“If You Strike Me Down, I Shall Become More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine” Dept: Yesterday, I told you about Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther, who refused to lose her business and her employees’ jobs by continuing to comply with unreasonable and unconstitutional lockdown orders. She was fined $7000 and ordered to jail for a week by Judge Eric Moye. Moye, incredibly, made it clear that she might escape jail by apologizing and admitting she was being selfish. Luther replied that it was not selfish to want to feed her kids and save her business, and she took the jail sentence rather than grovel.
I made it this local story a lead story because it didn’t take psychic powers to predict what’s happened since. Luther overnight became the national symbol of a rising American revolt against high-handed elitists with secure paychecks who mock, lecture and scold people who desperately need to get back to work to save their businesses and homes and feed their families. Judge Moye is facing a blizzard of criticism for his obliviousness in jailing a mom for going to work while Dallas County has released about 1,000 actual criminals for fear they might contract the coronavirus in jail. (Although she's reportedly being kept in isolation for protection.)
It’s no surprise that Moye has no sympathy for Ms. Luther and her employees, since he has continued to draw his six-figure salary at taxpayer expense throughout this entire lockdown. As have Nancy Pelosi and all the House Democrats who refuse to come back to work in Washington and help President Trump deal with the crisis. My modest suggestion: every official who insists that people stay home should have to go without pay until they allow Americans to work again. That might instill a sense of urgency in them.
Unfortunately, state-level officials don’t have direct power over Moye, but they’ve made it abundantly clear what they think of his appalling ruling and how it has brought so much negative attention to Texas – a state where standing up to tyranny is built into the natives’ genetic code. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton blasted Moye for his judicial overreach, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick even volunteered to pay her fine and take her place in jail.
As of Thursday night, Luther was reportedly still in jail (she was taken directly to jail without even being released on appeal!), but her attorneys have filed for an intervention with the State Supreme Court. In the meantime, Luther is now a national heroine for millions of Americans who are fed up with elitist liberal officials lecturing them about being selfish for wanting to feed their families and not lose the businesses they’ve spent a lifetime building.
They see these bans being applied unequally, unfairly and with little regard for whether they actually prevent the spread of the virus. They understand the risks, but they aren’t children of a nanny state, they are adult American citizens who are responsible enough to make their own decisions about assuming risk and making smart choices to mitigate them, just as we try to avoid highway deaths by driving carefully, installing airbags and wearing seatbelts, not by cowering in our rooms for our entire lives.
To show how Luther’s stand has galvanized supporters the way the heroes of the Alamo inspired earlier generations of Texans, a GoFundMe page set up to pay her expenses and legal fees disabled donations after they leaped from $170,000 to over $500,000 in less than 24 hours. And her defiance of capricious authoritarianism is already spreading across the nation.
Officials like Texas Judges Moye and Clay Jenkins, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others might think this crisis has greatly expanded their powers, but all it’s really done is give Americans a taste of the tyranny of petty tyrants and how quickly they'll exercise it if given half a chance, and they don’t like it at all. I suspect that Democrats who think this crisis will be a boon to them in November had better brace for another shocking Election Night'
To quote Hosea 8:7, “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”