I was all set to uncork my annual rant about how the 4th of July should be a national day of mourning rather than a celebration of “freedom” we longer enjoy, but James Bovard raised the bar on me this year.
How many Americans will greet July 4th Day with gratitude that their governor is no longer compelling them to “shelter in place” or “stay at home” so they can celebrate their freedom? Most of the media is ignoring the fact that this Independence Day is occurring under the most dictatorial restrictions of the modern era. But anyone who values their liberty must recognize the Great Political Unleashing that has occurred this year makes a mockery of the Founding Fathers’ intentions.
Do America’s politicians and media have any special suggestions on how the tens of millions of people who lost their jobs due to the shutdowns should celebrate Independence Day? How should small business owners who have been bankrupted mark July 4th?
The media and many politicians heaped derision on people who publicly protested against the lockdowns that were destroying their livelihoods. But after a Minneapolis policeman brutally killed George Floyd, politicians cheered as mass protests exploded in cities across the nation. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent police to disperse attendees at an Orthodox Jewish funeral for violating his restrictions on public gatherings but endorsed mass protests against police brutality.
Twelve hundred health professionals signed a letter declaring, “We do not condemn these gatherings as risky for covid-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health.” Any tattered remnant of credibility retained by public health officialdom was shattered when they declared that supporting protests against police brutality “should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders.”
Who knew that COVID-19 only infects “deplorables” and reactionaries?
At the same time that politicians joined and cheered mass protests against the police, many states continue effectively outlawing religious services. Would church services be permitted to resume if parishioners promised to cuss the police? The “experts” might also permit a vast rally to confer sainthood upon Anthony Fauci, the media’s favorite lockdown hysteria monger.
The pandemic pried open authoritarian Pandora’s Boxes at all levels of government. Trump’s Justice Department asked Congress to approve suspending habeas corpus for the duration of the pandemic. Norman Reimer, executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, warned, “You could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over.” The same type of pre-arrest power could be exercised to detain anyone suspected of being infected or failing to obey lockdown orders. Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee, one of the most principled members of the Senate, tweeted in response to the news of the power grab: “OVER MY DEAD BODY.”
I could easily (and happily) excerpt a hell of a lot more, but you really need to go read it all; his closing line is as forthright a call to resistance in the spirit of our revered Founders as one can imagine. And be sure to get out there and celebrate your “freedom” on the 4th—if your state or local government will allow that sort of thing, that is. Don’t forget to wear your Humiliation Mask. No fireworks, of course. Too scary.