Dr. Fauci: A tyrant from out of The Twilight Zone

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. —Plato

Observing Doctor Fauci's behavior since the start of this COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded of an episode of the original Twilight Zone series written by Rod Serling: "On Thursday We Leave for Home."  According to The Twilight Zone Companion, by Marc Scott Zicree, Serling considered it the best episode of the fourth season.  It is an excellent example of tyrants — how they are made and how they behave.  It's also consistent with Plato's succinct definition.

James Whitmore plays William Benteen, the leader of a colony of Earth people who have been living on a colony planet.  They left Earth because of the conditions there and went in search of their own paradise.  The colony planet was anything but a paradise.  In order to keep up their spirits, Benteen tells the people stories of how wonderful Earth was when he lived there.  Many of the people are too young to remember or were born on the colony planet.

Benteen learns that a rescue ship is coming to take everyone home on Thursday.  When the people learn of this rescue mission, Benteen changes his stories about Earth.  When they remind Benteen of the fact that he told them stories of how wonderful Earth was, his response is, "I lied to you to make you feel better.  Now I'm telling you the truth for your own good."

This is consistent with the flip-flops that Doctor Fauci has given us from the beginning.  He said masks don't protect you.  In fact, years earlier, he said that very thing.  At the time, he called them a paranoid tool.  Then he changed his tune and said everyone should wear a mask.  Next, he suggested a mask mandate.  When he was confronted with his own words, he echoed Benteen's response: I lied to you so there wouldn't be a rush on masks.  Now I'm telling you the truth for your own good.

It's troubling that he didn't concern himself with the hoarding and shortages of toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, or food.  That's exactly what happened when he called for a home quarantine for fourteen days to "flatten the curve."

Benteen begins to respond in such a way that it becomes apparent that he is afraid of losing his power over the colony's people.  He changes from the great protector to the authoritarian.  He insists that if they return home, the colonists must remain isolated from the rest of Earth for their own good.  Doctor Fauci refers to this same mandate as "social distancing," which he said may be necessary until 2022.  He has stated that he wasn't sure if we should cancel Christmas this year again, like his Grinch-like mandate of 2020.

Think back to how Doctor Fauci was portrayed by the media at the beginning of this pandemic versus now.  In the beginning, he was the great protector, just as Plato describes in his definition.  A baker in my hometown made a Doctor Fauci donut to honor the great doctor.  There was other fawning over him, including a disastrous first pitch at a baseball game.  The accuracy of that pitch parallels his medical advice.

Fauci's consistent flip-flopping and claims that we have to follow the science make no sense.  There is plenty of contrary evidence he chooses to ignore, and he refuses to even consult with others on the data.  Instead, he has adopted an authoritarian position, calling for mandates on masks, double-masks, and vaccine mandates.  He doesn't consider anything except his point of view.

In The Twilight Zone, Benteen concedes that the colony can return to Earth but says they must form their own colony on Earth, and he will remain their leader.  Doctor Fauci has made a similar suggestion that would keep him perpetually in the limelight.  He suggested there should be a mandate requiring a mask every flu season.  

Serling's closing narration is succinct, pithy, and definitive of Fauci:

William Benteen, who had prerogatives: he could lead, he could direct, dictate, judge, legislate. It became a habit, then a pattern, and finally a necessity.  William Benteen, once a god — now a population of one.

It would be in the best interest of the country if Doctor Fauci would cross over into the Twilight Zone, as did William Benteen.

David Ennocenti is a retired accountant and graduate of the State University of N.Y. at Buffalo, School of Management with a degree in accounting and finance.  He passed the CPA examination in 1983.  His writing has appeared in the American Thinker,  USA Today, The New York Times, and several other publications.  His screenplay, Sniper Queen, was an official selection of The Artemis Women in Action Films Festival.  He is a past winner of the Writer's Digest Annual Competition.

Image: NIAID via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 (cropped).

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