That’s the lesson the government wants us to learn from this COVID-19 business.
For years now, the powers-that-be—those politicians and bureaucrats who think like tyrants and act like petty dictators regardless of what party they belong to—have attempted to brainwash us into believing that we have no right to think for ourselves, make decisions about our health, protect our homes and families and businesses, act in our best interests, demand accountability and transparency from government, or generally operate as if we are in control of our own lives.
We have every right, and you know why? Because we were born free.
As the Declaration of Independence states, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights—to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness—that no government can take away from us.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the government from constantly trying to usurp our freedoms at every turn. Indeed, the nature of government is such that it invariably oversteps its limits, abuses its authority, and flexes its totalitarian muscles.
Take this COVID-19 crisis, for example.
What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) has become yet another means by which world governments (including our own) can expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents.
Until now, the police state has been more circumspect in its power grabs, but this latest state of emergency has brought the beast out of the shadows.
We are on a slippery slope to outright despotism.
This road we are traveling is paved with lockdowns, SWAT team raids, mass surveillance and forced vaccinations. It is littered with the debris of our First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.
This is what we have to look forward to in the months and years to come unless we can find some way to regain control over our runaway government.
The government has made no secret of its plans.
Just follow the money trail, and you’ll get a sense of what’s in store: more militarized police, more SWAT team raids, more surveillance, more lockdowns, more strong-armed tactics aimed at suppressing dissent and forcing us to comply with the government’s dictates.
It’s chilling to think about, but it’s not surprising.
The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints a dystopian picture of the future bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.
But here’s the kicker: what they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.
This COVID-19 crisis is pushing us that much closer to that dystopian vision becoming a present-day reality.
For starters, let’s talk about the COVID-19 stormtroopers, SWAT team raids and ongoing flare-ups of police brutality.
Indeed, although crime rates have fallen dramatically in the midst of this global COVID-19 lockdown, there’s been no relief from the brutality and violence of the American police state.
While the majority of the country has been social distancing under varying degrees of lockdowns, it’s been business as usual for the nation’s SWAT teams and police trained to shoot first and ask questions later.
In Kentucky, plain-clothed cops in unmarked cars used a battering ram to break down Breonna Taylor’s door and carry out a no-knock raid on her home after midnight. Fearing a home invasion, the 26-year-old emergency medical technician and her boyfriend—who had been in bed at the time of the invasion—called 911 and prepared to defend themselves. Taylor’s boyfriend shot one of the intruders—later identified as police—in the leg. Police fired at least 20 shots into the apartment and a neighboring home, killing Taylor. The drug dealer who was the target of the late-night raid lived 10 miles away and had already been arrested prior to the raid on Taylor’s home.
In Maryland, police dispatched on a nuisance call to break up a crowd of neighborhood kids( half of them teenagers, and the other half youngsters around 4 and 5 years old) gathered in an apartment complex parking lot opened fire on a 29-year-old man seen exiting his car with a gun. An eyewitness claimed “the officer pointed a flashlight and his gun at the group immediately and began chasing and shooting a minute or two after getting out of the patrol car.” Police reportedly shot the man after he threw down his gun and ran in the opposite direction.
Police have even been called out to shut down churches, schools and public parks and beaches that have been found “in violation” of various lockdown orders.
Now there’s talk of mobilizing the military to deliver forced vaccinations, mass surveillance in order to carry out contact tracing, and heavy fines and jail time for those who dare to venture out without a mask, congregate in worship without the government’s blessing, or re-open their businesses without the government’s say-so.
If we haven’t already crossed over, we’re skating dangerously close to that line that keeps us on the functioning side of a constitutional republic. It won’t take much to push us over that edge into a full-blown banana republic.
In many ways, this is just more of the same heavy-handed tactics we’ve been seeing in recent years but with one major difference: this COVID-19 state of emergency has invested government officials (and those who view their lives as more valuable than ours) with a sanctimonious, self-righteous, arrogant, Big Brother Knows Best approach to top-down governing, and the fall-out can be seen far and wide.
It’s an ugly, self-serving mindset that views the needs, lives and rights of “we the people” as insignificant when compared to those in power.
That’s how someone who should know better such as Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, can suggest that a free people—born in freedom, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, and living in a country birthed out of a revolutionary struggle for individual liberty—have no rights to economic freedom, to bodily integrity, or to refuse to comply with a government order with which they disagree.
Dershowitz is wrong: while the courts may increasingly defer to the government’s brand of Nanny State authoritarianism, we still have rights.
The government may try to abridge those rights, it may refuse to recognize them, it may even attempt to declare martial law and nullify them, but it cannot litigate, legislate or forcefully eradicate them out of existence.
Up to now, we’ve been largely passive participants in this experiment in self-governance. Our inaction and inattention has left us at the mercy of power-hungry politicians, corrupt corporations and brutal, government-funded militias.