This week in the Midwestern state in which I live the governor propounded an executive order mandating that all citizens must wear masks at all times when in public. This order goes into effect at midnight on July 3rd. While there are any number of sheriffs who have said they will not enforce this mandate, there are plenty more who are waffling or making excuses. What then should a citizen do?
Let me preface my arguments by saying that I understand the fear that the DNC’s propaganda arm has been stirring up among citizens over the COVID-19 situation. I am also sympathetic to those most at risk who could be endangered by catching this particular version of SARS. And I’m not opposed to the mitigation of risk through minor inconveniences that don’t trample civil liberties. But none of that changes the fact that, in this case, compliance is complicity.
First, let me lay out the constitutional case. Nowhere in the United States Constitution (or the constitution of my state) is the government given the power to confine people to virtual house arrest if they refuse to wear the clothing that the government mandates. If the state told you that all women had to wear dresses if they wanted to leave their homes, would that be acceptable? If they suspended the First Amendment “until further notice”, would that be OK? Pretending that a “state of emergency” allows the government to remove your constitutional rights for an unlimited amount of time without recourse is nonsense. Whatever “precedent” might say, if our rights are that easily suspended, then for all intents and purposes, they’re neither “ours” nor “rights.”
Dig into this more and you can see that almost every right guaranteed by the constitution is under threat here. Free exercise of religion is suspended on the whims of godless leftists who believe they have the power to tell you when and where and how you can gather. Freedom of speech is eliminated as people who protest these illegal actions are arrested (why is it that peaceful protesters on the right get arrested, but rioting antifa thugs are allowed to skate?–that’s a rhetorical question.) The right to peaceably assemble is curtailed under the nonsensical dual excuses of social distancing and “bending the curve.” The ability to petition the government is removed as those trying to be heard by legislators are hauled off for violating these unconstitutional orders. In more rabid leftist states the Second Amendment, already on shaky ground, is abolished for the duration of the “emergency.” Need I go on?
Aside from this clear violation of constitutional principles, the fact that the so-called experts have been wrong at literally every step of the Chinese Lung AIDS outbreak is an important part of my calculations. In March, we were told that up to two million people would die, just in California, if we didn’t shut down the American economy. Now we’re being told that it is completely unnecessary to close businesses if we just wear masks. Well, which is it? If masks were sufficient, why did they insist on killing off nine million jobs? If a complete shutdown was necessary, then masks aren’t going to prevent the spread of Wuhan flu any better in July than they did in March. Clearly there’s something else going on here besides “science” and “medicine” and it isn’t very flattering to the doctors and scientists who are making these wildly contradictory claims.
Next I’d like to address the slippery-slope argument. As this current situation has shown, if you give the small-minded people who are drawn to politics a little power, they’ll misuse it. And if you don’t actively resist their small violations of your rights, they’ll turn the heat up and up and up until the water is boiling–though you never noticed it getting warmer. First, they abused the electorate’s naivete and confusion over The ‘Rona to close small businesses (while leaving big corporations untouched). Then, when an open revolt seemed imminent (remember the peaceful but armed reopen protests?) they said everything was going to be OK with a “phased reopening.” But a funny thing happened on the way to the “reopening”–it turned out that the government decided that there were too many new cases (odd how increased testing turned up more cases, isn’t it?) and while the fatality rate remained low such a crisis could not be allowed to go to waste. So new mandates–including my state’s mask mandate–were put in force. What’s next then? An executive order requiring anyone in public to wear Hazmat Level A suits? To bathe in sanitizer twice a day?
Finally, to the point raised in the title. I often tell my children that their actions are sending signals. If they ignore a sibling, the signal they are sending–whether they mean to or not–is that they don’t care about that child. If you comply with these illegal and unconstitutional orders, you also are sending a signal to those who are no longer our countrymen. And the message contained in that signal is that if they scream “health crisis” loud enough you will comply with whatever order they give. And in complying, you become complicit in the further deterioration of the rule of law in our once-great republic. Because in this case, for all the reasons outlined above, compliance is complicity.
As for myself, I will not comply. If a company asks me to leave their premises because I don’t have a mask on, I’ll go because I believe in private property rights. But if a police officer wants to arrest me because I’m not going to give an inch to people who would happily use the excuse of a pandemic to send us all to the guillotine, I may write my next diary from jail. So be it.