Liberty v. Virus, Liberty for Me, Virus for You

Their credo: My liberty is more valuable than the lives of others.

The title in the April 16 Spokesman read: “Idaho Rep. Heather Scott calls governor ‘Little Hitler,’ compares nonessential workers to Holocaust victims.” The previous day eastern Washington’s very own legislative pariah, Rep. Matt Shea (LD4, Spokane Valley north to Mt. Spokane), was the lead subject of another article: “Far-right politicians denounce government’s COVID-19 response in Washington, Idaho” (Both articles are free to read on the internet as part of the Spokesman’s Covid-19 coverage.)

In times of national crisis we have a history of pulling together for the common good. When the threat is clear, people pitch in and help. During the time of threat they may grumble about personal hardship and perceived injustices, but intelligent people understand the threat, unite, and deal with it. Ask your parents or grandparents (or if you’re over 80, just think back) about the federally mandated rationing of gasoline and many food items during World War II

We cut our leaders some slack in dealing with an immediate threat (at least insofar as their leadership is reasonable and skillful). Not allowed to go fishing? Hmmm. I can comply with that for a while as things get adjusted. I don’t like it and I don’t quite see the logic to it, but I won’t squawk for now. It is patriotic and humane to have some patience.

Times such as these show the baseline stuff of which people are made, especially people in public office, and for some of them, like Shea and Scott, their stuff does not show well.

We must pay attention. These are their true colors. Elections are coming. 

Matt Shea and Heather Scott value their “liberty” to do as they wish, they value it over the lives of others.  Here’s where they’re coming from: “Government regulation of where I go and what I do is UNCONSTITUTIONAL under all circumstances! You say gatherings where one asymptomatic person might spread virus to a hundred others? No problem! On April 25 in Franklin Park (across from the Northtown Mall in Spokane) at 1:30PM we’ll hold a Liberty or Death Rally for our candidate for Washington State governor, Loren Culp(current Police Chief of Republic, WA)! We’ll carry our AR-15s and demonstrate our claim to the liberty to threaten your life by aiding the spread of virus!” (If you have the stomach for it, I recommend a visit to these folks’ common website, Redoubt News, to sample the crazy trash they put on display.)

So where does liberty stop and the common good start in a lethal pandemic? When does it become immoral, plainly disgusting?  A friend put it this way: “This is like the careless pickup driver whose boards fly out of the back of his truck killing you as they fly through your windshield. But HE ignorantly drives on with no idea that his carelessness has caused multiple causalities in the multi-car pileup behind him.”

Elections are coming. We need to pay close attention and get ready to remove people like Shea and Scott from elected office. We’ll have closer looks at upcoming races in later emails.

And what is our cretinous divider-in-chief doing by way of crisis management? Instead of leading and uniting, organizing and managing the response to the threat, Donald Trump is tweeting out encouragement to these crazies, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA” and “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” soon followed, all states with Democratic Governors that might be in play in the November election. Take note Mr. Trump did NOT tweet out support for protesters in Idaho or Washington, with similarly restrictive policies and Republican and Democratic governors, respectively. Tellingly, neither Idaho nor Washington is likely to be a swing state in November.

Governor Jay Inslee’s (WA) said Trump’s LIBERATE tweets were “unhinged.”  Inslee’s response to upcoming protests in Olympia could not have been better put (understand as you read Inslee’s words that the population of Washington State is about 7,000,000):

Inslee said they [the protesters] were “welcome to express their First Amendment rights to say what they want to say.

“I do encourage them to socially distance when they do that, try to maintain 6 feet apart. … We care about your safety as well,” he said. “But I will say, if a thousand people show up this weekend, that would mean there would be 6,999,000 Washingtonians that care enough about their families to pitch in a little bit to try to prevent our loved ones from dying.”

Keep to the high ground,

P.S. Doug Muder in his “The Weekly Sift” this week was particularly eloquent about: 

1) The Liberate protestors and identity politics:  Off the Table and 

2) Trump’s transparent gambit to take no responsibility for a bad outcome while position to take credit for any improvement: Trump’s Guidelines Aren’t What He Says They Are