Why The U. S. Constitution Matters

We are in the midst of a major health crisis. We need to be intelligent in handling this crisis. However, we also need to remember that our Constitution applies in ALL situations–crisis or not. Unfortunately some of our elected leaders have forgotten that.

The Federalist posted an article today about some of our elected leaders who have chosen to ignore the Constitution in dealing with the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The most egregious example of this outpouring of authoritarianism was an attempt by Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fischer to ban drive-in church services on Easter. On Holy Thursday, one day before Christians were to begin their most important religious celebrations of the year, Fischer declared that drive-in Easter services would be illegal.

To remove all doubt about his seriousness, he also threatened arrest and criminal penalties for anyone who dared violate his order, and in an Orwellian twist, invited people to snitch on their fellow citizens. Fischer justified this by saying it was “to save lives.”

Thankfully, a federal judge made short work of the mayor’s idiotic power-grab, issuing a temporary restraining order against the city of Louisville on Saturday, writing so as to remove all doubt, “The Mayor’s decision is stunning. And it is, ‘beyond all reason,’ unconstitutional.”

There are other examples of this overreach:

…That’s a good start, but the targeting of churches, while undoubtedly the most offensive overreach by state and local governments, is hardly the only instance of government gone wild. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken it upon herself to declare what items are and are not “essential,” dictating to grocery stores what they can and cannot sell as part of a sweeping order issued Friday.

Among the nonessential, and therefore banned, items are fruit and vegetable plants and seeds. Never mind that growing fruits and vegetables at home right now would help maintain social distancing during the pandemic, the governor has spoken and her word is law. (Lottery tickets, on the other hand, are still permitted.)

Beyond the fruit and vegetable ban, the governor’s order is an object lesson in the absurdity and inconsistency of arbitrary power and rule by fiat. Michiganders are banned from traveling “between residences” if they own a cottage or a summer home, but the ban only applies to Michigan residents, so an out-of-stater with a cottage in the Upper Peninsula could presumably still visit. The ban also still allows travel between states, so if a Michigander has a cottage in Wisconsin or Ohio, he can travel without fear of being arrested or fined by state police.

The article concludes:

Why did Whitmer tailor her order this way? Probably because she knows she has no authority to ban travel between states, or issue orders to Americans generally—no more than a mayor has the authority to shut down drive-in Easter services in his city.

That these officials need to be reminded of that, and in some cases restrained by federal judges, bodes very ill for America. Now more than ever, we need leaders who don’t just care about protecting us from the pandemic, but also care about preserving liberty in a time of crisis.

When we vote in November, we need to remember who was willing to abide by the Constitution and who used the coronavirus as an excuse for a power trip.

Sometimes It Takes A While For The Truth To Come Out

Newsbusters posted an article today confirming something President Trump has been asserting for quite some time.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump’s strategic silence on Puerto Rico’s earthquakes, while greenlighting billions of dollars in aid and a new major disaster declaration for the stricken U.S. territory, is forcing the liberal media into a most uncomfortable place…acknowledging that he was right all along.

Earlier this week, The Washington Post attempted to redeploy ye olde Hurricane Maria playbook, in order to commoditize human suffering for Democrat political gain. This ham-fisted close to their editorial gave the game away:

Still, it is worth remembering that many Puerto Ricans were forced to leave the island after Maria and are now living — and will be able to vote — in swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania. Presumably many of them will remember how the island has been treated.

It is important to recall that the national media was asleep at the switch during the initial aftermath of Hurricane Maria –devoting coverage instead to the president’s tweets regarding the NFL. In fact, the liberal media didn’t begin to cover Maria’s terrible aftermath until there was a clear anti-Trump angle as embodied by the radical, separatist mayor of San Juan, who rode her post-Maria notoriety all the way to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign — where she now serves as national co-chair.

The article concludes:

Additionally, the island was roiled by news that much-needed relief supplies sat in a warehouse as earthquake victims suffered- which only serves to bolster the president’s charge (one with which many Puerto Ricans agree, by the way) that the island’s government is corrupt and incompetent. Per CBS News:

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced fired the island’s emergency management director on Saturday, after a video showing aid sitting unused in a warehouse went viral on social media. Some of the aid has allegedly been sitting in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017.

