New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, still recovering from a presidential run that almost no one remembers, wants his residents to tattle on each other for breaking social distancing rules.
The idea of spying and then snitching on one’s neighbors seems like something straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984, or the USSR at the height of the Cold War. Unfortunately, it’s a scene likely to play out in New York City thanks to de Blasio’s actions.
In a recent video circulating on social media, the NYC mayor makes it clear that anyone who sees a group of people hanging out together, people standing too close to each other in line, a store with “too many” people in it or some other, similar scenario should immediately take a photo of those involved and text it to 311. Mayor de Blasio then offered his full assurances that the government would immediately sweep in and deal with the situation.
This is disturbing for obvious reasons. New Yorkers have enough problems as is without having to worry about being ratted out by an overly-eager snitch just because they got closer than six feet to a friend, relative, or a stranger standing in line. No one wants police to visit their home just because they decided to invite a couple of friends or relatives over for the day.
Encouraging rampant snitching among New Yorkers isn’t only morally questionable — it’s entirely unnecessary. While the city was hard-hit by the COVID-19 virus, the curve has been flattened and is now trending downward. The guidelines already issued have done the job and it’s now time to look for ways to get the economy back on track without putting vulnerable people at risk. It’s not time to encourage excessive paranoia.
The government should have better things to do with its time. Sadly, Mayor de Blasio simply appears to see this as another opportunity to grow the power of government within his jurisdiction.
Savvy journalists, activists, and pundits have long warned that there are politicians who are more than happy to use the COVID-19 pandemic to limit basic civil rights, create a more powerful surveillance state, and grab unprecedented authority over American citizens. These scenarios are playing out across the nation as people are arrested for organizing protests or even just telling friends on social media that they have the coronavirus.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for rampant citizen snitching takes matters to a new low. It’s no wonder why even far-left progressive voters refused to give him a time of day when he was running for president.