I am amused by all the people fighting, crying, and whining about how the ‘stay-at-home’ orders are a violation of their freedoms. Why am I amused? Because what you call freedom is and has been an illusion since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Let me cite a few examples for you.
The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934. With the stroke of a pen, it became illegal for US citizens to own gold coins and bullion. FDR’s administration instituted this, and it didn’t change back until Richard Nixon was President. YOU WERE NOT FREE TO OWN GOLD. Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Reserve_Act
During the Civil War, the federal government was responsible for the greatest amount of newspaper suppression in the nation’s history. More than 300 newspapers were shut down. About half-way through the war, Lincoln changed his mind about violating the first amendment so aggressively. Yup, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS WENT RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW. Read more about that here: http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~w304644/ajha/americanjournalism/fall09.pdf
Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the first year of the Civil War. He even ignored a Supreme Court justice's decision overturning his order. He allowed people to be held indefinitely without trial. Doesn’t look like a lot of freedom there, does it? BASIC RIGHTS IN THE CONSTITUTION WERE RESCINDED. Read more about it here: https://www.usnews.com/news/history/articles/2009/02/10/revoking-civil-liberties-lincolns-constitutional-dilemma
How about all the rationing and price ceilings during World War II? How free were you to have a closet full of butter or sugar? Read about that here: https://www.nps.gov/articles/rationing-in-wwii.htm
As most of you who are regular readers know, I am a strong Constitutionalist. That means I believe the Constitution is the ruling document for the United States of America, our LAW OF THE LAND. Here’s the catch, the Constitution establishes the three branches of government. And, the Supreme Court has, since 1824, stated that the states have the right to impose quarantines and reasonable restrictions on travel…AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR DISCRIMINATORY. Yes, I have heard the conspiracy theories about how certain political affiliations want the lock-down orders and want them to continue to destroy the President. I won’t comment on the merits of that theory except to say, cutting off your nose to spite your face is a long-standing tradition in American politics (please note, there is also a theory that the whole thing was just to keep Joe Biden home so he wouldn’t make any more huge blunders.)
Do I think that there are violations of the first and fourteenth amendment happening? Yes. Do I think that the whole thing has been some kind of hoax to usurp our freedoms? No. I believe for some power-hungry politicians, that was an unexpected benefit, one they are loathe to relinquish. I also believe that rushing to get everyone back to ‘normal’ can be dangerous. Herd immunity is a great idea, but it requires the thinking that there are acceptable losses.
The more laws that are passed and not challenged in front of the Supreme Court, the more Executive Orders issued without any restraint, the less FREEDOM we ALL have. We aren’t free, we haven’t been free for more than 150 years.
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