On Saturday, March 14, we were supposed to attend a pre-Saint Patrick’s Day get-together at a friend’s house over in Dallas. This corned beef, potatoes, champagne, do-not-bring-up-politics happening had become a tradition for about a dozen of us over the last couple of decades.
Having been born in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day with friends has always meant more to me than a drunken revelry at the local pub.
That morning, I called my friend and offered my apologies. With the emerging coronavirus epidemic, it seemed prudent to be cautious and avoid large gatherings. Others had canceled as well, so he understood. This, it must be noted, was before the lockdowns were mandated.
The point of this is that, as adults and sentient beings, we and others were quite capable of making our own decisions when it came to providing for our own well-being.
The further point being that we did not need to adhere to government edicts by the likes of County Judges Clay Jenkins or Glen Whitley to determine what was in our own self-interest and that of others. We, like most Americans, do not need power-obsessed elected authorities to order us to look both ways before crossing the street.
As we emerge from this pandemic, we must begin the discussion of the role of government in our lives. It’s one thing for the government to issue guidelines for public safety. It’s quite another for these petty tyrants to wreak economic destruction and public misery in their pursuit of power.
As the after-action reports are written in the wake of this crisis, the one that deserves the greatest scrutiny is governmental abuse of power. This is vitally important because we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that given the chance, they’ll do it again.
We are not children, and elected officials are not our parents. Either we rein them in legislatively, or we send them a message by voting them out of office.
There will always be those who act irresponsibly. Such are the hazards of a free society.
Stealthily adopting the policies of Communist China is not a prescription Americans should allow. We are on the precipice of having the unalienable rights defined in our Declaration of Independence irretrievably expunged.
Already there are those decrying the loosening of restrictions placed upon the American people. That’s fine. They are free to stay home. The rest of us need to get back to work restoring the American economy.
We should not permit our shared civil liberties to be the ultimate victim of COVID-19.
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