Phase One Gestures Not Enough, Anti-Lockdown Protests Continue at State Capital

RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper rolled out a tepid, arbitrary, and painfully slow reopening plan last week, after weeks of protests against overreaching orders that have decimated livelihoods even as the COVID-19 threat proves underwhelming. We’ve officially entered ‘Phase One,’ which sounds nice, except it changes very little about our current shutdown status.

The Stay-at-Home order REMAINS IN PLACE, but it is modified to allow for essential commercial travel. Some businesses are allowed to reopen, others remain under duress; more people can be inside a Wal-Mart, but the order still prohibits regular in-person church services. The latter is the subject of lawsuits from citizens and rebuke from lawmakers.

As you can imagine, a lot of people are unsatisfied with Cooper’s one-size-fits-all lockdown plan. Hence, the protests continue in Raleigh.

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While North Carolina remains under lockdown edicts from Governor Cooper, South Carolina has started the reopening process in earnest, as well as other states in the south east and around the country. Our sister state to the south will allow outdoor dining at restaurants, while restaurants across the border wither away, wondering when Cooper will relent.

Polls do show solid support among many Americans for maintaining some lockdown conditions, because they’re fearful that reopening will bring greater risks. That sort of frightful consensus tends to happen after months of fear mongering to justify the shutdown orders in the first place. Now there is an emphasis on the ‘Second Wave’ fears being trumpeted by the media and Democrats in many states around the country in order to extend the oppressive orders.

While these protests will continue, and for good reason, there is little indication that Cooper’s plan will be abandoned by him before his moving goal posts are met, or that it will be meaningfully challenged by representative lawmakers. North Carolina will thus be forced through months more of unwarranted, unconstitutional, and harmful emergency edicts, watching as businesses, jobs, and livelihoods languish day after day.

Many North Carolinians are not content to just sit by and let that happen to them — a remnant of our Esse Quam Videri spirit — and are restarting their lives and livelihoods as much as possible. If the government derives its power from the people, then it is the people that have the power to dictate their own lives. Trips around the state prove this sense of sovereignty is alive and well and it may be the North Carolina’s saving grace. We’ll need to be able to hit the ground running when Cooper’s lifts the lockdown if we’ve any hope in mitigating the virus of fear that led to these self-inflicted wounds.

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