Why is liberty such a tough sell?
It’s a difficult question to answer. As we move towards 2020’s Thanksgiving Day, Americans in many places are facing the prospect of “celebrating” the holiday with household members only -- or in too many instances, alone by themselves. Needless to say, this is a scenario no one foresaw a year ago. Prior to March of this year it was inconceivable that our government -- or any government -- would order people to stay completely away from each other, then use the power of law enforcement to carry out the decrees.
The passive and terrified among us accepted the notion and even expressed appreciation to the experts and elites who claimed they’re only acting for our own welfare. These purveyors of submissiveness argue that government has the power to save people even when they don’t want to be “saved” by directives that make little sense outside of a conference room. Most people have complied with the executive guidelines through fear of severe fines or even worse, though it’s become harder and harder to envision where this all leads.
The “experts” rely on statistics to require compliance. Politicians point fingers and issue opinions as to the danger or threat as if it were gospel truth. Only in a few places is responsibility left up to individuals to decide. Where have we gone? Or more saliently, how far will we go? Do we truly owe gratitude to the experts who did this to us?
In a piece titled, “No thank you, Dr. Fauci,” Gayle Trotter wrote at The Hill, “Today, as a pandemic covers the globe, hypocritical bureaucrats impose far-reaching restrictions while barely pretending to abide by their own rules. ‘Trust the experts,’ we are told. Yet most Americans are skeptical of being governed by unelected technocrats.
“We know full well the perils of government by expert and the threat it poses to our individual liberty. Expert rule is an elitist political philosophy that has rapidly metastasized during the pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic ‘has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty,’ said Justice Samuel Alito in his recent address to the Federalist Society. ‘We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020.’”
Alito is right. And judging by the people who criticized him for expressing his learned opinion, he touched a nerve. Liberty is a precious thing and all too many people take it for granted and submit themselves to tyranny by proclamation. American politicians were elected to serve the needs of the people and keep them safe from external threats -- and to keep the peace. They were not sent to city councils, state and federal legislatures and executive mansions to save citizens from themselves. Herein lies the contradiction.
The proverbial struggle between proponents of freedom and self-rule versus the “expert” elites isn’t exactly a new concept. Look back in history and at every point on the timeline there is some skirmish taking place between the rulers and the ruled. Moses led his people out of Egypt and received the Ten Commandments. Similarly, Christians look to Jesus Christ as an example of the ultimate dissident, who lowered neither to the Pharisees nor the Roman authority in his time.
Christ did say, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's”, but it wasn’t as though the prophet and savior of mankind was instructing the human race to bow down to legal and practical authority in every instance. On the contrary. God is in charge of everything, including the pandemic brought on through the Chinese Communist Party (CCP, or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus. No “expert” on earth supersedes the higher law.
Thomas Jefferson so much as said so in the Declaration of Independence. Human beings can take a lot, but there’s a line to be drawn and crossed. Jefferson wrote, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
That’s basically the point we’re at now. The 2020 election was about much more than just a contest between President Donald Trump and a man named Joe Biden. It was about the difference between freedom of choice and individual responsibility versus government by “expert” and the oh-so-nebulous concept of “science.” Small men and women hide behind the opinions of the academically credentialed and supposedly enlightened, but in a free society, truly, everyone must decide for themselves.
Sadly, it looks as though a majority of Americans chose to be governed rather than set their own path, swayed by assurances of healthcare and lots of government checks. Jefferson also wrote, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” We’ll discover the wisdom of the founding father’s words soon enough.
The American colonists had had enough of rule by dictate in the 1760’s and 1770’s. Perhaps starting with the Stamp Tax imposed by the Prime Minister and Parliament of Great Britain, the original patriots began seeing the arbitrary nature of laws and policies sent to them from across the ocean. Today’s uninformed probably believe the War for Independence started at Lexington and Concord in 1775, but that actual shooting was just the boiling point for tensions that bubbled up years before.
As a side note, the Massachusetts Minutemen responded to word that the British Redcoats were marching to confiscate the citizens’ powder stores, thereby all but rendering them defenseless. Think the Second Amendment isn’t important today? All tyrants desire a disarmed and ignorant public. If the “experts” will order you to stick to your own immediate family for Thanksgiving to stave off infection from a virus, does anyone believe they’d restrain themselves from deeming guns “dangerous” and a threat to public health?
At any rate, there are other examples of liberty vs. government tyranny. Both sides in our own War Between the States battled what they viewed as excessive government. The Union forces fought for the Constitution and the rule of law. After the Emancipation Proclamation, they added the cause of freedom to their side. Meanwhile, the Southern soldiers fought for home rule and against what they viewed as invaders to their states. Both sides sacrificed for different concepts of autonomy. In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln said both sides pray to the same God and both seek his aid against their opponent. But both sides can’t be right.
