Freedom with Danger

The COVID-19 virus is suddenly becoming less of a worry to many people. Those people are becoming more worried about the Constitutional abuses of power showing up all over the country. Church goers being fined $500 for attending a drive-in service. A judge in Michigan decreeing that anyone can be arrested and jailed for suspected of being sick. And sheriffs in Michigan have refused to enforce the draconian measures put in place by the Governor. And now Google and Apple are turning out apps that will track infected people. Shades of Big Brother!!

There is a lot of speculation about what exactly is going on. Virginia has signed into law, in the midst of this health crisis, more laws that have nothing to do with the health of the citizens, and Maryland, New Jersey, and other places on a local level have enacted or attempted to enact laws that fly in the face of our Constitutional rights.

Obviously there has to be some measures taken to deter the spread of this virus. Social distancing and other pro-active measures seem to be working. The “curve” as it is called, seems to be flattening in many places, even hot spots like NYC. Yet on the other hand, the same people who say this are also saying “we’re not doing enough.”

Well, either we are, or we’re not. But with the new ruling by the CDC on how to attribute deaths to COVID-19 even without testing to prove infection, the data that everyone depends upon is suddenly being skewed. And when working with faulty data – however good the intentions – decision-making is compromised.

This does not mean Constitutional Rights must be compromised. The virus has not nullified the Bill of Rights, or any other part of the Constitution. The question being asked now by a lot of people is do the actions by government entities really have to do with health care or more to do with control of the population?

Social distancing on a voluntary basis is one thing, but it’s quite another to be arrested and ticketed for “failure to comply with orders” when social distancing and other guidelines are being followed. People need to use common sense in these cases, and governments need to use restraint in forcing laws and executive orders onto citizens that are at the core unconstitutional.

Thomas Jefferson said “It’s better to have freedom with danger, than slavery with security.” Would he have followed these guidelines? I believe so. But if he were threatened with fines and imprisonment or both for not following them, he would have sounded the alarm of government over-stepping their authority and attempt to control the populace.

As Senator Rand Paul said, “We should never forget the Constitution was not written to restrain citizens’ behavior. It was written to restrain the government’s behavior.”

Even in a time of crisis.