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COVID-19 Allowed Too Many to Pervert Their Power

Salena Zito on

TRAFFORD, Pennsylvania -- For the first couple of weeks in December, a tiny, bare tulip tree, common in Appalachia, grows on the trail that hugs Turtle Creek and the eye of passersby. Decorated with cheerful homemade Christmas ornaments, it brought smiles to the faces of cyclists, runners and walkers who saw it every day.

Some days, people would pull an ornament from their jacket pocket and add it while on their daily stride. On other days, one might see a parent pushing a stroller or with a child on their bicycle stop and look at the delightful little ornaments.

Without fail, each child would look at it with the same awe you might see from a child who lives in New York City and visits Rockefeller Center to take in that giant spectacle of a tree.

It was a sad little tree, but it had a lot of love and community around it. And that made it special because the community created it and cared for it.

Then one day, shortly before Christmas, the tree was stripped bare, the joy it gave gone. Within days, a sign went up that read, "Whoever took our Christmas tree ornaments ... put them back."

Weeks later, the sign is still stubbornly there -- despite the wind and rain that have pounded the area. It is a reminder that some people demand accountability even for something as seemingly inconsequential as the decorations on a small tree.

 

You might wonder why people would go out of their way to strip this tree of ornaments that had no monetary value, other than to do it because they could get away with it. They glean some sense of perverse power. Well, then, certainly the thought has crossed your mind in two years or so: Why have we collectively been allowing people to go out of their way to destroy things in our culture for no reason other than that they get away with it?

And they too glean some sense of perverse power.

It is still hard to fathom the number of freedoms and amount of information and liberty we have willingly given away for the past two years during the pandemic to the influential cultural curators within government and institutions such as unions, academia, media and corporations.

It is still hard to fathom that we have collectively allowed the questioning power to get shunned from polite society and shamed into submission.

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