In World War II, the United States mobilized against fascist threats on several continents. In the abstract, they fought for democracy over dictatorship, but in the larger sense they were defending their homes and the American way of life. The threat from overseas was much larger than any virus could ever be. But still they went and faced the carnage on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific and the beaches of Normandy in Europe. Many thousands are still there, buried beneath the soil they struggled over.
How many of them would’ve approved of what’s happening today? Did they give the last full measure of devotion to preserve American political leaders’ power to cancel Thanksgiving? If they did, I’ve completely misinterpreted the lessons from history. Let us learn from the past, and exercise our freedom as though it’s a precious gift -- because it is.
Legislatures make laws, tyrants make edicts
The scenes of tens of thousands of Donald Trump backers attending rallies in support of their candidate are still fresh in our minds. Liberals and Democrats criticized the attendees for their callous disregard of the dictates from state governors and mayors. Trump himself constantly jabbed at the rulers’ certain frustration that so many “sheep” had escaped -- or defied -- the orders of their self-appointed shepherds.
It was a beautiful display of free individuals deciding for themselves the proper course in their own lives. Through a virtual daily bombardment of data, statistics and warnings, every one of them no doubt understood the risk and assumed it. They didn’t need someone to tell them to stay away. Some wore masks, some didn’t. All exercised a God-given right to assemble.
Where did the “leaders” get their authority? The United States Constitution -- and presumably every state’s constitution -- places the power to make laws in the elected legislature. A representative republic requires those who write and pass legislation to be directly accountable to the voters via the ballot box. Executives are similarly elected, but only to execute the laws that legislatures enact.
Where are these voices? The courts and legislatures are tasked with defending our rights against the tyrannical impulses of the executives. Remember those “checks and balances”?
President Trump has drawn criticism for being a dictator, yet when he wisely restrained himself against COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates, the whiny “protect-me” class savaged him for not doing enough. Then there’s Joe Biden, who is now demanding access to the Trump administration’s plan to distribute the vaccines developed by pharmaceutical companies at Trump’s order. Shouldn’t Congress step in and provide its two cents on the matter?
Of course Congress can’t really accomplish anything these days. Speaker Nancy Pelosi personally held up further “relief” to people across the country, presumably because the president and Republicans in Congress similarly refused to go along with her insistence on funding local jurisdictions’ losses from their own policies. Is the federal authority merely an insurance guarantor against poor decision-making?
Many of the men and women directing people to sequester themselves say they’re doing so because of “science” and the advice of “experts.” These are decisions for legislators to make. Governors and mayors act in times of emergency. There’s no such thing as an emergency that lasts eight-plus months.
Think of that on Thanksgiving Day when you can’t go anywhere or do anything.
More snobs, elitists and bureaucrats on the way if Joe Biden becomes president
The mainstream establishment media didn’t devote much attention to it, but “President-elect” Joe Biden has already started naming members of his “landing” team. Big shocker! -- they’re mostly a collection of Obama administration retreads, the type of people who ignore the written law and decide policy by their own whims. They’ll take care of you, loser!
Stephen Dinan reported at The Washington Times, “The transition ‘landing team’ presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden is deploying to the Department of Homeland Security is stocked with veterans of counterterrorism and emergency management — and it’s a who’s who of past campaigns for an illegal immigrant amnesty. Missing, however, is anyone to represent border security, said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents thousands of Border Patrol line agents...
“It’s not just Homeland Security. Obama-era veterans make up many of the 550 names, across 40 teams, that Mr. Biden wants to embed with departments and agencies, part of the usual transition process so a new president is up to speed on the latest goings-on by Inauguration Day. Mr. Biden’s lists are heavy with racial justice advocates and climate change activists.”
Dinan’s report shatters the myth that Biden is his own man and will depart from Obama where he sees fit. No, Grampa Joe is the epitome of an establishment swamp dweller who couldn’t care less about sound policy made by elected legislatures. Where in the statute books does it say that illegal aliens deserve amnesty?
And with the “racial justice advocates” and “climate change activists,” expect a wave of regulations to emanate from Washington once the evil party takes the reins of the executive branch. What used to be thought of as God-given rights and freedoms will be swapped for “experts” and academic elites who just want to push everyone around to fulfill an agenda.
Grampa Joe doesn’t really have one -- an agenda. It will be Kamala Harris’s centralized anarchy. She’ll cancel every holiday from here on out, but the “sheep” will feel great about the shepherd!
It remains one of modern America’s great mysteries, why the concept of liberty is so hard to “sell” to the public. With people increasingly dependent on federal checks and programs, it’s no wonder that many have willingly conceded their right to assemble and live life. We don’t owe thanks to Dr. Fauci and the lockdown pushers -- or anyone else who tramples our freedoms.