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We people need to just do what we need to do to move forward

America’s economy is now in artificial tatters, an unnecessary result of very poor public policies in reaction to the Wuhan coronavirus.

Politicians are not going to be able to solve this ridiculous virus panic. In fact, politicians are mostly making it much worse than it really is, and probably they are doing that on purpose. A lust for power, a desire to hurt a political opponent at any cost, even at the cost of hurting and inflicting huge personal losses on the citizens, seem to be the main reasons why governors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, and elsewhere have thrown down the gauntlet and are acting like dictators.

The “orders” these governors and local governments have issued are laughably confused, full of inexplicable contradictions and clear violations of Americans’ most basic rights and freedoms. Kentucky’s governor warns churchgoers that he ordered the Kentucky State Police to take down license plates of cars parked in church parking lots on Easter Sunday and other days, so that they can be ticketed later. Michigan’s governor says power boats are not allowed, but sail boats and canoes are OK, but Michiganders may not visit their hunting cabins. In Valley County, Montana, the county health department [I originally and incorrectly wrote that it was Missoula, Montana, the ultra liberal city council there shaping the rest of the surrounding county] issued an order that coronavirus-free people wear pink arm bands in public. Another county in another state went so far as to issue an order that anyone with coronoavirus could be, and probably would be, picked up by the police and involuntarily committed to a special quarantine location. Here in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf vetoed a bill passed by both the PA House and Senate that brought clarity and structure to his own bizarre order. Wolf now demands that everyone in public wear a mask and that people not wearing masks must not be served in the stores they are in. Local PA townships are not permitted to approve land subdivisions, even though the townships can and do meet by teleconference that pose no health risk to anyone. Home construction is stopped cold, not because Wolf has demonstrated that there is an identifiable risk of spreading a contagious disease from building homes, but simply because he says so.

These orders have nothing to do with actually serving the people of America. They are not actually helping people. The risks of the Kung Flu are obviously much higher in congested places like New York City than in flyover country. These orders are self-serving the politicians with more power and discretion over our personal lives than the political process would ever give them.

And this list of crazy, insane, tyrannical orders over the past few weeks goes on and on. Every one of these orders violates the most essential, core aspects of being an American. Again, with no measurable public benefit and yet at enormous cost to our individual finances.

One good thing that has emerged from the Chinese coronavirus panic is that we all get to see in broad daylight that there are many power-hungry Americans amongst us, who will use whatever power they have to get more power, and to crush dissent, strip us of our liberties, and use overwhelming coercive government force to throw us in jail for made-up violations. We used to laugh that such people could ever exist in our political system! Well, here they are, front and center, and they are no laughing matter!

If ever there was a need for an America with our Bill of Rights protecting individual due process rights and freedoms, this past month has demonstrated it.

So if the politicians are hell bent on screwing up our lives, and destroying America’s economy, then the only people who can fix this is us. You and me. The citizens and local officials who live here, pay taxes here, work here in America. We have to clean this mess up.

It is time for We, The People to put our foot down and show the politicians that despite their crazy power grabs and ridiculous demands upon us, we are going to do what is best for us. We can wear masks and stand apart in public, no problem. We would choose to do that anyhow. But we will open up our businesses again, we will go for walks again, we will drive on the roads for pleasure again, we will approve land subdivisions again, and you can call it civil disobedience, but we will live free again. There is no way any governor is going to enforce their nutty and unconstitutional order by rounding up everyone and putting them in jail.

And if any governor tries to do that, then there is the old tried-and-true torches, pitch forks, and a bucket of hot tar at the governor’s residence to get things straightened out again in a hurry. We are Americans, after all, not sheep.

 

Why I am politically active

From my earliest years until now, I have been politically active. It is a drive inside me like others have to eat, breathe, or sleep. Literally, I cannot live without being an active participant in America’s political process.

No question about it, most people call me a “politico.” That is, a person who eats, breathes, drinks and lives politics. Not everyone is wired this way, of course. And what an annoying place every place would be if everyone were so tightly wired that they were all this politically minded, and did nothing but speak of politics. Everything would be political talk all the time. And if someone did not bring up the great taste of the day’s chicken salad lunch, it would be a very boring conversation indeed.

And yet, I still cannot help but be slack-jaw amazed when I meet a person who says “Politics don’t interest me and I have no time for them. No, I do not vote.”

Almost as ineffective are those people who say “I vote, and that is all I have time for.”

Voting is part and parcel of being an American, and yet, it alone is not enough.

A person must volunteer on political campaigns, put out yard signs, go door to door for good candidates, make phone calls for candidates, and donate money. Even ten bucks to a candidate makes a difference, makes a statement, sends a message.

If every vote matters, and we know that is true, then even more true is that every political activist matters so much more. Political activists influence voters and channel how votes are cast. One voter is one vote, while one political activist might equal a hundred votes, or many more.

After the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin noted that (roughly) 33% of the Americans had been Tories, Loyalists to the British crown. Another 33% had been Patriots, risk-takers dedicated to the unique idea that government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed. And then there was another one-third of the population, the 33% who were disinclined to be politically active, to take sides, and who often said they were too busy running their farms and businesses to get involved in politics. These politically disengaged people were willing to go whichever way the wind blew. If Britain successfully re-asserted her claims to America, then this one third would have hung the Union Jack out their window and been happy British subjects. As it turned out after the Patriots won, they were at least just as happy to have gained freedom and opportunity unlike they had imagined possible.

So even during the foremost conflict in then-modern human history, when the toughest choices had to be made, roughly one third of Americans were disengaged politically from a process that was playing out all around them.

Fast forward a couple centuries, and roughly fifty to seventy percent of Americans are politically disengaged. Not politically involved. And many of those who are politically involved do so for financial reasons, which is not the most pure or healthy motive.

Not too long ago, a former drab government clerk-nobody observed “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.”

What Albert Einstein meant by his quote is that so few people maintain their own independence of thought and inquiry; that too many people allow others to direct them on their way through life. To tell them what to think and how to feel, instead of determining for themselves what is correct and what is untrue.

Apparently I am one of those people who wants to know for himself, so that my own feelings can be true to myself, true to my principles. Outsourcing decisions about my life to someone else, who probably does not care about my life, is not something I will do willingly. I highly recommend this approach, because to do so is to take one’s destiny in hand and make the best for it, while otherwise a person becomes a sheep. A victim. And sheep go to slaughter. And that is what Benjamin Franklin meant in 1776 when he said that Americans “have a Republic, if you can keep it.”

Takes a lot lot of work to hold on to what Americans have. A lot of political work. Can you step up and lend a hand?