Issues & Insights
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Will Thanksgiving Mark The Beginning Of The Lockdown Resistance?

I&I Editorial

With a number of governors instituting new lockdowns this month, and doing their best to cancel Thanksgiving, it seems the backlash is coming, if it’s not already here. A country that’s about to observe a holiday in which we express appreciation for our unique American blessings appears ready to shrug off the chains of petty tyrants. For that, we give thanks.

Governors in, most infamously, California, New York, Oregon, and Minnesota, but also other states, have told constituents to limit their celebrations and travel. They might not in every case have specifically cited Thanksgiving. But it’s obvious that the nagging has accelerated because of the holiday. It’s just as obvious that, after more than eight months of various lockdowns, some Americans have had enough.

In an unmistakable rebuke to Andrew Cuomo, sheriffs in New York have said they won’t be enforcing the governor’s 10-person limit at private gatherings. Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo, for instance, said he didn’t “see how devoting our resources to counting cars in citizens’ driveways or investigating how much turkey and dressing they’ve purchased is for the public good.” Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard has promised he will do what the busybody governor refuses to do and that is “respect the sanctity of your home.”

Howard’s deputies did show up Friday night with an Erie County health inspector at an Orchard Park gym where a group of business owners were meeting “so we could protest the closing of small businesses,” said the club owner. Acting about as “American” as can be imagined, the small business owners threw the deputies and inspector off the private property, chanting “we will not comply.” Howard said he didn’t know his deputies had gone to the gym and had not given them instructions to be there.

Across the country in another blue state, California sheriffs are publicly announcing they won’t be enforcing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. coronavirus curfew. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, said she will not “make criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens.”

“Merced County sheriff’s deputies, Madera police, Visalia police and Kings County deputies all plan to continue business as usual rather than refocus on the curfew,” reports Fox News.

Sacramento and El Dorado county sheriffs are also declining to enforce Newsom’s curfew, and the Orange and Los Angeles county sheriffs are bucking the governor, too. All told, more than a dozen law enforcement departments have said they won’t be hassling anyone over a senseless – our word – curfew.

Meanwhile, according to the local media, the sheriff of Skamania, Washington, “takes no interest in the enforcement of the mask mandate and gatherings in the privacy of your own home” and “will not respond nor will we field calls related to reported violations of gatherings in private homes or the non-wearing of masks.” 

In Linn County, Oregon, the sheriff and the district attorney said in a joint statement “we draw the line” on Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order that closes and limits businesses, and restricts private social gatherings “when we are dealing with decisions relating to individual residences, religion, or businesses.”

Not all governors, though, are joyless scolds intent on whipping up fear. The governors of South Dakota and Oklahoma are relative dissidents, leaving their residents to make decisions for themselves. They’re inspirations for the lockdown resistance.

Yes, we know that positive tests are increasing. We know coronavirus deaths are growing. We also know that lockdowns don’t work. And we can safely assume, based on our observations and the meticulous work of researchers, that they’ve made the pandemic worse.

Yet elected officials keep shutting down society, and choking state and local economies. It’s as if they are eager to wield centralized control over others, to set down an order in which they rule rather than govern by the consent of the governed.

Anyone who doesn’t agree with our conclusion is of course free to try to convince us we’re wrong. But given what we’ve been watching not these past eight months but those eight months plus about 50 years, we won’t be easily dissuaded. There is a strain of politician in this country more dangerous than the virus.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Masks are just the beginning. They are just a symbol of the repression that is coming our way. Look at Harris’s picks for key positions and you’ll see we’re heading down the path of Mexifornia. That’s no gas cars, no lights, no heat, no a/c, no water, more illegals ruining the country and no freedom and liberty.

  • Our local San Angelo, Texas Walmart and city leaders recently decided that it would be a good idea to have armed policemen at the entrance and even inside to check on masks and social distancing. Never thought I’d see it here. Your article said everything I’ve thought. Thank you.

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