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Trumps flouted debate mask rules

This article contains news with liberal commentary.

The rules were clear: Everyone in the debate hall had to wear masks. No exceptions.

Trump family members in attendance refused to comply with the rules.

“President Donald Trump’s family ignored coronavirus guidelines on Tuesday night at the presidential debate, forgoing masks as they sat in the audience. Most of Trump’s children ― Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump ― sat in a row sans masks despite doctors at the nearby Cleveland Clinic advising that guests do so to prevent the spread of the virus,” Huffington Post reported the day after, Wednesday, September 30, 2020 (read story here).

That behavior would get you and me kicked out of a grocery store and told not to return, or removed from a flight and banned from the airline. By the standards that apply to everyone else, they should’ve been escorted out and banned from the remaining debates.

Moreover, they were deceptive about it (a trait that runs in the Trump family): “On social media, Ivanka Trump shared a snapshot of herself, Tiffany Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Lara Trump, wearing masks ahead of the debate.”

First, let’s clarify what masks are for, and why they’re a big deal. Contrary to popular assumption, their purpose isn’t protecting you from other people’s germs (they’re not very effective for that), but protecting other people from your germs (they work well for that). They’re a big deal because they’re the best method we have of preventing the spread of infection; many medical experts say masks are “better than a vaccine” for containing Covid-19.

Despite all that, this rule violation may strike some as petty and nitpicking, given that Trump and people around him are monitored for Covid-19 with frequent testing, making it unlikely any of his family are carriers. But that brings us to a larger issue: Trump’s supporters like his defiance of norms and rule-breaking, and that he seems to be giving them permission to do the same. So the question to naturally ask at this point is, Are there any rules of society they’re willing to follow?

Republicans’ interpretation of “freedom” seems to have become decoupled from any sensible concept of freedom. They seem to be saying they can do as they damn well please, and they’re engaging in behavior that past generators associated with parental spankings and trips to the principal’s office. In short, Republicans have become immature, irresponsible, antisocial jerks.

That attitude was on full display by Trump’s entire immediate family at last night’s debate.

Photos: Ivanka’s propaganda tweet (above); the Trumps in the debate hall (below).

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