We Are Facing 2 Huge Crises: 1. The Coronavirus & 2. The Government’s Reaction To It
I am very concerned.
All of us — including myself — are scrambling to keep track of the federal, state, and local governments’ list of can’s and cannot’s. They keep changing on an almost hourly basis. Anytime so many governments are mandating so many constantly evolving restrictions, citizens need to be especially vigilant so the government doesn’t make a bad situation worse.
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” That sure fits this.
Coronavirus is something we’re all very concerned about — there are people who have died from it and will die from it and all of us mourn for them and their families. And we’re grateful to those heroic people in the health care field who are doing their absolute best. Coronavirus is rightfully getting a lot of attention.
But what’s not getting the attention it deserves is the government’s reaction to it. It’s something all of us need to recognize: there are legions of examples in our nation’s history where the government — federal, state, and local — made a bad situation worse and basic constitutional rights are trampled. During World War 2, Japanese Americans were put in internment camps. During the late 60’s, there was the House Committee on Un-American Activities and Hollywood’s “black list”. After 9-11, the federal government imposed restrictions that were not consistent with our US Constitution. There are innumerable examples.
At the meet-and-greet in Oak Harbor yesterday, I talked about this and it was very well received.
I highlighted my own personal history that influences my convictions: when we were doing our local initiatives to let the voters decide on red-light ticketing cameras in 2010 and 2011 — the voters sided with us every time. The government always said it was about safety, but voters recognized it was also a loss of their liberty.
During those campaigns, I often cited the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
The First Amendment guarantees the citizenry the right to peaceably assemble. I am very concerned that during fear-intensive situations like this that the government infringes on basic constitutional rights without sufficient questioning. And when that happens, I’ve seen the media is often silent or even complicit. It’s important that when the government infringes on basic constitutional rights and the press falls down on the job, there needs to be people with the courage to question it, challenge it, debate it. Jay Inslee did not “suggest” the suspension of the First Amendment, he ordered it. That is deeply disturbing to me.
Nothing wrong with the government saying — we strongly urge citizens to do the following — that’s fine.
But using the full weight and authority and power of the government to order the end of political discourse, the suspension of worship, these are basic rights that do not need to be and should not be sacrificed without greater discussion and debate. I firmly believe we can have a society that values both safety and liberty but only if you elect people who are committed to both.
My update on Saturday and the meet-and-greet in Oak Harbor were intended — and they’ve succeeded — in provoking a needed debate.
“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” Douglas MacArthur.
People need to be concerned, not just about COVID-19, but also the government’s continued escalation of restrictions. Here’s the latest:
It’s a serious question: what’s next?
These are very trying times that we are facing right now. I ask you to join me in prayer. I ask you to join me in asking questions that aren’t being asked. I am very concerned, but I am also very certain that together, we can overcome these challenges without sacrificing what makes America so special.
My best to you and your families,