In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, government officials have to balance public health measures with individual rights. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has unleashed an unprecedented authoritarian streak in elected leaders, particularly among Democrats.
It’s that old cliché of never letting a crisis go to waste, unfortunately, played out in real-time, during the shutdown.
The Federalist has identified some of these recent unconstitutional power grabs that seem to defy common sense and are spreading like a virus:
“We’ve now witnessed local and state governments issue decrees about what people can and cannot buy in stores, arrest parents playing with their children in public parks, yank people off public buses at random, remove basketball rims along with private property, ticket churchgoers, and in one case try—and fail—to chase down a lone runner on an empty beach. All of this, we’re told, is for our own good…
“Pandemic or not, this stuff has no place in American society. Petty tyranny of the kind these mayors and local officials are scheming is wholly alien to our customs and way of life, and destructive to the social contract on which our nation is built.”
As widely reported in the media, a federal judge recently had to step in to prevent the mayor of Louisville, Ky., from banning drive-in Easter services. Cops in a Mississippi town threatened worshippers who showed up for drive-in observances with $500 fines. These are just snapshots of the restrictions that have emerged.
Perhaps most disturbing is that this overreach will become part of the day-to-day political fabric even after the current crisis subsides.
An expanded stay-at-home order issued late last week by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer inexplicably prohibits the sale of fruit and vegetable plants and seeds, and disallows Michigan residents from traveling between two in-state residences (such as a summer home).
“Never mind that growing fruits and vegetables at home right now would help maintain social distancing during the pandemic, the governor has spoken and her word is law,” The Federalist observed.
Visiting neighbors across the street or driving to see friends under most circumstances is also not permitted.
Governor Whitmer, you need to focus on getting Michigan’s unemployment up and running correctly. People have bills to pay and food to get!!! Stop worrying about putting more restrictions on Michiganders!!! And do the job that is in NEED at this point of turmoil in people’s lives!
— mhall1970 (@mhall19701) April 13, 2020
Whitmer, who has feuded with President Trump over the coronavirus response, initially tried to block doctors from prescribing hydroxychloroquine before flip-flopping about a week later. According to some physicians around the world, the anti-malarial drug which President Trump has touted may be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Apparently the Republican-controlled state legislature managed to block Whitmer’s efforts to keep Michiganders quarantined through mid-June.
Whitmer is supposedly a potential on the short list of those who Joe Biden is considering as his vice-presidential running mate in the November 2020 election.
Although Biden may be impressed, her draconian restrictions aren’t going over well with her in-state constituents, however, in part because of the ambitious pol’s failure to reasonably distinguish between essential and unessential activities.
A Change.org petition calling for the recall of Gov. Whitmer has reached nearly 170,000 signatures and climbing.
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