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.

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Comments 1-25 of 30

  • Anthony DeBartolomeo

    05/17/2020 11:31 PM

    Mike, I heartily agree and, in fact, have been saying that for some time now. It is good to hear someone of your stature and reputation say that. I, personally, would start with Anthony Fauci and go from there. You are right. Let them divest themselves of all salary and revenue, apply for unemployment, and scrape and scrounge like million of others, and them maybe they won't be so eager to dictate closure, but rather - let's get back to normal.

  • Rose Stephens

    05/16/2020 06:35 PM

    Thank you for sticking up for us. I think you are right.

  • Adrian Rehak

    05/15/2020 09:43 PM

    "I’ve visited some police states. I don’t want to live in one." You already do. It's not as severe as China..... yet. Or as severe as the countries under the USSR were..... yet. I don't expect to see it get nearly that bad during my lifetime. I'm 71. I think my children will see it get bad and my grandchildren for certain. When people don't learn from history they will repeat it. Today's children live in ignorance while our schools don't teach history. They don't stand a chance!

  • Floyd A Unger

    05/15/2020 12:35 PM

    Yup and absolutely

  • Dale Grace

    05/15/2020 09:39 AM

    This would be fixed in no time if politicians had to live on $600 a week like every other non essential worker.

  • Christina Adams

    05/13/2020 06:22 PM

    Love your commentary and would also love to see reporters from around the country given a chance to ask questions that make sense at press briefings and would make a difference to Americans listening. The dc press have become like attack dogs with one thing in mind and that is to tear down our president at all costs. Thank you so much.

  • Judith M Seckel

    05/13/2020 02:31 PM

    This isn’t the first time I’ve heard “ stop paying our elected officials “ but nothing ever comes of it.
    No petitions to do so nothing.

  • Carol Denardo

    05/13/2020 03:02 AM

    I agree. The fat cats in Washington are getting fatter on my dime while doing nothing. I speak of the feckless democrats led by the ice cream eating document shredder. She and her posse are the poster children for term limits.

  • Gail Cleveland

    05/12/2020 09:22 PM

    Amen brother! Thank you for laying out the truth that a first grader can understand. Hmm, I wonder where the Dems mindset is at!!

  • Kathleen Dyke

    05/12/2020 06:52 PM

    Re: Pres. Trump walking out of press conference
    I noticed that after the female reporter asked her question and the President answered her, she sat down on her chair, but immediately turned around. It looked to me that someone behind her commented to her which prompted her to ask the second rude question and prompted the President to leave the podium

  • Laurie Hansen

    05/12/2020 06:29 PM

    Right on! It's always the same old 'Do as I say, not as I do.' mantra from elected officials. Your proposal would certainly get things moving in Congress. Whatever is 'good for the goose' should be 'good for the gander.' Another example: How about Congress having to be under the same health care programs they want the general populace to have. Things would change in a hurry. Their pay should be halted until ours returns. They don't understand what's going on in the country until it hits them personally.

  • Robert E Wellston

    05/12/2020 05:50 PM

    The thing that gets me the most is our lose of our Constitutional rights. First Amendment guarantees free speech and yet we have social media, i.e., FaceBook and YouTube, censoring dissent claining the dissent doesn't meet community norms. I don't remember anyone asking me about my cummunity norms. They do so while using the internet paid for by American taxpayers as their platform for barring dissent. They use their powers to stop people from talking about ideas they don't consider relevant, like why have we totally shut down the country and the economy and lets get together in front of the state capitol to protest unlawful orders. They have also taken away our freedom to practice our religion. There is another civil war coming, but we the people are the ones who are armed, not the pansy snowflakes.

  • nascarccmgrlfan

    05/12/2020 05:18 PM

    I don't visit any country Freedom House calls "not free". It's like dying inside. Hope they let us more rights after awhile, when virus cases go way down.

  • Kaye Baird

    05/12/2020 03:22 PM

    John 8:36 King James Version (KJV)
    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    I can't believe people are so petrified of dying, they can't bring themselves to live.

    Philippians 1:21 
    For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

    The fear of death reveals their lack of hope in Jesus Christ. I am very disturbed that so many people identify as Christian and DON'T VOTE? We're going to hell in a hand basket voluntarily!