“There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to help those in the south, and it is unforgivable that resources were kept in the warehouse,” Vázquez said in a statement. 

With no obvious anti-Trump angle to chase, the liberal media (with the continued exception of CBS’s David Begnaud) is forced to cover the issue itself, to wit: the earthquakes that have rattled Puerto Rico, and the local government’s continued inability to adequately respond to an emergency due to institutionalized corruption and incompetence. Trump was right after all.

The start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is four and a half months away.

This is typical of countries where corruption reigns–many of the famine problems around the world have more to do with the distribution of food rather than a shortage of food. Dictators around the world have often used food as a weapon to keep their populations under control. In this case, the corruption in Puerto Rico was such that the aid never reached the people who needed it–it remained in warehouses. Meanwhile, the Mayor of San Juan has moved forward to work on the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Good Economic News

CNS News is reporting today that not only is the economy booming, the federal government has cut 16,000 jobs during the Trump administration–1,000 in September alone. This is wonderful news when you consider that every dollar spent by the federal government is a dollar taken out of the private sector. How many dollars does the lower federal payroll put back into the private sector?

Unfortunately state and local governments have not cut their employment numbers. The article reports:

Since President Donald Trump took office, federal employment has declined by 16,000.

In December 2016, the month before Trump’s inauguration, there were 2,810,000 people employed by the federal government, according to the BLS data. By August 2018, that had declined by 15,000 to 2,795,000. In September, it declined another 1,000 to 2,794,000.

At the same time, overall government employment (including those employed by state and local governments) increased 13,000 in September and has climbed by 100,000 since December 2016.

In December, 2016, there were 22,306,000 people employed in state, local and federal government combined. By August 2018, that had climbed to 22,393,000. In September, it jumped again to 22,406,000.

It’s time to cut all government employment and get people back to work in the private sector. I realize that we need a certain number of people to run all levels of government, but I am totally convinced that the number of people could be greatly decreased without harm to government services at all levels.

An Interesting Solution To “Inequality”

Jonah Goldberg posted an article at Townhall.com today that offers an interesting solution to the ‘inequality’ President Obama and some of the political left seem to be focused on lately. Oddly enough, the solution does not include giving more money or power to Washington.

In referring to the culture of Alaska (many of Mr. Goldberg’s wife’s family members live in Alaska, so he has spent some time there), he notes:

In my experience, Alaska stands out in another way: social equality. When I started going there regularly, I was shocked to discover how casually different economic classes intermingle. Scanning the attendees of a party or patrons of a restaurant, it’s pretty much guesswork to figure out who’s a millionaire and who’s a mechanic. Nothing like that happens in places like Washington, New York or Los Angeles, where upper and lower classes get along little better than the Morlocks and Eloi did in H.G. Wells‘ “The Time Machine.” But it does happen in lots of places — liberal and conservative — outside the Amtrak Acela corridor.

Mr. Goldberg points out a very logical solution to ‘inequality’ in America:

For practical purposes, people don’t live in the United States of America. They live in their neighborhoods, towns and communities. Yes, these are American communities, but your neighbors live in your neighborhood, not seven states over. Your kids don’t go to “U.S. schools”; they go to the school down the road.

Yet most of our money goes to the government in Washington, and so does most of the power. Why not flip that around? Want to see the rich, poor and middle class interact more? Give them a reason to show up to a city council or school board meeting. Sure, money has power at the local level, too, but so do votes.

Moreover, when rich people get their way at the local level, people usually know who they are and why they are doing things. And you can bend their ear at the supermarket or at soccer practice.

But when all the decisions are made in Washington or New York, most Americans are simply out of the loop.

And they resent it.

Having lived in New England for many years, I attended many Town Meetings where budgets, roads, zoning, and community growth were discussed. It was a way to see politics on a local level, and it was a way to be involved in the politics of your town. The taxpayers voted on the budget; the taxpayers voted on the zoning; and the taxpayers got to see their elected city officials at work. The taxpayers also had a chance to talk to their elected officials after the meeting. I don’t know if a Town Meeting would work in a larger setting, but certainly if more Americans felt that they had some sort of power, they would attend some of the various committee meetings in their cities and towns. Involving taxpayers in their local governments would be a step forward. I think Mr. Goldberg is on to something.

Enhanced by Zemanta