Former President Ronald Reagan once observed that Americans are never more than one generation away from tyranny.
His deeper meaning, of course, is that our Constitution may be endearing but our liberties and our freedoms must be constantly and jealously guarded, lest they be taken from us.
That seems to be happening a lot lately, and the excuse we’re being given is ‘coronavirus.’
Readers may recall earlier this week, a judge, angered by a Dallas salon owner’s opening of her business and refusal to follow a state-issued “stay-at-home” order, called her “selfish” and sentenced her to seven days in jail and levied a fine in the thousands of dollars after she refused to apologize for her behavior.
But shop owner Shelley Luther wasn’t trying to be non-compliant just for the sake of it, though she should never have to beg a court of law in America to give her ‘permission’ to make a living, even during a viral outbreak.
She reopened her shop April 24 in ‘defiance’ of the order because her finances were collapsing, as were those of her stylists, and they all have mouths to feed.
“I couldn’t feed my family, and my stylists couldn’t feed their families,” she told the court.
“I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be,” she continued. “But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids – is not selfish.
“I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”
At that, she was immediately remanded to the custody of the Dallas County jail, where there are currently 248 inmates who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Which, in and of itself is an oddity, considering all of the judges and Left-wing prosecutors who are letting legitimately dangerous people out of jail claiming that it is somehow ‘safer’ for them in society (where the virus is).
In any event, the legal clown show was all too much for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
He issued an executive order Thursday that retroactively eliminated jail time for any citizens who violate the stay-at-home order. That freed Luther and will allow her to reopen her business.
“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said in a statement.
“That is why I’m modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order. This order is retroactive to April 2nd, supersedes local orders and if correctly applied should free Shelley Luther.
“As some county judges advocate for releasing hardened criminals from jail to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is absurd to have these business owners take their place,” he added.
It absolutely is.
But this kind of stuff is beginning to happen all over the country, and mostly in blue states and cities. Orders are being extended, while tens of millions of Americans continue to be out of work – with no hope of going back soon.
Some business owners who were forced to close down will never reopen, so those jobs (and that income) will be permanently lost until they can be replaced by new ones.
And what happens if coronavirus ‘comes back’ next fall? Are we going to go through this all over again?
President Trump was right. Our country is not built to be shut down. We can reopen and do so safely. So that is what we must do now, before this anti-American madness spreads.