Opinion

Masks Aren’t Meant For Presidents

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Posted: May 22, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Masks Aren’t Meant For Presidents

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

No, the president of the United States should not be wearing a mask. Period. Not ever. If it brings you comfort to wear one, I have no beef with you. To each their own. Some feel safer with masks, while others feel safer with a legally concealed firearm. God bless America. You do your thing, and I’ll do mine. Nevertheless, the leader of the free world is an important symbol bigger than our individual comfort zones.  

The media knows this, and it’s why they’re so desperate to get President Trump behind a mask. 

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins knows it’s a game. She’s been one of the loudest voices during White House briefings chirping over why some officials wear masks and some don’t. President Trump has repeatedly explained that everyone in the White House is tested daily and given the option of wearing a mask if they wish. As for him, he chooses to not.

That’s an acceptable answer for developmentally mature adults. But this is the White House press we’re talking about. Their disdain and antagonism for this president are historic. This virus, they imagine is the thing that finally takes him down politically. The mask is the visual they need to send the message Donald Trump is in retreat. 

CNN’s Collins was caught on live camera just last week in the White House briefing room ripping off her mask the second the officials left the podium and CNN’s coverage ended. Her colleagues kept their masks on. She meandered about the room smiling her unmasked smile.  

What does that tell you? Sincerely ask yourself, “Does a serious person hector the president for not wearing a mask while on camera only to rip off their own in a crowded room when think they’re off-camera?”

Each day in my studio I monitor CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. While CNN is insufferable, when it comes to masks the leader is MSNBC. Their correspondents have clearly been given a mask mandate for the ultimate in showbiz hype. A reporter on the beach in California, or leaning on a fence at a hog farm in Georgia, an empty sidewalk in France, and boardwalk in Atlantic City – I’ve seen all these scenes and more. Each one outside, not a soul nearby, and proudly reporting through their own custom-sewn mask. The reporter in France was even wearing rubber gloves!

They’re not doing it for their safety. They’re doing it to feed viewer fear and continue to build the hysterical notion that lurking around every corner is a hovering-in-mid-air virus just waiting to be inhaled into your lungs like car exhaust fumes or second-hand smoke. The mask will save you! So, I guess we should never take them off again? 

Many know we’re on to them and how silly this is. So they’ve turned the rules of mask-wearing around on those who question by making you sound like an irresponsible citizen if you don’t comply. “You must wear a mask so I don’t get sick! What if you’re carrying something? I don’t want to catch it! Be considerate!”

Just like that, if you weren’t scared into wearing a mask you’ll be shamed into wearing one. But it can’t be both. Which is it? We’re all potentially sick, or we’re all protecting ourselves from getting sick? See the game? Heads they win, tales you lose. 

Masks are the new way to communicate, “I’m compliant; my head is right; I obey; I’m a good person; I care.” If you’re not wearing one, you’re deserving of nothing less than sneers and gasps of disgust. Masks have become what wearing a ribbon for an illness or a rubber bracelet for your faith used to be. It’s a display created to fit in with the crowd - a psychological gimmick, like dual temperature control in the same car or smoking and non-smoking sections.  

But for critics of President Trump, it’s about surrender. Nothing would bring global media more pleasure than to see the guy who displayed military hardware on the Fourth of July and massive crowds at MAGA rallies now sheepishly cowering alone behind a mask. They don’t care about his safety or health. Nor do they care about those around him.  

That’s their trophy. The larger-than-life, hard-charging, America first brawler reduced to wearing a mask because a foreign virus outmatched him. It would run in campaign ads through November. Old footage of a confident Trump optimistically telling the country we’ll defeat the virus slapped together with current footage of him behind a mask, conceding its unsafe for even him to be outside.

It’s a twofer, taking out a guy they loathe and at the same time bringing that America-first jingoism to a grinding halt. Finally, they’ll prove America isn’t special and neither is her leader. Trump’s wearing a mask in public during this pandemic just like any other country’s leader. The virus truly makes us one global community now. We’re not exceptional. We’re all on our knees, compliant and scared. 

Thankfully, we have a president who knows the business of show better than the partisan hacks that cover him. He knows optics. He knows why they want him in a mask, and he’s never going to give it to them. It makes them insane with rage.  

Ironically, a rage they’ve never been capable of masking.