended a large gathering of people in the streets celebrating the election of Joe Biden in November after she ordered her constituents to avoid large gatherings and prevented local businesses from opening. According to the Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot claims “the crowd was gathered whether I was there or not,” even though she spoke without a mask through a megaphone to the crowd.  

Leading by example is apparently out of the question for politicians with a “D” after their name.  But we need to stay home and save lives.

Now I would not believe that these events are happening across the entire country if you told me. Surely the leaders in our nation’s capital are capable of practicing what they preach, right?  Well, once again, I was proven wrong when D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser discarded her own order to not travel when she flew the remarkably short distance from D.C to Delaware to celebrate Biden’s election in what she deemed “essential travel.”  But we need to stay home and save lives.

Do the people who lead us, from state governors to local mayors, beyond just the three I mentioned, really think we are that stupid? Do they think that during one of the greatest crises in a generation that all eyes are not on them as they enact policies with serious effects on their constituents that they are expected to follow themselves? 

Do they think that destroying someone’s ability to feed their family while they go to a party to celebrate an election (where they did not even want people to vote in person) was wise? Do they truly not grasp how patronizing these actions are to those they claim to serve? Or do they simply think so little of us that they have the right to live their lives while they enact their petty orders and that we will not resist?  

And furthermore, do they really think that saying “I made a mistake” with no concrete recompense or, even worse, denying their own wrongdoing is sufficient? Is that what a leader does? Do they really think so little of us that they can shut our lives down and then go have the most luxurious meal of their lives and get away with it?  

No. Heads must roll. Letters of resignation need to be handed in. If you are as arrogant or ignorant as these modern-day Marie Antionettes are, you deserve to have the door slammed in your face as you exit city hall or the statehouse. How dare we be the ones who have to suffer so that our leaders may break their own rules and pay no penance. 

They do not serve the people, they serve themselves.  

Leaders lead. Tyrants demand compliance from us and offer no accountability or apology from themselves. 

But we need to stay home and save lives.

Jack Chambers is a student at Elon University in North Carolina studying political science and journalism. He enjoys talking about politics with friends, cooking, and traveling.