As individual nations and airlines are beginning to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, it is only a matter of time before it is a requirement for all international travel, and then for domestic air travel. Just as airport metal detectors were replaced by full-body scans with various items of clothing removed and your personal items rummaged through by a government official, losses of privacy and increases in government control only become more intrusive with time. Bureaucrats always think up reasons to increase their power, which necessarily comes at the expense of everyone’s freedom and privacy.
The legal boundaries are gone. As noted by some of us in the beginning, this was never about a virus. In the words of former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” As the panic was stoked and government officials exerted ever-increasing and unprecedented control over the minutia of Americans’ daily lives – under the guise of “emergency” – the political power-grab became apparent for a few reasons.
First, while the new authority being exerted was immediate and real, they refused to provide any specific time or circumstance under which life would return to normal. Second, people began noticing dramatic inconsistencies in the application of this new power that fell on distinctly partisan lines. BLM and pro-lockdown rallies, along with the various Antifa riots, were acceptable gatherings, while anti-lockdown protests were banned. Finally, the difference between officials’ personal actions and what they order for their citizens shows they themselves are not worried about the virus. The governor of California attended a lavish dinner party at an exclusive restaurant as other citizens were banned from dining out; Nancy Pelosi and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot got their hair done while salons were ordered closed; and the mayor of Washington, D.C., and Michigan’s governor traveled in violation of their own bans. They will not return this power.
Traditionally, Americans’ constitutional rights are not subservient to a politician’s claim of emergency. Certainly not in perpetuity. Sadly, that ship probably sailed with the Patriot Act, another open-ended intrusion into Americans’ private lives under the guise of keeping us all safe from some danger with no discernible end – just a never-ending, vaguely defined emergency requiring massive, expensive government intrusion with only unenforceable promises that the new government powers will not be abused for political purposes. We know how that turned out. These bureaucracies keep growing, having the self-serving interest of never actually solving the emergency from which they were created to protect us.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has led the federal government’s handling of the AIDS epidemic since 1984. Where else could someone fail at solving the same problem for 37 years and still be employed? Much less be the highest paid employee in the entire federal government? When the problem is subordinate to the bureaucracy’s continued existence, it makes sense.
The unprecedented and unnecessary shutdown of American business will not only have disastrous long-term effects on our economy, but it has set a precedent for future open-ended suspensions of constitutional rights for any “emergency” claimed by politicians. This has to be the first time in human history that a nation’s leaders have championed the cause of intentionally destroying its own economy and financially devastating its citizens.
As with everything else, this all boils down to two polar opposite views of the world. In one view, free people are responsible for themselves and their own actions. In the opposite, life is the result of central planning, where people are forced by authorities to do whatever government bureaucrats decide for the good of the collective.
While attending an event last weekend with approximately 1,000 other people, it was striking that not a single attendee wore a mask. The only people wearing masks were the waitresses and bartenders, who wore bandannas, surgical masks or a printed cloth mask. But they all handled dishes, glasses, cutlery and other objects diners had touched with their mouths. In the same way, many retail stores require masks, but everyone coming through the line is touching surfaces and poking at the credit card reader. Big box stores still have markings all over the floor directing people to stay six feet apart and one-way use of the aisles, even though nobody appears to pay attention to any of these instructions. In any event, workers and others required to wear masks are often found wearing them improperly so they can breathe better. And, of course, there is no reprieve from mask mandates for people who have already had the virus or the vaccine.
The nonsensical nature of the rules surrounding COVID – it is safe to go to a casino, but not safe to attend church; protesting police is safe, but protesting the lockdowns is not safe; politicians are not required to obey their own orders, but private citizens may be fined or jailed for the same conduct – demonstrates that politicians and bureaucrats dreaming up these rules do not really believe the virus is any more serious than previous coronavirus outbreaks like SARS in 2003 or MERS in 2012. These previous coronaviruses, along with Swine Flu and other recent influenzas, caused virtually no disruption to American lives or the economy, and no panic whatsoever.
As the Great Coronavirus Panic of 2020 drags on with no end in sight, it is increasingly clear we are seeing the future. Every new illness will now be seen as an opportunity to expand government power and chip away at constitutional protections under the guise of protecting us from an emergency.
Last week, Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring masks be worn on all federal land. A few hours later, he and his entourage ignored his own order while attending inauguration events on federal property – without masks. His spokesman simply shrugged and said he had “bigger issues to worry about.” They are above the law, and Americans are at their mercy.
They are never giving up this power.
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