Over the course of the last year, we have watched as our civil liberties have been eroded by a government too powerful to stop. It is the draconian nightmare our forefathers saw as they drafted the original pages of the United States Constitution. Among those forefathers, Benjamin Franklin was the man who sounded the alarm during our country’s infancy. Prior to our independence from Britain, while serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying that, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Much of my own concern with COVID-19 had nothing to do with the virus itself. Of course, I took the precautions suggested. Initially, I wore a mask, even when Fauci told us not to. I made efforts to limit my interaction with my older parents (as the data suggested that older people were more susceptible to contracting the virus). We took efforts to sterilize everything that came in our door. When our kids were forced to stay home from school, we welcomed the time to get to know our children better. When I graduated with my MBA in May, I struggled to find a job as Trump’s roaring economy came to a screeching halt. I have experienced the highs and lows of this pandemic along with everyone else.
What truly scared me, though, was watching my fellow Americans so willfully surrender their civil liberties in exchange for “a little temporary safety.” To see people accept the government’s ban on church attendance, public gatherings, private business, and the ability to travel was, in a word, terrifying. We went from believing we were “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights” to meekly asking, “Please sir, can I have some more?” While businesses closed by the millions, mental health issues rose exponentially, and the government’s best answer was a few paltry “stimulus” offerings, far too many Americans were waving the white flag, often to data-less and science-less mandates from fearmongering bureaucrats.
While we were being told to stay home to “flatten the curve” or to wear a mask so that “hospitals don’t get overwhelmed,” the likes of Gavin Newsom and the Director of the California Medical Association were having maskless dinner together, indoors, at a swanky restaurant. While we were all looking disheveled on Zoom meetings, Nancy Pelosi was getting her hair done at a San Francisco area salon that was then closed to the general public.
With the release of several variations of the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of Americans have been lining up across the country to receive their doses. Social media has been flooded with the obligatory vaccine selfie or their vaccine cards. The government continues to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. The question that people are now starting to ask is, “To what end?”
Science is specific, especially medical science. There is a time we will reach herd immunity, either through the organic spread of the virus or through a combination of the organic spread and the synthetic administration of the vaccine, and that time is calculatable. Once a certain percentage of the population is relatively protected from the virus, we will forever be beyond flattening a curve or overwhelming hospital resources. Yet, the “powers that be” in our government either don’t know that number or they know it and they are deciding to withhold it from us, the people, for whatever reason. Either way, their judgment should not be trusted.
A week ago, I received my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Getting both was easy and took a matter of minutes. I had no side effects (aside from lethargy) and neither did my parents, who both received their shots in February. I’m not a doctor, but I encourage anyone who worries about the vaccine to take it immediately. Now that I have received mine, I ask the question many others are asking: “Why can’t I go back to normal life?” If the goal is to encourage everyone to get the vaccine, why not give them motivation beyond, “Hey, well now you might not get sick with a virus that has a ridiculously high survival rate”? Why are we now talking about expanding the role of government to the insane level of, “If it pleaseth the crown, might I take a summer vacation?”
The time has come for civil disobedience. Why? Because we cannot stand idly by any longer and allow for the government to continue to erode our liberties in the name of “protecting us.”
Over the course of the last year, the government has done exactly bupkis to help my family in the course of the last year. That doesn’t mean be a jackass when going out to a business. Yelling at the stocker kid at the grocery store does nothing to fight back against this tyrannical system. The question that I am dealing with is, how many of these businesses would be enforcing social distancing and mask guidelines absent a government order? I think we can all agree the majority would not. They also are not going to turn away business if suddenly everyone was walking in maskless.
We can no longer think that compliance is protecting anyone, especially – ESPECIALLY – when you pose little to no risk of being infected or infecting anyone else. The evolution of government power over the last year went from protecting the vulnerable to protecting the sick to protecting the healthy and uninfectable. If we don’t begin to push back, during the next “emergency” we’ll see even more restrictions. Hell, the left is already talking about further lockdowns for the “climate crisis” they believe we are facing.
While Franklin’s quote from 250 years ago may have been from a different time and era, the words remain true today. If we continue to sacrifice our liberties at the altar of government protection, we will soon end up with neither. As Ronald Reagan once said, “There’s nothing more permanent than a temporary government program.” The longer we allow the government to enforce unconstitutional mandates against us, the more likely the power they have pried from us will remain in their hands.
This isn’t a trumpet to declare war on the government. Not yet, at least. What this is, is an invitation to question the orders around you and push back against the unscientific mandates from a controlling government. As you go about your life, especially after you’ve been vaccinated (if you so choose), make the conscious decision to not comply with some mandate. Be polite, but make sure that they are aware of the reason why you are choosing not to comply. Ask questions: Is this company policy enforced in states where there is no mask mandate? Why do you think that is? Do you think that this company would enforce a mandate without a government order? Make them think about it. Comply with their wishes only after you’ve made your point.
For instance: “You’d like me to wear this mask because it makes you feel comfortable (or because the government requires it), not because I pose any risk to you or anyone else’s health.” After the 10th or 20th time, they are going to start sending it up the chain of command.
Again, this isn’t an invitation to be an overbearing a-hole. Understand that many of these people don’t like these orders any more than you do. Simply make it known that you are “following the science” and that science says you don’t pose a threat to anyone. Let them know you’re only complying because you want to make it easier on them, not because there is any benefit to the action they are asking you to undertake.
Together, we can make a difference to bring about incremental change to restore those rights that have been stripped from us.