Most people have tried to follow the guidelines to stay home and be cautious, but as the forecasts for the impact have proven to be grossly over-estimated, the only people who seem to want this to continue are certain elected officials who like telling people what to do.
I’ve been to some countries with authoritarian governments that govern with a brutal iron hand. I’ve always appreciated that as a citizen of the United States of America, I had guaranteed civil liberties and clearly defined rights that would be protected. Even if I actually committed a crime and the entire thing was captured from 6 angles on video, I was still presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty by a jury of my peers and I would be entitled to legal representation and due process. We’ve all been rankled by criminals who did horrible things, but who were protected by the very law that we hoped would put them in prison and away from our communities where they did real damage to the innocent. Then came the pandemic, and with it forced closure of businesses, events, and public places, and even forced demands to wear masks and refrain from even visiting our own relatives. Suddenly, for the first time in my life, my beloved America is starting to look like some of the truly horrible and abusive places I have visited and couldn’t wait to get out of.
This week, a hair salon owner in Dallas was actually put in handcuffs and taken to jail because she refused to apologize to a power-hungry judicial tyrant who gets to wear a robe at taxpayer expense. Her crime was not just that she chose to open her salon so that her employees could earn a living and feed their families. She was jailed because she refused to say the magic words ordered by the judge that she was selfish for allowing her employees to earn money to pay their rent, buy groceries, and pay their bills. The judge gets his paycheck by the way, and it’s a good one—over $150,000 a year. Meanwhile in Washington, members of the Nancy Pelosi-led House refused to return to Washington or to engage in session via online meetings because they didn’t think it was safe. They are fine with YOU driving a truck, working in a hospital or nursing home, answering calls as a firefighter or policeman, or stocking the shelves at your local supermarket. But they’re not going to work. But they are getting paid anyway. And YOU are paying them.
Then it hit me. Want to end the most ridiculous and dictatorial aspects of the shutdown? It’s simple. Whatever level of government orders a shutdown for others, its members should cease being paid until those under the shutdown can return to work. If your business can’t open and YOU can’t earn a living, then your mayor, your county officials, your governor or your Congress who shuts you down shouldn’t take one penny of pay until YOU can. You know what will happen? Those orders will get relaxed. Then it will be up to you whether you feel safe venturing out and opening your business or patronizing a business. It’s called freedom.
We’re Americans and we ought to act like it. And the people who were elected to serve us need to start treating us like Americans with fundamental civil liberties instead of like 1st graders who are told when it’s appropriate to go to the restroom and to line up for a trip to the lunchroom so we can eat what someone else has decided is good for us.
So to mayors, governors, county officials and members of Congress as well as the appointed and employed government officials I say this: Since you’re a public servant and the people you work for AREN’T getting paid, stop collecting YOUR paycheck until they get theirs.
You won’t see out of control judges putting hair stylists in jail for not saying the right words. As I said last week-I fear that I MIGHT get a virus. I fear even more that I will lose the liberties that make being an American unique. I’ve visited some police states. I don’t want to live in one.