Of all the criticisms that have been made about me – it is not a short list – no one has ever suggested I am shy about expressing my opinion. It has been said I can walk into an empty room and start an argument. There is probably some truth to that.
However, I will never have to regret I was unwilling to take a stand. No one says “Why won’t Rob just tell us what he thinks?”
Plus, in politics, over-reaction is often the coin of the realm.
Today, we face political developments so damaging to the fabric of our republic that exaggeration is hardly possible. Do you believe the damage being done to our nation, in particular to the First Amendment, is defensible? If so, with all due respect, you are either uninformed, don’t understand the essential role of freedom in our nation, or are actively seeking to bring it down. There are no other options.
If you live in a red state – Florida, Texas, and Mississippi are on my mind – where your governor has decided that lockdowns (even partial) and mask mandates are pretty much wastes of times, count yourself lucky. If you live in a blue state – oh, say, New York, Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey – with a petty tyrant for governor, an inert or rubber-stamp legislature, and courts controlled by make-the-law-up Democrat judges, you’re still being forced to knuckle under, to one degree or another.
It’s human nature to think that whatever we are going through right now is the worst, most extreme, most memorable event of its kind. Ever. Sometimes it is true. Our tendency to exaggerate notwithstanding, I am confident that future historians will look at the COVID pandemic as one of the seminal issues of our lifetimes. It is at least as important as 911 and Viet Nam.
In 2020 we set a new standard for how we would react to a serious health crisis. We made a collective decision – or more accurately a few dozen governors, scientists, and regulators made it for us – that it is worth trashing our entire economy, driving millions of businesses into bankruptcy, and putting non-COVID health matters at the back of the line in order to potentially save some lives. Previously, it had not occurred to us that we should just shut things down. The downside was too great. Now it is precedent.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment, 1791
“Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.” – James Wilson, Of the Study of the Law in the United States, 1790
Back in late February, we were told that the Black Death was soon upon us. But in less than two months, nothing of the sort has happened. Americans haven’t had to swab disinfectant over doorways in some public health Passover ritual. The “Great Deadly Contagion 2020” is a bust, of sorts. Yes, there’s a COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s contours more resemble a nasty flu season.
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.
Truth: This virus is new and can be deadly. We have been afraid that something bad was going to happen. We knew we were not prepared so we hit the panic button. We were wrong and caused a lot of unnecessary damage. We don’t want to admit it so we are stuck. Everyone is to blame.
When the governor, however entitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule, and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.
[Gov. Gretchen] Whitmer’s order generated a great deal of pushback. It includesa prohibition on large retailers selling allegedly nonessential items, such as paint and outdoor supplies, meaning stores like Home Depot had to tape off those sections from customers. Lawncare services have been temporarily shuttered. With very few exceptions, the order prohibits people from traveling between residences [snip]
The experts and epidemiological models have been embarrassingly wrong. COVID-19 isn’t a figment of our imaginations, but it’s not the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic – not by a long shot. We’re in the midst of an historic overreaction to a contagious infection. Tens of millions of working Americans and small businesses are paying the price. Paychecks and jobs, lost, and small businesses hanging by threads.
In the fight to subdue the coronavirus contagion, the nation is hunkered down. Businesses, big and small, considered nonessential, are shuttered. Schools are closed. Sports, amateur and pro, are shelved. Restaurants are struggling. In some places, “shelter at home” is mandatory. In others, its voluntary.