Give Me Liberty or . . .

Col. John Pelham
3 min readAug 17, 2021

Give me death! What the hell?! Polling now shows white Republican men are refusing to wear masks and get vaccinated because they don’t want to give liberals the satisfaction of capitulating. How stupid and self-destructive is that?! Their willingness to cede the benefits of medical science to their perceived enemies is a true American tragedy.

These dudes have surpassed “dying of whiteness” and are just plain dying out of spite. They honestly think they are dying for liberty — “Give me liberty or give me death” — but they’re simply committing mass suicide, along with killing a whole lot of friends and family in the process. They shout “We know who you are!” and “We know how to find you!” at fellow parents advocating for children wearing masks in school. Seeing their anger, their outright furious rage, one would think they were yelling at a child molester, maybe even a child killer, not someone who’s simply trying to protect his children’s health. And they shout “traitor” at people wearing masks who are just trying to protect themselves and their fellow citizens from COVID. In their minds, those people are traitors to the cause. But what in God’s name is the “cause”? I wonder if they even know.

Back in early 2020 a lot of these same people claimed COVID was a hoax, a Democratic conspiracy to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency, and now they’ve decided masks and vaccines are a liberal plot to take their freedom. Despite endless pleas to get vaccinated and wear masks, some on the right still believe that COVID is nothing but a liberal plot. Right-wing media is even claiming the latest surge of the Delta strain is being caused by (brown) immigrants coming across our southern border. It’s a baseless assertion, of course, but when in doubt brown people always make good scapegoats. Afterall, there’s nothing the target audience fears more than the “browning of America.”

I continue to pray a COVID variant doesn’t come along that’s totally resistant to the vaccine, enabling the non-vaccinated to kill the rest of us under the guise of patriotism.

Risking Death and Making Your Fellow Citizens Sick Isn’t Patriotic!

Some of the MAGAs even think falling victim to COVID is their patriotic duty, a valiant contribution to upholding liberty and freedom. (Remember President Trump returning from Walter Reed Hospital — where we later learned he almost died — and heroically removing his mask on the white House balcony as part of that awful Mussolini imitation?) They’re willing to die for their country — yeah, give me liberty or give me death — but filling up hospital beds, making their fellow citizens sick, and very possibly crashing the economy again is hardly a service to the country.

I wish my almost 200 years of hanging about this earth would have blessed me with greater empathy for these people’s misguided actions, but I can’t say that it has. This humble spirit sincerely aspires to be “the older and the wiser,” but I can’t deny that such tragic irrationality is taxing my patience. I really try to listen to them and understand their pain, but increasingly I feel helpless to do so. For better and for worse these people should be MY people, but sadly I feel they no longer are.

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Col. John Pelham

Col. John Pelham of the Confederacy. I wasted my life fighting for a terrible cause — now I’m back to fight for #HumanRights #RacialEquality & #EconomicEquality