OP-ED: Undermining the Essence of America
In January, President Trump placed travel restrictions on foreign nationals traveling from China, helping the United States prevent the importation of the coronavirus from its international source. Democrats and the nutty Left shouted, “Xenophobe” and “Racist!” Now they are attacking the very essence of America: our recognition of God-given rights and the market economy.
When officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the president were urging social distancing, Leftist politicians howled. Democrats advocated for hugging and embracing everyone, including those who might be carriers. For the Leftists, it was “damn the science; it’s unfair to withhold affection to people who might transmit the Wuhan Flu.”
Why is it that the tolerant Left is so intolerant of American society, of science, and the small businesses that employ most Americans? It is the Mom and Pop shops that are bearing the brunt of closing down our economy.
When it came time for the biggest relief package in the history of the world (the CARES Act), Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team decided they could remake America in the way they want it, instead of providing immediate and targeted relief.
There’s more than economic havoc at play here.
The intentions of the Democrats are revealed in the ways Democrat leaders are ruling instead of governing. They have usurped virtually every right recognized in the Constitution while emasculating the economy.
While the president and governors, like Arizona’s Doug Ducey, Texas’s Greg Abbott, and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, have been issuing rational and responsible guidelines to keep the economy open as much as possible and to protect liberties, Democrat Governors, like Gavin Newsom (California) and Ralph Northam (Virginia), have chosen to arrogate power to themselves and close their states at the expense of millions of residents.
The freedom-taking governors have been aided by local officials who have ordered law abiding citizens off the streets, out of businesses and out of churches.
Some governments are ordering that utilities be cut off from businesses that they unilaterally have deemed as unacceptable and a hazard to the public.
Many states and local jurisdictions have issued executive orders, without the approval of the people’s legislative representatives, deeming some businesses “essential” and others, “non-essential.”
Some of these businesses have been in their communities for decades, contributing to their local charities and others have just opened. Many have closed, and others will assuredly close. Many of the businesses that close will never reopen.
Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Wolf, and the state Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens can be abrogated by the governor. After the ruling Governor Wolf quietly allowed gun shops to reopen provided the sellers and buyers follow social distancing guidelines.
A Pennsylvania woman was cited by state police for simply going on a drive, though she was “social distancing.”
A California man was arrested after he was told to leave an otherwise deserted ocean by a local lifeguard.
These sort of citations for violating draconian stay-at-home orders are becoming more frequent.
Like in the defunct former Soviet Union, residents across countless jurisdictions are being urged to report their neighbors for infractions of stay-at-home orders. Reporters and many private citizens have made it their life’s mission to document any perceived infractions, including visits to secluded parks and other outdoor activities, as well as visits to restaurants for take-out services.
Last week, Google announced it would publish data that tracks the movements of people around the world. Google will compare current trends with previous norms to provide government officials with information on which regions across the nation are obeying or disobeying social distancing guidelines. This is an egregious abuse of our privacy that will likely outlast the outbreak.
The assault on religious freedom by some governors and mayors may be the most dangerous. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to potentially shutter churches where members continued to gather. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered that churches stop in-person services of more than 10 people or else face penalties.
America was a country founded on religious freedom. Churches should have the opportunity to proceed with their services, according to the needs of their individual congregations, and while responsibly taking care to protect the health of their members. After all, in a time of great confusion and fear, people want, and have the right, to turn to their local churches for peace and comfort.
At some point, Americans must decide if government is by the people or by elected executives with a penchant for abusing our rights, regardless of whether they are in the federal government, states, and local jurisdictions. Can we trust Americans to operate in our society by reasonable recommendations to keep the public safe and reduce the risk of transmission of disease, or have we decided that we simply cannot accept the risks of freedom any longer?
The same people decrying Trump for his reasonable steps to mitigate the importation and spread of the virus are now showing their authoritarian bent.
It isn’t just that we are emasculating our economy and running the risk of triggering an economic depression; it is that we are undermining the very essence of America.
If we don’t reopen our businesses and economy, and we allow the constriction of our rights—if we allow the government at every level to accrete more power over every aspect of our lives—will we be America any longer?