Here and elsewhere, lots of digital ink has been spent pointing out the character flaws of several state governors, mayors, and other minor functionaries enamored with their panic-fueled, emergency powers. I’ve pointed out on more than one occasion how egregious some of this is and how horrific the effects are.
The governors, mayors, and low-level functionaries are certainly deserving of excoriation. However, they don’t own the whole ball of wax, especially at this late stage. As we know, it’s a borderline truism that no government can effectively operate without the consent of the governed. Even a police state such as North Korea is still governed with consent of the populace, even if that consent is coerced at gunpoint and a large toolbox of brutality for controlling the populace.
The more successful nations use force only as a last resort, preferring voluntary compliance with the law. Actually, they depend on that voluntary compliance. Aside from North Korea or maybe China, no country has enough military or police to force an unwilling population to comply with laws or emergency decrees.
Which is where we were a very few weeks ago. The federal and state governments came to us and said that we were facing a deadly foe and we needed to take certain actions to protect our medical system from being overwhelmed. As usual, Americans, being generally respectful of those we place in authority, voluntarily cooperated with these measures to “flatten the curve.”
As time passed, Americans discovered that these measures were no longer necessary, if they ever were at all. More on that at a later time. Moreover, many Americans were hurting financially. As I previously noted, the ones most affected by the shutdown, were those of us least financially able to bear it.
Some governors understood and began taking steps to open up their states and get people back to work. Others appeared to go full Gestapo, such as Michigan’s Governor Whitmer, whose state police threatened arrest and fines for a barber who reopened his shop in defiance of her lockdown order. Red states aren’t immune as they still may contain leftist mayors (Austin) or leftist judges such as Eric Moye, who lock up hairdressers trying to feed their families.
Fortunately, Ms. Luther, the shop owner, got national attention over her plight and the Texas Supreme Court freed her from durance vile. Barber Karl Manke and hairstylist Shelley Luther are real Americans. They have put government on notice that they govern only with our consent.
The Whitmers, the Newsoms, and the Cuomos need to truly understand that they are only able to govern with our consent. Their edicts have force because we allow them to. We have voluntarily complied with them…up until now. At this point, we can no longer blame just the governors, the mayors, or the functionaries. We need to also blame ourselves, for complying with unconstitutional edicts. Only with our consent can they govern.