In Washington State a State Senator recently bemoaned the ongoing nature of the special emergency powers ceded by the Legislature to Governor Inslee. This is a very important, very timely issue. It appears that on both the Federal and the State level, Chief Executives have gotten way too comfortable with a unilateral decision making ability. It is time we restored the democratic republic to the form it was intended to be. Would we be experiencing, suffering from, the ongoing oppressive mandates, nominally justified by the, again, nominal Covid pandemic, if the experiences and the wisdom of the people were indeed being followed by a representative government? I don’t think so. The fact is a relative few people have experienced the kind of devastating illness potentially resulting from Covid that the media persists in broadcasting as if it were the reality in every house next door.
This is not to trivialize the suffering of those who have been the hardest hit by the virus, but that being said, we cannot continue to react to the experiences of an extreme minority as if that is the reality for all. While giving such minority experiences the time and attention they deserve, it is not wise governance to base the parameters of the functioning of the entire society upon the abilities or vulnerabilities of the most vulnerable among us.
If the vast majority of Americans took inventory of their own first-hand reality and urged our State and Federal legislators to either enforce, or lift, the harsh mandates based on that inventory, mandates which have led to many citizens losing their jobs, incomes, mental health, physical health or even their lives, we would have seen the mandates lifted months ago, for good. If we would have ever seen them imposed in the first place. I tend to think we may have opted for the initial “flattening the curve” 2-3 weeks, but not the ongoing, oppressive marathon we have experienced.
But that is not the reality we are facing. When it comes to the Covid mandates, we are not being governed by a representative body. We are being dictated to by an authoritarian few, often in an arbitrary manner with only the sketchiest, if any, actual evidence to support their dictates.
It is past time for us to insist upon the reassertion of a genuinely representative government.