SO, HELEN AND I DROPPED BY THE KNOX COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT BUILDING TO SEE THE ANTI-LOCKDOWN PROTEST. There were over 200 people there, a mix of small business people, waitresses and bartenders, etc. The class conflict angle was real. As the Board of Health met via Zoom, one of the speakers remarked: “It’s the upper elite that meet by zoom. The rest of us have to go to work.” The vibe very much reminded me of early Tea Party rallies, as did a remark I overheard from one of the organizers, “I thought we’d be lucky to get 5 or 10 people but we got all these.” I also heard people saying how much fun it was to get out and protest.

Also heard: “Limit Wal-Mart first!”

The protest opened with a prayer, which was preceded by a statement that those who were not into it were still respected and valued and welcome. There were also calls for courtesy, and a critic who showed up was even allowed to speak, though he opened by telling the crowd that its failure to wear masks was the reason for new restrictions. This was poorly received.

I think the coronavirus overreach is producing blowback. And I think that the deplorables aren’t going to sit down and shut up as some people hoped.

I took a few pictures:

And it made a difference: Knox Co. Board of Health approves blunted measures with 10 p.m. dine-in curfew, table size restrictions. “After hearing discussion from business owners and seeing blunted measures recently passed in the Memphis and Nashville areas, the Board of Health opted not to vote on the stricter measures it had discussed Friday that would have cut restaurant capacity to 25%.” And closing gyms, which was on the agenda last week, wasn’t discussed at all.

Related: Protests show two Americas — those who lost their jobs and those still getting paid.

Also, from a lefty source:

There’s a huge Covid class divide. The economy has not just bounded back for upper income Americans; it’s given them higher housing values and lower interest rates. Meanwhile, 12 million service industry workers are still out of work. Small businesses are struggling. The affluent see Covid as a health problem, while for the working class it’s about economic survival. And liberals are doing the same thing they did with Trump: Clothing their class privilege as science and facts and morality.

The politicians are even worse. Instead of coming up with a clean Covid bill, Democrats are now trying to pressure Biden into student loan forgiveness. Can you believe it? What kind of society thinks it’s ok to ask 12 million people who lost their jobs to Covid to foot the bill for the student loans of the top 40% of earners? Sure, maybe it will accidentally help someone in a food line who dropped out of college. But college-educated Americans are back at work. The Covid recession is over for them. Why are the Democrats designing legislation to help the people who need it least, in the belief that some of the benefits might trickle down to help those who need it most?

Oh, I think I know why. And this whole interview is pretty sensible.