In the free market, we get to exercise our liberty to control our own lives and investments of resources. We can judge risks, and see how others’ choices along those lines have worked out, as the market reveals the good and bad choices, and people trend toward what works.
In government, free will is eliminated. Choice is destroyed, and risk factors are taken out of our hands, destroying the necessary market signals that help perfect safety measures and calculate their relative value for consumers.
And in a government-manipulated, government-regulated system, even as market participants struggle to function as they should, political dictates and propaganda (all funded by taxing the free economy) put pressure on that formerly free market to operate in government-favored ways.
So, in the midst of COVID19 crackdowns and paranoia fueled by numerous politicians and their leftist pop media pals, is it any surprise that retail chain Bass Pro Shops and its subsidiary, Cabela’s, would attempt to continue their Christmas tradition of letting kids meet Santa – but do so under bizarre, COVID lockdown conditions?
As AZ Family reports, the Bass Pro/Cabela's chain has announced that it will welcome Santa, and admit kids to meet ol’ Saint Nick – but with a few changes that make one wonder if the experience is really “meeting” Santa Claus, or if it’s more like visiting a zoo where "COVID Claus" is trapped behind glass.
The stores have their “North Pole” wonderlands set up. They have their piles of cotton and polystyrene, their decorated trees, reindeer, lights, and Santa’s chair…
And each participating store has a giant, plexiglass wall in front of the chair. Wearing an additional plastic face-shield over his mug and beard, Chris Kringle then sits behind the barrier, and kids pass the masked “elves” to approach him.
With special health and safety measures, children will still be able to ask Santa for their favorite toy and get a free photo with him this holiday season.
“Tap-tap! Merry Christmas, Santa!”
And the chain has offered more details, explaining how they’ll try to get into that Christmas spirit while accommodating for the COVID problem – a problem caused by a virus that has a fatality rate similar to the seasonal flu, but which has been blown into a worldwide tyranny thanks to political machinations and errors.
Kids can get their photos taken with Santa (is Santa actually allowed entrance from the North Pole, or is he forced to quarantine?) thanks to Cabela’s making sure the barrier separating Santa and visitors is “glare-free.”
And it’s all frequently “sanitized” by the mask-wearing elves.
Of course, Cabela’s says, “All visitors and employees will complete temperature screening before entering the Santa’s Wonderland area.” And they inform folks that, “Visitors will wait in line for Santa while practicing social distancing, following floor decals.”
There’s something very technocratic about those “social-distancing stickers” all over the place. The chain also notes that potential visitors will have to make reservations online, and they’re limiting the number of visitors so kids can “social-distance.”
Which makes one wonder what kind of anxieties these politically-created measures will foster in kids.
And Bass Pro/Cabela’s says that all of their employees will wear masks, while “customer requirements for face masks will vary by location based on local public health restrictions.”
So, it’s up to potential customers to decide whether they want to visit, whether they want their kids to go through the “social-distancing” ritual, to approach a glassed-in Santa, and pull a “Kirk-Spock-Wrath-of-Kahn” moment when they put their hands against the glass and Santa does the same in a desperate attempt to mimic real human contact.
But the political influences that have caused this are things that customers cannot escape. The pervasive, politically-promulgated, myths, ranging from the idea that COVID19 is wiping out millions of Americans, to the fiction that “the science is settled” on whether mask-wearing is, on balance, beneficial or it causes its own health problems that far outweigh any arguable “protection” against a virus that is far smaller than the weave of the N95 mask, to the fiction that government mandates -- rather than free will and individual assessments – are moral or beneficial… those myths are shoved at us by tax-funded politicians and bureaucrats.
Indeed, we are forced to pay for people to propagandize us.
Meanwhile, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops are working hard to comply with a vast array of government mandates, in every state where they operate. They also are trying to manage operations during a period when huge portions of the pop media perpetuate falsehoods and fear concerning the Wuhan Coronavirus. It is up to the consumer to decide how he or she feels about Cabela’s move to approximate the Santa experience for kids.
But as they decide, let’s hope they know that their decision is made, not within the realm of the free market, but in a politically poisoned environment, and that none of us should get used to this kind of coercion and propaganda.
We need freedom and free markets to assess risk and decide for ourselves, for businesses to respond to our interests.
Right now, in the U.S., we don’t have anything resembling freedom.