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If I had heard that there was a scandal about Donald Trump’s haircut, I probably wouldn't have been surprised. I probably wouldn’t have blinked an eye. After Russia, taxes, Ukraine, pornstars, alleged sexual assault on tape, a plagiarized speech from Michelle Obama, hand sanitizer injections and airports during the Revolutionary War there is little the current president could do to surprise me. Instead, when I heard that Nancy Pelosi had been involved in a scandal about not wearing a mask at a San Francisco hair salon, my curiosity spiked.

Who would care if Trump got a haircut without a mask on? He didn’t wear a mask for the first half of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps this double standard is unfair.

But at the same time, maybe Democrats should be held to a higher standard. Progressives in this country have a history of shaming their opponents — shaming them for hoarding wealth, using plastic bags, eating too much meat or refusing to wear a mask. This shaming isn’t inherently wrong, but it must be used with caution because it can so quickly lead to sticky situations.

The issue isn’t just that Nancy Pelosi didn’t wear a mask. The issue is that for months she’s been telling Americans to do so. This hypocrisy reinforces everything that conservatives have been saying this whole time — that politicians play by a whole different set of rules than the ones they expect us to abide by.

Now, I’m an optimist. I truly believe that most people are good, and that when most politicians (including Nancy Pelosi) tell us to wear a mask, it is because they are genuinely concerned about our population’s well-being. But if Democrats want the entire other fifty percent of the country to believe that too, they need to hold themselves to the same standard.

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This is the opinion of Veronica Backer-Peral, a junior film and television production, history and computer science triple major from Pasadena, CA. Tweet comments @LALoyolan or email

Veronica is a junior triple major in film production, history, and computer science. She loves long talks about politics, amateur flying trapeze, and getting 8 hours of sleep (almost) every night.

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