Our Rights are Eroding – Right Before Our Eyes

By Christian Barranco

The power that government exerts over our lives is concerning in normal times; during the pandemic it has become frightening.

Governor Murphy – and many other governor’s – this week issued more coercive orders on what adults can do for recreation or business. He has decreed that restaurants must now close at 10 pm and that there will be no sitting at a bar in a restaurant. Why?

Is there data that shows that people are more at risk for Covid-19 at 11 p.m. than at 10 p.m.? No such evidence has been provided.

Why the crackdown on sitting at a bar in a restaurant? The flimsy excuse the governor used is that a lot of bartenders are coming down with the virus. Ok, where’s the data that says that is true or the data the confirms they got the virus while working at the bar. Bartenders go lots of other places where they could contract the disease.

The latest corona edicts seem especially absurd as they are based on assumptions not scientific fact, which all the politicians allegedly want to adhere to. The governor assumes that the longer time you spend at a restaurant or bar the better your chances of getting the disease. Well, if the social distancing and mask wearing are working, why do we need a curfew?

The governor also assumes that adults will spend an inordinate amount of time at a bar in a restaurant, getting, as he said, “sloppy” and start spitting on other people. That’s not science, that’s a caricature of people who sit at bars.

What about the great majority of responsible people who want a nightcap after dinner, have a drink or two and go home? Apparently, the government doesn’t trust them with that power over their own lives.

The latest edicts include how many people you can have to your house for Thanksgiving. The government would prefer the number to be zero. This is a total disregard for the familial ties and friendships that we have spent decades building. “Sorry kids, we can’t see grandma this Thanksgiving. Maybe next year.” Maybe

Since zero holiday guests may be a little too Draconian, Murphy says no more than 10 people will be allowed in a house at Thanksgiving. Or what?

Are the police going to come to your door, count heads and start escorting your aunts and cousins out the door? It sounds farcical – but it is frightening to think we willingly invest agents of government with so much power over our lives.

How many people are going to be at the Murphy Mansion on Thanksgiving, or your mayor’s house? Are they subject to the rules they impose on us? In many cases, no. The governor of California was caught at a restaurant gathering last week that violates his own orders. The mayor of Washington D.C. violated her travel ban placed on her citizens and went to a post-election rally for Joe Biden. While there will be no Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, I am pretty sure that if you are out protesting at a liberal rally in New York or Seattle, you can gather with a few hundred of your friends without fear of arrest, whether you are wearing a mask or not.

Besides the erosion of our freedoms, Gov. Murphy’s new edicts, including a peace-time curfew, will cost people their jobs and probably their businesses. The Murphy administration seems unconcerned about people’s livelihoods.

Don’t overlook the fact that the more unemployed and broke people there are; the easier it is for government to control the populace. Government buy obedience from the financially devastated with our tax money, then use Draconian regulations to make more people dependent on a government check to survive. I don’t mean to suggest that there is a vast government conspiracy at work, but it’s not hard to think that it is a deeply held desire of some government leaders to control us.

I am not downplaying the health dangers of the virus; we need to be careful about our conduct; but I am suggesting that government officials (and those in the bureaucratic medical establishment) are using the fear they manufactured about the coronavirus to abuse their power over us.

And we let them do it. Why? Are we so afraid or conditioned to be afraid of the virus that we just go along because – well, its’ the government? Or have we lived so long under the thumb of politicians and government bureaucrats that we believe that government is right? When was it that our healthy skepticism of government was replaced by obsequious obedience? When was the last time government was right about anything?

Before we give up more of our civil liberties to the self-ordained virus police, let’s stop a moment and push back on the edicts? Why a 10 p.m. curfew? Why can’t we have 12 people at our house? Why can’t I have a drink at a bar at 11? Show us the evidence.

History is well populated by power-hungry leaders installing authoritarian regulations over the populace because – after all – they know what’s good for us, right? Hardly.

While it is important in these times to keep our bodies healthy, it is just as important to maintain a healthy skepticism of what our government demands of us. The liberties we have now were hard earned, once they are stolen from us, they will be difficult to get back.