Are You All in on Governments' COVID Actions? Where Do You Draw the Line?
Over the weekend, San Clemente filled a skate park with 37 tons of sand, paid for by California taxpayers, to prevent teenagers from skating there. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio asked residents to fink on people violating "social distancing" by texting photos to authorities. Those are just two recent and notable examples in a litany of city and state power grabs from the past four weeks. National parks, hiking trails, beaches, generally areas where people go to be outside and apart from people and close to nature, have also been shut down. To teach those people who violate stay-at-home orders a lesson.
During these shutdowns, citizens have silently supported such actions, or vocally supported the calls to shut down the nation. Others are quick to rat out their neighbors for daring to step outside. I'm offering the last sentence without proof because I don't think I need it. I daresay you have either heard of such a thing happening in your town, or you were somehow a participant of it.
I expect people in authority to try to gobble up power. What I didn't expect was what seems like a plenty of compliance from fellow Americans. Either by refusing to pushback against growingly tyrannical orders from government, or actively condemning those who do.
This column is for anyone in the latter camp. Plenty of people who call themselves conservatives have been all in on the COVID-19 shutdowns in efforts to "flatten the curve" as it were. You probably haven't left your house but if you have, you've dutifully worn your face masks, gloves, and whatever else is being advised to you. It's likely you still have your job, which you can perform from home with your laptop and internet connection.
If this is you, if you're supportive of the COVID actions taken to "flatten the curve," I need you to answer a question for me: Where do you draw the line?
The left has always wanted to cede more power to their government. The right has supposedly been against such measures. But the last four weeks have shown me that when people are afraid, even those who consider themselves small-government conservatives, are all too happy to grant government even more power and authority, all for the idea of added security and safety.
So, if that's you, where do you draw the line?
Last I checked, 16 million people have filed for unemployment. Governments have decided what businesses are or are not essential and have commanded those it has deemed "non-essential" to either limit the kinds of business they do, or shut down altogether. Citizens are finking on other citizens for violating "social distancing" or even going outside. Cities are shutting down outdoor venues where people are already distanced. Church gatherings have been banned. Sporting events, even non-professional, have ceased. Governments have already decided what medical care is essential and non-essential. And as such, hospitals are laying off or furloughing staff. Mayors are mandating their citizens wear face masks when they go outside. People are being arrested for violating such decrees.
Where do you draw the line?
How much government growth do you support so you can feel safe? How much power are you willing to give politicians and the police in order to make life a little safer?
Plenty of people, such as myself, have been rather obnoxious about this clear power grab from the early on. We've also been quickly condemned for being "COVID deniers," the haters of elderly, and grim reapers basically condemning people to die from the spread of germs (which happens every year, but okay). People such as myself understand freedom means life isn't always going to be safe. So I am deeply disturbed by what I see happening right now, as many others are.
But that's me. We're here to talk about you, the person who seems kind of okay with what's going on because you're concerned about COVID-19. So again, and for the last time, I'll ask.
Where do you draw the line?