News & Politics

There's Another 'Coronavirus Snitch Line' in Texas. We'll See How Long That Lasts.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

This quarantine is driving everybody nuts. Being cooped up in the house for two months is tough on even agoraphobes like me, and I can get a sunburn just by watching Beach Blanket Bingo. So I don’t blame people for wanting to get out and enjoy the spring weather. And I definitely don’t blame businesses that are trying to stay afloat right now. People have to earn a living. They need to eat. Yes, this virus is dangerous and we need to be careful, but it’s just not feasible for the whole world to lock everything down forever. That wasn’t how this was sold to us. It’s #FlattenTheCurve, not #StarveYourFamily.

So far, most people have been voluntarily abiding by the recommended cautionary measures in public. They don’t want to get sick or make anybody else sick, so they’re doing the right thing. There are exceptions, of course, and I hope the Virus Truthers don’t end up infecting anybody. But most people are being responsible. It’s a great example of how rational self-interest works. We don’t need Big Brother telling us what to do.

But if you’re an authoritarian, that’s not good enough. You don’t think people can be trusted to watch out for themselves. They need to be ruled. That’s why Dems keep freaking out that Trump hasn’t seized direct control over every single aspect of American daily life. They hate the guy and they’ve tried everything possible to get rid of him, yet they don’t understand why he isn’t telling them what to do and enforcing it at gunpoint.

It’s also why we keep seeing things like this:

As you might recall, NYC tried the same thing a couple weeks ago, but Mayor de Blasio’s “Coronavirus snitch line” got taken down after a flood of… let’s just call them photographs of a personal nature.

Something similar just happened in Texas, at least briefly. Ken Webster Jr., KPRC:

Over the weekend the chief executive in charged of the 3rd largest county in America launched a “Snitch” website to encourage residents of Southeast Texas to rat out their fellow citizens for violating the stay-at-home orders…

Much like NYC’s “Snitch line”, the snitch-website appears to have gone offline in less than 24 hours, possibly as a result of thousands of social media users encouraging people to file fake reports on the website.

That Harris County site is back up now, but we’ll see for how long. Don’t mess with Texas. Especially if you work for the state of Texas!

This is America. We don’t want the Stasi here. We don’t want to report on our neighbors. Most of us don’t, anyway. We’re not going to survive this virus by tattling on each other. This country was founded as a place to escape tyranny, not to participate in it.

You don’t bother me, I don’t bother you. That philosophy has been working pretty well for a couple hundred years now. I say we stick with it.

P.S. Missouri residents who snitched on lockdown rule-breakers fear retaliation after names are made public.