By Charlie Johnston
A colleague reported this delightful story to me:
A small town. The Mayor (who is a medical professional) decides that continued lockdown orders are unconstitutional, given what we now know about the Coronavirus and its actual dangers. The Mayor decides the citizens of the town are responsible and smart enough to take proper precautions without being quarantined. So the Mayor decrees that businesses in town, including the restaurants, can open up again. They do. Ah, but the county health department is not pleased that mere citizens dare defy their orders. So they call the restaurants telling them they will have them shut down later in the day. The Health Dept. calls the County Sheriff – who tells them it is not their jurisdiction. So the Health Dept. calls the local police, ordering them to defy the Mayor and go in and shut the restaurants down. The local police refuse. Later in the day, local cops are found cheerfully eating in one of the restaurants…though their banter is a little loud because they are practicing social distancing.
Across America, the nannies and nags are losing the narrative. In Michigan, a judge ruled against their insane governor‘s assertion of plenipotentiary power to shut down a poor man’s barber shop. The local sheriff has refused to carry out Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shut it down (joining six other sheriff’s departments in refusing, generally, to enforce the governor’s arbitrary orders). In Seattle, Officer Greg Anderson was fired for refusing to take down a post he put up which protests illegal arbitrary orders – even as the governor was threatening to starve people who refuse to cooperate with “contact tracing.” We do seem to be turning a corner. Those police officers who were willing to be eager little brownshirts, enforcing whatever absurd orders their masters (like the red queen) came up with before breakfast, are getting a lot more pushback from their more sober colleagues. The steady hands in law enforcement understand that if they alienate ordinary people, whatever support they get from the shrieking harpies will be temporary and ephemeral.
Meantime, as people increasingly ignore the nonsense coming from blue state officials and local nannies, those officials increasingly resemble Cartman from South Park demanding that people respect their “authoritay” even as those people laugh him to scorn. Americans willingly give authorities the benefit of the doubt when real emergencies develop, but also have a pretty good schiff detector. The loons who are making up arbitrary authoritarian rules are undercutting, not enhancing, their own authority. And I, for one, am proud to see Americans rejecting nonsense as nonsense.
On the other hand, some folks who put a premium on liberty and common sense risk losing the narrative, themselves. Some are demanding that those who are legitimately concerned for the health of themselves or their family dismiss those concerns entirely. For the same reasons that I object strenuously to officials arbitrarily trying to starve and destroy their own populations against their will, I object equally strenuously to people who agree with me on that point demanding that others, who are concerned for their health, put themselves at what they believe to be at risk. I am not willing to be bossed around by the Karens, but I am not interested in imposing my will on anyone, either. I am glad to see the spirit of American independence reasserting itself, but let us remember that that spirit was largely animated by the idea that I don’t have to agree with you to support your right to do what you think is best, so long as it does not infringe on my liberty. Thus, you have full freedom to swing your arm without comment from me. But your freedom to swing your arm stops at the tip of my nose – and my liberty.