Opinion

America: The Coronavirus HOA

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Posted: May 03, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
America: The Coronavirus HOA

Source: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) are petty tyrannies but at least they’re voluntary ones.

You freely sign up to be told what kinds of shrubs or flowers you’ll be allowed to plant in “your” front yard; what type of vehicle you’ll be permitted to park in “your” driveway - and the exact shade of paint that’s acceptable to use on your mailbox.

You must beg permission – and get approval – for everything and you can be hit with punishing fines if you don't, ahead of time, even if the shrub is the "right" variety and the paint the exact same shade as your neighbor's.

But as hellish as HOAs can be, no one put a gun to anyone's head. You're free to join the community. Or not. And even if you do join it, you’re always free to leave it for greener (and freer) pastures any time you like.

Not so much the Corona HOA, which is becoming the entire USA. And which is already far more onerous than any HOA extant. No HOA decrees how close you’re allowed to stand next to a neighbor or whether you're allowed to have the neighbors over for a backyard get-together.

No HOA has the power to decree that the way you make your living isn't “essential” while at the same time demanding you pay what it claims you “owe” for such things as the property taxes on your home.

Else risk being forcibly ejected from it.

But this is the "new normal" in the Corona'd States of America.

HOAs are almost funny in comparison. They are characterized by low-rent busybodyism on the Mrs. Kravitz model. The reference is to a nosey neighbor character on the classic ‘60s TV sitcom, Bewitched. Mrs. Kravitz was always looking through the curtains to find something to gossip about.

Something to complain about.

HOAs attract this type of person, who is attracted particularly to enforceable busybodyism. Such people crave authority and the power to assert it. 

It's a form of light touch authoritarianism.  

HOAs are as close to an American Soviet. The word refers to a council of petty bureaucrats with not-so-petty powers in the old Soviet Union, as one could find in the United States.

Until Corona.

Which is surpassing the insufferability – and tyranny – of the old Soviet Union.

Somehow – it is a mystery how, exactly – Americans find themselves herded into an involuntary HOA they never signed any paperwork to join and which they aren’t free to leave. Martial law has not been declared and so the Constitution is still at least nominally the law of the land.

And yet, practically every right enumerated has been eviscerated, without even a nod to elections, due process or consent. Just do as you're told... Because Corona. Because we said so. And that's all you need to know.

People are no longer free to leave their homes without permission.

They have been ordered not to work – and to shutter their businesses – but they must pay taxes.

People are no longer free to associate, even on what is still quaintly styled private property, and even though no one is being forced to associate. Force is, however, being threatened – and applied – to people who dare to freely associate, including even to get together to pray while inside their cars.

Or play outside with their children in a park.

They’re not even allowed to complain about it without risking repercussions. This includes posts on social media deemed in violation of “community guidelines," which guidelines are amorphous and arbitrary; one never knows exactly what offended, just that offense has been taken and the offending account was taken down.

Far worse, they are being threatened with punishment by the government for daring to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances, as in California.

This arbitrariness being the 190 proof essence of tyranny. Far more threatening to the well-being of Americans than a virus which – per the CDC's own admission – doesn't even produce symptoms in 85 percent of the "cases" and only produces death in about one percent of all cases.

Because Corona has become the equivalent of a chalkboard eraser, of the rights of the American people. The most basic freedoms – even the right to protest the insufferable – are being wiped off the slate as fast as the “essential” apparatchiks can wave their hand

Orwell could not have imagined a world this dark.

People in the old Soviet Union, at the height of the Stalinist era, weren’t told they couldn’t leave their homes. Weren’t told they couldn’t work. Weren’t required to practice authoritarian kabuki in the form of “anti-social distancing,” as Americans are being pressured to.

As crazy and brutal as the old Soviet Union was, it didn’t get as pathological as it is getting in America, where people are also being forced to dress up like Michael Jackson – masks and gloves – to enter a Costco.

It makes one almost wish for the busybodyism of Mrs.Kravitz, which was far less onerous than the inescapable edicts of these insufferable snitches and government minders.

A.J. Rice is CEO of Publius PR, a premier communications firm in Washington D.C. Rice is a brand manager, star-whisperer and auteur media influencer, who has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump Jr., Judge Jeanine Pirro, Monica Crowley, Charles Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz, Roger L. Simon, Steve Hilton, Victor Davis Hanson, and many others. Find out more at publiuspr.com