This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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As we all continue to sit in this state of pandemic induced quarantine, people are getting restless. Many are finding new ways to cope with the time. Some are being more creative and posting such endeavors on their Instagram as singing, Bible studies, and even workouts. Sadly, others are seeing the end of their days, as some have committed suicide due to the strain of being in quarantine.
Yet the hope now is with President Trump, who has rolled out a 3 phase plan he calls Opening Up America Again. This plan will afford each state the ability to safely and effectively reignite their citizenry back to normal life. The only problem is it seems that between then and now, government is starting to become the monster we all have seen from history.
First, a History Lesson
The Founding Fathers understood the only real function of government is to defend its citizenry and provide basic needs such as roads and the military. Once government begins dictating other aspects of life in America, things get really touchy. Without going into too much here, we should recall organizations and bureaucracies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which dictate what we eat and how much we owe the government.
These are just a few of the many agencies which are out there regulating and encroaching and “defining” things for the people. Who asked them to replace beef tallow with soybean oil which causes more harm than good? But all because it’s a “vegetable,” somehow we’re supposed to believe them. This is obviously a digression, however.
Any time a government exists which extends itself too far into the lives of people, they instantly become authoritarian in every sense of the word. In many places, authorities have been issuing fines for drive in church, surfing, and even stopping skateboarders activities. Yet there is a disturbing tale that trumps them all; it is the story of 16 year old Amiyah Cohoon.
Disorderly… Say WHAT?
Long story short, Amiyah developed COVID-19 like symptoms and got tested. It turned out to be negative; she was told she probably missed the window for testing positive, which seems to be happening frequently to people. She began posting her full experience on her Instagram account as most 16 year olds do on their IG. This all seemed innocent and rather benign.
The teen had no idea she’d done anything wrong until Patrol Sergeant Cameron Klump from Marquette County Sheriff’s Department showed up on the family’s doorstep. By Sheriff Joseph Konrath orders, Sergeant Klump demanded that Amyiah and her father, Richard Cohoon, remove Amyiah’s Instagram posts. If they refused, Klump said the family faced charges for disorderly conduct. Additionally, Klump told them he would “start taking people to jail.”
“But Muh COVID-Free Reputation!”
The Marquette County Sheriff’s Department stated there have been no confirmed reported cases of COVID-19, and that he found about Amiyah’s content through her school. It seems rather than opening up a dialogue between the Cohoons and the administrators, they, for whatever reason, reported the family to the police.
The school administration than decided to accuse Amiyah of lying about it as if she was yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. Now the Cohoons are suing the Sheriff’s department and have sought legal counsel. You can read the details of Amiyah’s case here.
Rules For Thee, Not For Me; Even in Pandemics
Government overreach is not just what people in power tend to want authorities to enforce, but it also can be seen in blatant hypocrisy. We can definitely see authoritarian notions all around the nation. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is now known as the latest “Fuhrer.” He is also on record for such statements as if churches and synagogues met, they would be fined. He also said church buildings would be closed permanently if congregations did not comply. The flip side of pushing tyranny is also the notion that you as a person of power do not need to uphold your own rules.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has, in the last week, pushed social distancing and quarantine rules to the point of what some would call stupidity; such rules as you are not allowed to go out on to the lake on your motorboat, but a rowboat is fine. Additionally, sections at Home Depot and Lowe’s reserved for gardening are closed off.
You can read more of her Executive Order here. All the rules and regulations she instituted she expects everyday Michiganders to follow. However, her elite friends are allowed to break her rules, as they play golf at a country club one block from Whitmer’s Lansing home. Again, rules for thee, not for me (or my friends) seem to be the MO for these people.
Last we checked, we live in a country which was established because of the reality that there is something far greater than living under the thumb of a monarchy which continued to encroach upon daily living. So our Founding Fathers decided it was in their best interest to drop trou to these Monarchs. These great men traversed the ocean to then establish a country which adheres to the fundamental truth of “Get off my lawn!”
It seems this sentiment is generally on the rise with many Conservatives and as of late, Liberals. Overall, this overreach is either widely accepted by folks who are weaponizing their fear to placate others, or (and this seems to be the growing sentiment among many) “Screw you government! Open back up or you’re in for a world of hurt in 2020!”
People don’t forget overreach, and it will require all of us to remind ourselves and them, these authoritarians are doing just that; overreaching their bounds. Recall one regime which said, “Fur Ihre Sicherheit.” which translates, “For Your Safety.” This was used to cover the abuses of the state at that time and seems to be the verbiage used by the state today.
May we never forget that lesson. And may we push forward in the midst of this pandemic that rights do not end where fears begin. Most certainly, the exercise of those rights matters now more than ever in a situation where governors act as tyrants and citizens act like self-entitled snitches.