America Can’t Breathe

America Can’t Breathe, by Daniel Greenfield.

A Soviet citizen goes to the dentist. He lies back in the chair. The dentist tells him to open wide.

“But I’m afraid to open my mouth,” he replies.

The old joke has a new resonance in the age of lockdowns and masked pedestrians, cancel culture and self-criticism sessions when Americans are the ones fearful of opening their mouths. Fear is the common denominator. A nation has spent the year holding its breath. And waiting.

Americans used to laugh at Soviet anecdotes without really understanding them. Now Americans are too afraid to laugh because they are coming to understand them all too well. …

Woke dystopia rising:

2020 is one long Soviet anecdote in which the only people allowed to disregard social distancing by gathering to protest in the thousands and tens of thousands do so to complain about their oppression. It’s a mock dystopia in which corporate CEOs berate their employees about their privilege and fire anyone who won’t confess their privilege, and government officials and agencies lecture the people they rule at length about the terrible evils of systemic racism.

Speech is violence and violence is speech. Throwing firebombs is in the First Amendment, but saying All Lives Matter is literally killing people. The only people who don’t have privilege are the ones who have special privileges. Criminals have a right to be safe from the police, but people don’t have a right to be safe from criminals. Public safety is now about keeping criminals safe from the police by defunding the police so that no one except the criminals can be safe. …

Living by lies:

The real news is what’s read between the lines of the lies. What people say is the opposite of the truth. At struggle sessions, academics and executives confess that they’re racist to prove that they’re not racist. The only people who can safely claim not to have privilege, have that privilege. No one at work will admit to voting for President Trump, but someone must have.

The more speech is banned, the more worthless is the speech that is still allowed.

Polls become useless when people are too afraid to tell partisan pollsters the truth. Democrats and their media demand censorship of social media to protect the integrity of democracy from the speech of the demos, and then are caught by surprise when they suddenly lose elections. …

Did the Soviets somehow win the Cold War?

American tourists visiting the USSR noticed the tension, the invisible weight, the closed faces of the people they met. To the Russians, Americans seemed an open and free people. Freedom was not just a legal condition, a matter of elections and constitutions which on paper the Russians had. Being truly free meant not even being able to imagine the loss of freedom.

Now it’s Americans who walk the streets, when they dare, their faces closed off, invisible weights bowing them down, wary that anything they say might end their careers and lives. Hundreds of millions of people have been cut off from their families and thrust into a national conversation mediated by giant monopolies set up to enable the informants of cancel culture. …

Your masters are whoever you are not allowed to criticize:

Everyone, from top athletes to corporate executives, knows that they have to kneel and mouth the words. And the little people holding down jobs at some Fortune 500 company that assigns Robin DeAngelo as mandatory reading know it better than anyone else.

What a come-down for a free nation.