    We have to proclaim the hope that is in us by our actions. As Christian's, we are failing our fellow Americans with our complacency. Scary!!!

  • Mary Anne Stagg

    05/12/2020 03:03 PM

    Thank you for putting into words what millions of Americans feel. We don’t feel like we have a voice. The media twists the facts to fit their own agenda for political purposes. Keep letting us know what’s going on.

  • Karl Coulter

    05/12/2020 02:53 PM

    Unfortunately my governor (Pritzer of Illinois) probably wouldn't notice if his pay were shut off. The state legislature hasn't met since this started so that has been a good thing.

  • Kathleen Kemmer

    05/12/2020 02:28 PM

    This is an awakening to see how far the leftist totalitarians have infected our country. You are right, this IS NOT LONGER the United States that I grew up in. When I was a kid, we had all the electricity we wanted, we had all the water we wanted, we had all the cars we wanted. We had all the jobs we wanted. We had all the freedom we wanted. And my family was not financially well off. Those days are long gone, and now we wake up to house arrest for arbitrary reasons by GAVIN NEWSOM and leftist legislators who are actually working to kill the last vestiges of American small businesses, and entrepreneurialship. We are collateral damage of this CDC comedy of erroneous data and Fauci worship. I want to fight for my freedom before I go down as an at-home death statistic. But I don't know how or what to do. I am starving. I lost my job. The damn unemployment website doesn't work. I call my legislators, but they are all leftists in Orange County now. There is no place my voice can be heard except on this platform. But frankly, if we can't get our country back soon, I no longer care to live under this new regime. I would welcome death. Tick Tock.

  • jOE wATSON

    05/12/2020 01:48 PM

    How about: Covid19 LET MY PEOPLE GO The Modern Day Moses Has To Be President Trump. We are not going to defeat the Virus for many years....but The Pres. Needs to Lead This Nation Out of Its Depression mode!

  • Dianne James

    05/12/2020 01:24 PM

    I totally agree with your commentary. While I believe this corona virus is a real threat, I have not believed from the beginning that we should hide in our homes and only venture out with gloves and mask. I understand that these practices lower our immune response. My father came from a communist country so I am well versed in how our Freedom in America sets us apart as a shining example. Certainly be careful but give the American people credit. We are clearly not stupid and I resent government officials (experts) telling me what I should and
    should not do. I know basic hygiene and have enough intelligence to stay out of harm's way.

  • Jan Johnson

    05/12/2020 01:07 PM

    Thank you for your voice of reason and clarity. We value your input and perspective.

  • Karen Harper

    05/12/2020 01:01 PM

    I agree. The Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives say they are working on another stimulus bill but I would think if they can work on that remotely there is much more they could be doing remotely as many employers and employees around the country are doing. When a lawyer works for me he/she has to document their time and where it was spent maybe that's what we should be demanding of our men/women of Congress, an accountability of time actually spent working on behalf of the American public and paid an hourly rate with a maximum monthly income.

  • Eva Dearing

    05/12/2020 12:55 PM

    Thank God we have a President that cares about our country and our American citizens. We need more people in our government like President Trump.

  • Sue Scott

    05/12/2020 12:40 PM

    When will there Be Justice.
    Comey needs in prison for Proving Hillary's Intent but saying otherwise!
    We The People are Not stupid.

  • Marilynn Hoyt

    05/12/2020 12:15 PM

    It seems like a simple solution to take away their pay, but actually doing it is much more complicated. Here in AZ we have a gov with an R after his name, but he is acting like a tyrant! On the line for him is several board appts and one of which is very much a conflict of interest. It's a company involved with the testing called T gen. He has actually threatened business owners with jail, huge fines and lost of license. He refuses to even speak to citizens, just at them. The longer he can get things to stay closed, the more money he makes.

  • LCdr Laurie Keiski

    05/12/2020 12:01 PM

    Right on. Spent 23 years of my life including multiple deployments to Vietnam protecting those principles and hate what is going on now. The communist party (aka Democratic Party) with the help of some non-conservative republicans have taken us where we should never have gone. Please keep getting the word out.