Like most children, Congressman Jim Jordan struggles with delayed gratification. He badly wants to go outside and play. To romp unmasked at Sunday school. To watch the grownups exchange spittle as they rage against transgender middle school athletes.
But Dad won’t let him. Dr. Anthony Fauci, de facto father of the nation, says it’s still too early.
For months, Dad has warned the children of the dangers of COVID-19. It’s killed 562,000 Americans – ten times the U.S. death toll from the Vietnam War. But every time we seem to have it under control, children like Jimmy flock to the playground, and so begins another surge of death and anguish.
Jimmy has countered with his best reasoning: “But I’m not dead. What do I care?” To which Dad has patiently lectured him about the importance of caring for others. Jimmy thinks that’s “tyranny.”
It all came to a head when Dad visited Washington Elementary
last week to talk to the children. Most find him a soothing presence guiding us through these turbulent times. Not Jimmy. This was his chance to show who the real victim was.
“Over the last year, American’s First Amendment rights have been completely attacked,” Jimmy shouted at the school assembly. “Your right to go to church, your right to assemble, your right to petition your government, freedom of the press, freedom of speech have all been assaulted.”
No one really knew what he was talking about. Jimmy made the same speech in first grade when the gym teacher told them to stop bullying the Mexican kids. The other children slunk in their chairs. Jimmy could be so embarrassing.
When will they “get their liberties back?” he demanded.
Dad tried to calmly explain that airborne pathogens don’t operate on a calendar. They simply run amok until the children take precautions to stop them.
Jimmy didn’t like this answer. It entailed hard work and sacrifice. Why do that when it was easier to yell at Dad?
“Are we just going to continue this forever?” Jimmy whined. “What measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before Americans get their liberties and freedoms back?”
Dad said we would begin to be safe when everyone got their medicine. But insecure children like Jimmy were refusing to take it
. They thought it made them look weak. So they continued to pretend the virus only killed people who didn’t matter. As a result, infections are once again approaching the highest rate of the pandemic
Dad explained that once the nation’s daily infection rate fell below 10,000, the children could play again. Unfortunately, we’re now at 67,000.
"We're not talking about liberties,” said Dad. “We're talking about a pandemic that has killed 562,000 Americans."
But Jimmy didn’t care about any 562,000 Americans. What he cared about was playing. Now. “Are we going to be here in two years from now wearing masks and asking the same question?” he sputtered.
Principal Maxine Waters was usually patient with Jimmy. She knew he struggled with deep insecurities that made him thirst to be the center of attention. But she’d had enough. “Shut your mouth!” she told him
. It was time for the other children to ask questions.
Though Jimmy’s friends praised his performance as impressively belligerent, the rest of his classmates were less admiring. “Jim Jordan Trips Over His Own Asshole Trying to Debate Anthony Fauci,” read the headline in Vanity Fair
, the school newspaper.
Jimmy went home to sulk. The world was so unfair.