On Monday night, Northampton Area School Directors met for the first time since anti-masker and anti-vaxer Steve Lynch promised an angry crowd to get rid of them. At an August 29 Harrisburg rally, he vowed to physically remove them with 20 strong men. "Forget going onto these school boards with freakin' data. You go into these school boards to remove them. I'm going in with 20 strong men and I'm gonna' give them an option - they can leave or they can be removed." I figured you'd all want to know all the juicy details. Did Lynch and 20 strong men go after the geriatrics who sit on the school board? Was there a donnybrook with the Northampton police officers and Northampton County Deputy Sheriffs brought in to keep the peace? How many bodybuilders did School Board Prez Dave "Konkrete" Gogel toss around like ragdolls while keeping his mask fashionably in place? Here's what happened.
No violence. Oh yeah, the school directors were called cowards and tyrants a few times, but no one uttered a profanity or even flipped a bird.
Steve Lynch has constantly told anti-maskers, "Do Not Comply." He has even advised health care workers to choose termination over being forced to submit to a jab of science juice. But there he was, as well behaved as an altar boy, with a mask covering both nose and mouth.
Oh there was lots of security in place. In addition to several Northampton police officers, I saw six or seven deputy Sheriffs armed with a metal detector at the door.
"Cell phone, wallet and keys," they barked at those entering the building. None of the anti-maskers and anti-vaxers even peeped, although that's a hell of a lot more intrusive than a stupid face mask.
Once my Bowie knife and bazooka were taken away, my first priority was knowing where the rest room was located. No, I'm no Michael Corleone. I had no pistol stashed in the can, but needed to squirt my own water gun. When you're 70, you'll understand. Anyway, when I was done, a Deputy was standing at the door, making sure that my business included no mob activity. Fortunately for me, there was no anal probe.
The meeting was held in the high school auditorium. A huge crowd was apparently anticipated. There were over 100 in attendance, and most of them were anti-maskers out to portray the school board as evil villains. As for the school directors, I saw no evidence that they bullied the audience. This was one of the reasons Lynch gave for needing 20 strong men. They in fact seemed incapable of bullying anyone.
I've been to Northampton Area High School many times over the years, but my previous trips have been fun. I've been there for basketball games and tournaments. I've always considered it a friendly school where both parents and kids understand that a basketball court or gridiron is actually a classroom where people learn to give it their all, to win graciously or lose with dignity. And they have the best perogies in the world.
So it was hard for me to feel threatened by the lynch mob, which incidentally had a lot of strong women. For reasons that mystify me, they spoke out against the mask mandate. Even if this measure is ineffective, it is designed to keep students and staff from getting sick, with the goal of keeping school open five days a week. Even if you think it's silly, how can you really object to something designed to keep your child healthy?
As I listened to the anti-maskers threaten school board members that "there are 20 strong men here" or call these hapless unpaid public servants "tyrants" and "cowards," I had to wonder whether they really could possibly mean what they were saying or were instead playing highly-stylized roles in what has now become an American form of Kabuki theatre.
Wearing ridiculous T-shirts and signs, they make exaggerated claims that masks are "child abuse". They openly jeered at the one person who spoke in favor of the mandate but hypocritically complained about their first amendment rights when their time had expired.
Although there was lots of coverage of this American Kabuki theatre last night, it will be a short run. It is a play that closed on its opening night.
You see, if you claim you support the law or the Constitution, you necessarily oppose anything that subverts the democratic process.
Let's say the Supreme Court rules the mask mandate is unconstitutional. That's fine by me. That is the way our system works. I can and often do disagree with judges and elected officials, but that's no justification for physically removing them and elevating one person over the democratic process. That is what oligarchs and autocrats do, not those who believe in a democratic republic.