Another Spoiled Thanksgiving

A common trope of comedians these days is the cliché of “that” uncle, a close family member who spoils family get togethers with extremist, usually right-wing views.  It doesn’t have to be an uncle though but could be any family member whose outpouring of raw, unfiltered, opinionated bullshit throws a monkey wrench into an ordinary social gathering. They seem to see themselves as the only honest agent in the room, while the rest of us are docile drones who have been brainwashed by the mainstream media. Well, despite my lifetime commitment to left leaning and liberal causes, it has come to my attention that someone in my family sees me as “that” uncle.

The Upside Down

We live in really topsy-turvy times. Who could’ve predicted just 10 years ago that so called “conservatives” in the United States would find themselves complicit in an attempt to overthrow democracy and illegally install a demagogue into power? Who would’ve believed that so many of them would become apologists for Vladimir Putin in his unwarranted aggression against Ukraine?  So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself accused of fascism because I support the vaccine, social distancing, and mask mandates that have tried to check the spread of Covid 19.  As I said in a previous blog  (https://laserwraypublishing.com/2022/02/13/freedom-of-speech-and-cancel-culture/), “the flip side of rights and freedoms is responsibilities and obligations.” I don’t see the anti-covid restrictions as threatening my right to liberty, but as the behavior of any rational adult who seeks to minimize the risk of infection for vulnerable and largely minority communities.

False Analogies

And yet I find myself defending my stance regarding Trudeau’s actions to remove the so-called “Freedom Truckers Convoy” from the streets of my country’s capital. An occupation by a small but vocal minority of fringe leftists and rightists made common cause to whine like babies about health mandates while disrupting the lives and occupations of many thousands of people in the downtown core of Ottawa. After three weeks of protest, they were finally forced out.  I feel compelled to stand up against the false analogy that the Canadian government behaved like Nazis, while those of us who supported its actions are being accused of being like Hitler’s willing executioners. I object to the comparison of anti-vaxxers with the pro-choice movement and their “my body, my choice” slogan. First of all, it ignores the fact that pregnancy is not spread by an airborne virus. Secondly, although I agree with a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body, I do not agree to anyone’s right to make me (I have a pre-existing condition) or my 92-year-old mother ill. If I’m guilty of being duped by scientists, the CDC, the WHO, health workers, and the mainstream media, then at least my heart is in the right place and I don’t believe my right to personal freedom outweighs the rights of others to not die alone in a hospital. Finally, to quote a recent meme that is making the rounds, “Parents in Ukraine are sewing tags with their children’s blood types into their clothes. Let that sink in. If you want to know what loss of freedom looks like, maybe you should start there.”

Michael Wray

Hi, My name's Michael. I'm a writer/illustrator working as a primary ESL teacher in Istanbul. I love art, music, literature, and traveling.

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