RALEIGH – When the coronavirus lockdown policies were forced onto North Carolina by Governor Roy Cooper, the advertised goal was to flatten the curve of cases to avoid overwhelming our hospitals. That didn’t even come close to happening, so the prospect of lifting these disastrous shutdown orders moved to meeting arbitrary statewide data metrics. Now, with all the actual data pointing toward the government shutdown response being a colossal overreaction, the goal posts have been moved again.
Now, it’s Governor Roy Cooper’s feelings that must be satisfied before he releases North Carolinians from his dictatorial grip. His 2020 opponent, Dan Forest, actually cautioned against the incredibly destructive potential of such shutdown orders. The Left-leaning press and Democrats blasted him for questioning the omnipotence of Cooper during a crisis, but it turns out Forest was exactly right.
Beyond the economic damage, which is monumental and entirely self-inflicted, the political implications of this reopening approach are alarming. Since when has the basic liberties of American citizens been conditioned on everyone ‘feeling safe’?
This is an entirely subjective measure, allowing the shutdown orders to be justified for any number of reasons, and extend for any length of time. It strikes at the heart of this issue, which isn’t necessarily whether these orders were necessary or effective. The heart of this issue is whether or not the government, or the single chief executive, has the power to truncate the unalienable, constitutionally-guaranteed rights of individual citizens in the name of an amorphous collective good like public health.
The answer is, unequivocally; no, the government claims to such power are illegitimate, dangerous, and create a flawed and anti-American precedent.
We’d do well to have a chief executive that understands these limits on government power, and especially the moral foundation for why those limits exist.