- April 22, 2020
- 5 min read
Rant warning! But, hey, I know you’ve got time to read! :
I’m apparently, part of a small minority that’s outraged at how much our government has restricted our freedom. Most people have accepted it with the timidity of a newborn puppy. If these folks had been making decisions in WWII, we’d be having this discussion in German and you wouldn’t have a single living Jewish friend or relative.
The pandemic is a very complex problem that we simply can’t solve quickly. Predictably, people make mistakes, experts disagree with each other, leaders change their minds here and there, people hear conflicting messages, and recommendations change the more we learn.
Some leaders have responded well to this challenge. Trump has done a fairly good job, but not a perfect one. And governors like Andrew Cuomo seem to have good intentions (my mom said the road to Hell is paved with good intentions!) and have even complimented Trump for his actions. Cuomo has notably been less draconian in his response than, say, Bill De Blasio. The NYC mayor always makes the Reich choice. It’s disturbing how quickly we accept being a nascent police state. The argument is always made that restricting freedom is for your/our own good. When black Americans were lynched, Japanese Americans illegally herded into camps, and eugenics celebrated as a strategy to eliminate “undesirables” like the disabled or black people, they said it was for everyone’s good. When Pol Pot emptied the cities in Kampuchea and murdered millions, it was all for a good reason.
Well, screw that. You are in better position that anyone to know what’s best for you, your family, and your community. Experts disagree with each other, and politicians of all (or most) stripes want to run your lives. They are not better or smarter than you, they do not have your best interests at heart, and they do not value your freedom.
The old line that anything is justified if we can save only one life is, frankly, crap. It’s not true now, and never has been. That is not how life, or government, works. And there is the concomitant urge to require a “one size fits all” approach. Also crap.
It’s like saying everyone who goes to the doctor needs the same treatment. Nonsense. State and local jurisdictions are as different as any two random visitors to the local dock-in-the box. The metro area that includes New York and surrounding environs, has about half of America’s Covid 19 cases. We probably need to do different things in NYC than in Utah. Common sense suggests that we should take strong measures to contain the virus in the areas where it’s most prevalent, while keeping much of America free and open for business.
But the government elites – which include many Democrats and some Republicans – don’t value freedom and think we need a single very restrictive policy for everywhere; Queens, Vegas, and Terre Haute, where I grew up.
Hogan, who is generally a terrific governor, has failed this test. In the past week he’s threatened citizens with prison if they do not wear a mask, and, concurrently, released about 500 inmates into the general population. How does that make sense? They want us to essentially live in prison/house arrest, but real criminals need to be free. WTF?
Add to that the ridiculous policies of Mayor De Blasio on NYC. De Blasio ran for president briefly, amassing the same number of delegates as Barney Fife, Mothra, and Jake from State Farm. Zero. (This point suggests maybe some Americans are smarter than we thought!) De Blasio has been releasing inmates and has expressed outrage that many of them have committed new crimes. Who knew?
Ours is a federalist nation. All power not expressly granted to the feds resides in the several states. President Trump can order restrictions in those entities which are creatures of the national government. He can also issue recommendations, which is what he’s done, for the states. Then the governors decide whether and how extensively to follow those recommendations. It’s the way our system works. Anyone who’s calling for mandatory shutdowns of all businesses, coast-to-coast, from the last remaining Stuckey’s to COSTCO to Fred’s Hot Dogs, either doesn’t under federalism or doesn’t care.
Many governors are going far above anything that is justified or constitutional. Governor Whitmer, of MI, is a case in point. She has banned the sale of gardening products and seeds, banned the use of motorboats (but not kayaks), banned golf (a sport you play both alone and outdoors), but kept abortion parlors open and made sure weed, hooch, and the lottery are available. Can’t make it up. She has the intellect of an amoeba, and not one of the smarter ones!
The states and their leaders know their areas best. Governor Noem of SD, for example, didn’t close the state at all. Good for her. Gov. De Santis of Florida has been slow to restrict freedom, cautious, and respectful. Gov. Kemp of Georgia is authorizing a gradual re-opening. Good for all of them. They deserve your respect.
As this plays out, do yourself, and your country, this favor: watch who is pushing to keep us closed, force you to stay at home, and not be allowed even minimal freedom. Then, note who is speaking out in support of freedom, and acting accordingly. Vote for the latter and abhor the former. BTW, President Trump is celebrating people exercising their rights and pushing to keep us free. Thank God. Would you really want a president who opposes free speech and doesn’t value your rights? If you do, you’ll have a chance to vote for him in November. His name is Biden.
Should people exercise caution when demonstrating, or going to the grocery, or to the doctor? Sure. But our freedom of speech is just as important as our freedom to go to the grocery.
Want an environment where you have no chance of getting the virus? Really? You do? Great. Get sent to prison, preferably solitary confinement. You’ll love it.
Those who fall for the “one size fits all” approach always know better than you, don’t respect the Constitution, and are just as happy to shut down churches as they are to keep weed available. (Where I live, you cannot go to a church to worship, but you can have weed delivered to your home. Is this a great country, or what?)
“They” initially said we needed a shutdown to flatten the curve. That has happened. Now they are saying we can’t reopen until the disease is gone. They are moving the goal posts.
If you aren’t outraged by the police state, with respect, you ought to be! Most of what the governors have done is unconstitutional. Closing churches is unconstitutional on its face.
The heroes of this tale will be most health care workers, scientists, first responders, and the few state and local leaders who fought to keep us free.
Remember two famous quotes from our nation’s founders: The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and, Schumer is a putz! Both these statements have stood the test of time! :).