What Happened to America: The Coronavirus Response?

A blaze of executive orders has been spreading across the country like a wildfire to the point where most states only have traces of freedom left. Liberty has burned out. The principle of democracy is crumbling as states have descended into monarchy, and for what? People have decided to flock to “benevolent” paternalism over fear that a virus may come to get them. Tyranny has consumed the nation.

Yes, viruses are serious and deadly, but should we sacrifice our liberties over them? The argument has been that you have the right to your liberties up until the time that you harm someone else, and therefore, everything must be restricted because you could potentially spread the virus to someone else. Wait a minute! So, a governor has the right to sit on a throne and say that every individual is going out harming others just simply because that person exists? I guess there is no more trial by jury. Everyone is just assumed to be “guilty” of having the virus, and therefore they should not be allowed to move about or associate with whoever they please. We are being punished before a crime occurs. This is ludicrous! When did my rights become conditional on whether I might do something? This does not even include the federal and state constitutional issues that nobody seems to care about anymore.

I submitted an inquiry into the New York governor’s office requesting the specific authority that allows the governor to restrict everything under the sun and issue executive orders at will, and the response was simply that this is a public health emergency. So, the government is able to suspend democracy and rights indefinitely because there is an emergency? This is dangerous because anything could be declared as an emergency and used as justification to steal rights. The governor’s office has yet to answer my follow up about specifically pointing me to the legal and constitutional authority.

This brings up the question of where do our rights come from: government or from outside of it? If our rights exist in our humanity or from God, there are clear principles that restrict government. If our rights exist within government, the government may justify any type of action as beneficial to the collective good. Who are we to say that the actions of government are unjustified? The government is the arbiter of morals from this perspective, and therefore even heinous acts like genocide are acceptable because there is no principle in which to classify these as morally repugnant. In this pandemic, why should the government stop at “flattening the curve” through mandatory measures? Why not imprison everyone in their homes indefinitely to prevent pollution or crime? Doing so would be beneficial to society, but people would not be free to live their lives in a manner that they choose.

States across the country have been dominated by the executive branch, and democracy has taken a back seat to the needs of monarchy. New York, for example, has become a dictatorship with the governor able to suspend any law he wants and to legislate in the name of executive orders that protect public health. Courts have been suspended across the state except for cases related to essential functions. The New York State Legislature has no definitive plans on when it will meet again, and Governor Cuomo called the 2020 legislative session over. Since the state legislature gave the governor his emergency dictator powers, the executive branch has been the only one actively operating, which makes a mockery of the republican form of government guaranteed to every state by the U.S. Constitution.

Freedom of assembly, the right to due process, and the right to practice one’s religion have been threatened by the actions of several states. In New York, all businesses and organizations that are deemed as nonessential by the governor himself have been forced to shut down, and this even includes gun shops and churches. Many small businesses across the state will likely never be able to reopen due to the damage done, but the large corporations that were permitted to remain in business will recover in a world with less competition. Many people have been forced into unemployment and financial difficulties, while the governor has continued to push for his pay raise.

Governor Cuomo has made it a “law” that everyone in public must wear a mask or an equivalent face covering when within six feet of another individual. People are now shaming those who do not wear masks, and law enforcement is allowed to issue fines for those who do not comply with the order. Any gathering of any size, even with family or friends, is strictly forbidden. The governor has established a means for filing or calling in complaints about any individuals or businesses that have gatherings or continue to operate. The state is attempting to create fascist snitches. In New York City, you can even take pictures of violations and text them to the police.

In Michigan, people are not allowed to go between residences, and essential stores that are allowed to stay open are required to close certain nonessential sections (sections that sell things like furniture, gardening supplies, and arts and crafts) and restrict the number of customers. New Jersey has banned all nonessential medical surgeries, Rhode Island has used the national guard to go from door to door in search of New Yorkers and stopped cars with out-of-state license plates in order to force visitors to quarantine, and almost every state has some variation of stay-at-home orders and closures of nonessential businesses.

State and local law enforcement officers are handing out fines and even arresting people who are not practicing social distancing. Though taking these drastic steps is generally not preferred, it does happen, and it disproportionately targets minorities. A few examples of arrests that have been made include a man in Maryland who had a bonfire gathering in his yard, a man in New York that had a nonessential gathering in his bar, and a pastor that held a church service in Florida. In Greenville, Mississippi, all attendees of a drive-in church service were given $500 fines (this was challenged by the U.S Justice Department). In New York, fines for not practicing social distancing have been increased to $1,000 statewide.

What has happened to America? We have all become a nation of sheep that is so terrified of a virus that we roll over and do whatever the government wants. Tyranny has taken a foothold, and states have yielded to authoritarianism. The Fascist States of America is no longer a free country, and if 9-11 is any indication, we may not get our rights fully restored. There is some good news though. People are beginning to wake up, and protests have sprung up across the nation urging governors to reopen the economy. Perhaps the compliant and sleeping public will finally realize what is really going on with these power-hungry governors, but will it be too late?

Thank you for reading, and please check out my book, The Global Bully, and website.
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Published on April 20, 2020 15:56
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