Governors, mayors, and county officials are again shutting down the activities and movements of an ostensibly free people, but this time the resistance looks like it will be more stubborn. No one is yet “up in arms.” But much of America has clearly had enough of the petty tyrants making rules for others.
Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday, with the iciness of a Versailles royal, that “it’s time to cancel everything.” Outdoor dining is now verboten in Los Angeles County, even though the restriction is “senseless.” (At least a clear-thinking judge has told the county that it must present scientific evidence that outdoor dining increases the risk of spreading the coronavirus if it’s to ban it.)
From her privileged and luxury bubble in Lansing, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, another Democrat, is threatening to issue new stay-at-home instructions. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the target of a recall effort, has delivered a similar warning. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose pandemic response has arguably been the worst in the country if not the world, said he might again put out another statewide “pause” order. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, the third Democratic governor referenced in this paragraph, is saying that the malign presence (our words) of a shutdown “has to stay on the table.”
The Democratic governors of Oregon and New Mexico have also dropped heavy-handed restrictions on their states. And on it goes in the land that our grade school teachers told us was free.
But this time, unlike during the first lockdowns, which were to last for 15 days so we could flatten the curve of positive tests, many are not taking the undeserved punishment from their “betters” without a fight. Everyday Americans weary of being bullied from on high have been inspired by one-time Stanford University Medical Center neuroradiology chief and former White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, who suggested Michiganders “rise up” – nonviolently – against Whitmer’s petty tyranny:
- The owner of Eat At Joe’s in Redondo Beach, California, has been defying the Los Angeles County outdoor dining ban. “I’m not a person that easily wants to fight the system or anything,” Alex Jordan said. “I just, I hit my wall.”
Jordan served his last outdoor meal Thursday, reverting to takeout and delivery only. Threats to pull a company’s business license and/or shut off its power tend to have that sort of effect. At least Jordan got in a jab at hypocrite Newsom by hanging a French Laundry sign under his own.
- A Staten Island bar has declared it is an “autonomous zone,” just as rioters did when they violently seized sections of Seattle and Portland earlier this year. The owner, who’s ignored shutdown orders as well as multiple fines, and wants others to also buck politicians’ authoritarian guidelines, has been arrested, as has the bar manager. A Republican state senator “was nearly arrested” as he tried “to force his way into” the establishment “less than 24 hours after officials issued a partial vacate order due to the establishment’s alleged flouting of pandemic restrictions.”
The New York Times deviated from its Democratic Party talking points long enough to perform some journalism when on Wednesday it reported the tavern is “a flash point in the Covid culture wars that have turned some business owners and party hosts into rebels against pandemic restrictions.”
The bar, Mac’s Public House, was closed by authorities Tuesday night. A video shot from overhead shows a large crowd gathering in protest.
“It’s time for all small businesses and citizens to stand up,” said owner Keith McAlarney. “If enough business owners throughout this city, state, country, open their doors and disobey these tyrannical orders, hopefully they can get their businesses back and we can get the country back to where it needs to be.”
- In Loveland, Colorado, some restaurants and bars are continuing to serve patrons indoors. “More than 60 businesses announced Nov. 24 that they would not restrict their operations after Larimer County was moved into the red risk category,” the local media are reporting. “They said they would continue to follow the Level Yellow protocols.”
- Business owners in Orchard Park, New York, who were meeting at a gym so they “could protest the closing of small businesses,” demanded a health department official and accompanying deputies remove themselves from the private property. The relatively mild confrontation ended peacefully. This time.
- Both Whitmer and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, have had articles of impeachment filed against them over their abuse of power during the pandemic.
The day before Newsom outlined a new stay-at-home diktat, the Los Angeles Times wondered “whether residents will stomach even a modified lockdown as willingly as they did in March and April.” Early indications say no.
“California Republicans urge the public to exercise civil disobedience and go against the tightened COVID-19 lockdown restrictions,” reports Christianity Daily.
“James Gallagher, a Republican state assemblyman from Yuba City, urged the public to exercise civil disobedience and ignore the recently imposed rules,” while California Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove and GOP Sen. Melissa Melendez have also expressed support for disregarding political directives.
Roughly half the country wants Joe Biden to ride into Washington and tell everyone in the country to go to their basement and stay there. But the other half knows lockdowns are worthless and probably even harmful, and is growing ever more enraged at elected and unelected officials using the police powers of the state to control their personal lives. Their patience and good will are thin and getting thinner.
How long before something ugly and regrettable happens because some politician who wouldn’t prosecute mobs, rioters and domestic terrorists ordered law enforcement to arrest citizens who were doing nothing but going about their daily lives?
Every COVID-19 death is tragic for that victim and his or her family and friends. But the death of liberty is catastrophic for all but the few who make the rules that restrict our freedom. Entire populations, not just a small portion, are lost when liberty dies. The effects linger for generations.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board