Ditch the Donkey – Democrats’ New Mascot is the Face Mask

The first recorded use of the donkey to represent the Democrat party was in a Harper’s Weekly cartoon entitled, “A live jackass kicking a dead lion.” While the jackass would be a better mascot, modern Democrats would consider the mascot sexist as a jackass is a male donkey. Female donkeys are called “jennies,” although in Congress they are referred to as “The Squad.”

YouTube screen grab

If one looks at the modern-day Democrat party, including Democrats in elected office and behind cable news anchor desks, the jackass would be a representative mascot. But post-COVID, I propose a new mascot, the simple face mask, a facial covering used to signify virtue, wokeness, and most of all, identify the user as NOT a Republican, conservative, or Trump supporter.

On one of my rare ill-advised descents into the social media sewer known as Facebook, I stumbled upon the below post.

Facebook screen shot

To respect the poster’s privacy, I won’t mention his name or link to his post, but he is a nurse. This is someone who presumably is part of the “follow the science” crowd and understands the uses and limits of simple surgical face masks in stopping a virus that is an order of magnitude smaller than the pores in the mask.

Such a dilemma, which only Democrats seem to face, to wear or not wear a mask, not to prevent infection but to virtue signal their political views and party affiliation to others.

One comment to the post, “BUT... If I wear my mask, people will think I haven't been vaccinated and then they'll think I'm a Trump supporter. Literally fight with myself every time I go in public.” Another comment by a pulmonary specialist was simply, “I agree”. From “follow the science” to “follow the donkey.”

At least there was one common-sensical comment, “I’m as left as they come and now that I am vaxed, I’m done wearing a mask when not required. I am happy to smile at people and be smiled back by them. I don’t care who they voted for.”

Narcissism is on full display. When I am in a store, I marvel at the number of people still wearing masks but realize that only about half the country has received only a single dose of one of the COVID vaccines. Meaning that at least some of those wearing masks may actually be following CDC guidelines, that only fully vaccinated adults can resume indoor and outdoor activities without masks or distancing.

Others may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a population traumatized and held captive by Dr. Fauci and the medical establishment for more than a year based on flimsy and flip-flopping evidence, now identifying with their captors, refusing to ditch their masks.

One example is from the New York Times, describing an upstate New York photographer who will not leave his home without wearing two masks and goggles, despite having had COVID and being fully vaccinated, a redundant second measure conferring more immunity to COVID than he likely needs in his lifetime.

Some deny virtue-signaling, instead demonstrating humanitarianism on par with Mother Teresa. “This is not about eternally virtue signaling liberal pandemic politics, but rather acknowledging that our actions influence each other,” as one perpetual mask wearer explained.

That’s like sitting in a parked car wearing a seatbelt as a means of influencing others to wear a seatbelt while driving. What happened to following CDC science? Or common sense?

For many, however, the mask is nothing more than a Biden/Harris bumper sticker worn across one’s face. From another social media sewer, known as Twitter:

Twitter screen shot

Then there is Greta’s “twin brother from a different mother,” David Hogg, also quite concerned that someone might think of him as a conservative. There as much of a chance of that as someone confusing Meghan Markle with Margaret Thatcher.

Twitter screen shot

Thirty-six thousand "liked" his tweet, presumably agreeing with him. They are more fearful of random passersby thinking they voted for Trump rather than any of the myriad health problems induced by chronic mask use.

Better to declare oneself a woke progressive, even at the expense of facial acne, oral/dental disease, hypoxia, and hypercapnia. Stress, anxiety, and cognitive impairment are a small price to pay for some stranger not wondering if you might have voted for a Republican.

Last year, Politico acknowledged mask symbolism:

In the ‘60s, protesters burned bras. In 2020, they might soon be burning masks.

The mask has become the ultimate symbol of this new cultural and political divide.

Perhaps both political parties can benefit from a new symbol. For the Republicans, a schematic of the DNA double helix, the foundation of life, and a testament to “follow the science.”

For Democrats it can be the cheap surgical mask, a next to useless appendage for those already immune to COVID-19 but a clear signal of their virtue, how much they care about their fellow man and woman (as long as they are not white, Republican, heterosexual, Christian, gun-owning, or MAGA-hat-wearing).

So Democrats, scrape off those old “Obama-Biden” or “I’m With Her” bumper stickers from your hybrid or electric cars and mask up, even when driving in your car alone. Everyone will immediately know your politics and who you voted for.

At the next Democrat convention, skip the oppressive and racist American flag. Instead, fly those blue surgical masks and make sure to always wear at least two masks, along with a face shield, and a “Fabulous Fauci” t-shirt.

Even if the U.S. Capitol physician ended mask requirements on the House floor, the Democrat caucus should stay masked up, rallying around their new party symbol, the face mask.

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.

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