The other day, for the first time since March 2020, I embarked on a journey outside of the slave state of California. My wife and I drove to Montana. While I had heard tales of the existence of freedom in other states, I had yet to experience the thing firsthand.
My experience in Montana confirmed what I have long suspected and known, but not witnessed or experienced for myself—that there are two Americas and two very different types of Americans. There are free states and slave states. There are fearful, obedient slaves, and fearless, free Americans.
I didn’t wear a mask for an entire weekend in Montana—not entering my hotel, not walking down the street, not entering a grocery store or gas station convenience store, not getting a coffee, and not entering numerous restaurants and bars. At no point did I put on that filthy face diaper. Nor did anyone else.
While the constant and uninterrupted flow of oxygen into my lungs was a relief, it is the feeling that filled my soul that was more wondrous still. It is difficult to put the feeling into words. But freedom is a feeling—a sensation—as much as it is, even more than it is, the ability to choose whether or not to wear a mask.
I wrote in my book, Uncommon Sense, that “our freedom is like oxygen. It is that which sustains each and every one of us. It does not belong to one man or another. For any man to seize it, or stifle it from another, is to commit a violation against the most fundamental right of mankind—that of life.”
In Montana, it wasn’t merely oxygen that filled my lungs, but life itself.
Upon returning to the slave state of California, my imagination has been stirred by thoughts of our founders. They, too, experienced life under the rot of totalitarianism. But for their experience as freemen, the liberty that we have since enjoyed would not have come into existence. For our founders, the taste of freedom was like sweet fruit, and they were determined never again to taste the rot of totalitarianism. Thus America was born.
Over the past year in California, while I objected to the mask mandate, I also complied with it. Even as I despised and resented it, the constant scenes of the vast masked masses had become familiar, common, and accepted. But now, after having experienced freedom in Montana, these scenes now strike me as obscene.
In slave states like California, men, women, and children have not tasted the sweet fruit of freedom for a long time. Worse, many children have never tasted it. The danger of this cannot be overstated. While our natural state is freedom, tyrants have always tried to confine mankind to an unnatural state of slavery.
The mask mandates are not merely an inconvenience, but a threat to the American way of life. Religious and zealous mask-wearing represent a regressive mentality of the citizen to once again adopt their role as servant and view the government as master.
Mask mandates are not merely a mandate to cover one’s face, but a mandate to abandon our long climb from the swamp to the stars. The longer Californians, and others, live under this kind of tyranny, the more likely they are to accept their unnatural state.
Ronald Reagan famously said that “freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” But freedom can only be fought for by those who cherish it. Freedom can only be cherished by those who have experienced it.
The purpose of mask mandates isn’t to promote safety, but to promote slavery. I experienced freedom for a weekend and lived to tell the tale.