Plenty, writes Andrew C. McCarthy, who explains there is a fundamental issue of political legitimacy. Those who so portentously remind us that they are in “government service” need to be mindful of what a servant is and who the master is.
The Constitution is a solemn pact that “codifies the relationship between the people and the governmental system they have created — not the other way around,” Mr. McCarthy reminds readers in NRO.
- Matt Mooney, a 33-year-old former Colorado state trooper, was handcuffed for playing tee-ball with his daughter on an empty field. Cops, with masks dangling from their belts, capriciously decided that this transgressed the state’s social-distancing restrictions.
- In Chicago, police broke up a dangerous gang . . . of congregants at St. Odisho Church, daring to conduct funeral rites during a Sunday service.
- The insufferable Bill de Blasio (k.a. Warren Wilhelm Jr.), took time out from flouting his own social-distancing dictatesto admonish the peons that churches would be seized and permanently shuttered if worshipers defied his shutdown orders.
- Pope Francis declaimedthat the coronavirus just might be “nature’s response” to humanity’s apathy toward the “partial catastrophes” of climate change (I don’t think that was quite ex cathedra), his kindred spirits — that would be leftists, not Christians — are feeling their oats.
- San Fransico’s district attorney Chesa Boudin, the son and foster son of Weather Underground terrorists, and The City by the Bay are doing their best to empty the prisons of gangbangers and dope dealers — since any excuse to combat the “institutional racism” of the criminal-justice system will do.
But that didn’t stop the duly cowed police from issuing a citation — the first for violating the city’s “stay at home” diktat — to Ronald Konopaski, an 86-year-old anti-abortion activist who had the temerity to protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Lives Torn Apart by Elected Officials and Faceless Bureaucrats
At a certain point, a free people — nearly 17 million of whom have now filed unemployment claims in an economy that was booming just a month ago — comes to realize that the de Blasios are pleaders, not rulers.
Common sense emerges in the clarity of lives torn asunder by willful acts of elected officials and faceless bureaucrats. Our DNA reminds us that governments derive their just powers only from the consent of the governed.
There is a lot going on that no one has consented to. The law is beside the point. The state and its police need the public’s cooperation. They won’t get it by coercion. If they can’t get cooperation because they’ve forfeited their legitimacy by capricious, politicized enforcement . . . well, there are worse things that can happen than a pandemic.
The preservation of a free society requires ordered liberty. The government can never forget that the objective is not order for its own sake, or for the sake of “progressive” social transformation. The point of order is the flourishing of freedom.