Use of the emergency power by an executive is always evil. It may be a necessary evil, but its use is evil. That is why the executive must use it with extreme caution and in very rare circumstances.
In most cases, such as a natural disaster, the executive power is used to “cut through” the red tape of government, like, in 1993, after the Northridge Earthquake, Governor Pete Wilson used the emergency powers granted to him to remove the environmental obstacles to rebuilding the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles. We now know that a freeway can be planned and built in 60 days, and not the 23 years it takes if we are forced to follow the maze of regulations imposed by the various government agencies. Or, in the case of the fires, houses can be rebuilt in weeks, and not years, when the emergency powers are used to waive the regulatory requirements for rebuilding a home. In those cases, and many others, where the danger is imminent or the damage unpredictable and devastating, use of the emergency powers, while still very evil, because they avoid legislative and public input into government policy, are absolutely necessary to avoid compounding the damage caused by the unexpected circumstances that led to the use of the emergency powers.
However, when the damage is not “unexpected” or sudden or avoidable by other means, the use of emergency powers is an abuse of power. The use of those powers to address the corona virus disease is evidence of the presence of that evil. Those powers have been used to expand bureaucratic intrusion into our lives, not reduce it. That makes its use in this state doubly evil.
First, it is important to point out that every despot since the mid-19th century has used the excuse of an “emergency” to justify the seizure of unlimited power. For thousands of years, authoritarian governments were all there were, so people, not knowing any better, acquiesced to the unbridled use of power by the authoritarian leaders. Then came the United States, and the elections that followed the belief that the power of the sovereign was derived from the people. Then authoritarians couldn’t just exercise the power, they had to come up with an excuse. And they did.
Whether it was a “claim” of terrorism (as Ferdinand Marcos used in the Philippines) or the threat of a communist takeover, as was used by Hitler, or any other number of emergencies, the authoritarians took advantage of the “fear” of people to justify their seizure of power not limited by the legislative process. Unfortunately, many of the legislatures let them seize that power, because those legislatures were dominated by the same party of the executive, and judges refused to intervene. The result: long standing and oppressive governments, with dictators unrestrained by legislative or judicial authorities, again, out of fear or ambition.
COVID is not a public health emergency justifying the use of unbridled government powers. It is a public health hazard to be sure, but we have faced those types of hazards before without the loss of our political or economic freedom, or the use of dictatorial measures to enforce useless or counterproductive controls on behavior. The most recent oppression by our Arrogant Lazy Authoritarian in Chief (ALAIC) Gavin Newsom are examples of the oppressive evils imposed unrestrained dictators throughout history. A curfew? We have no riots, there are not roving bands of criminals wandering our streets at night putting our lives at risk. His order will have no effect on the spread of the disease.
The same with the re-imposition of the lock down. He is threatening to lock down any county where the ICU occupancy is above 85%, irrespective of the reason the beds are being used. A real disaster, like an earthquake, could put hundreds of people in the hospital, and the county would be locked down, and business shut down, because the hospitals exceeded the ALAIC imposed limits, using COVID as the excuse for the lock down. His orders, never approved by any legislative body, absolutely unnecessary to address the real problems caused by the virus, and overly intrusive to individual liberty, are the whims of a dictator. People should see them for what they are, and oppose them, ALL of them, no matter what they are. They are foolish, unnecessary, counterproductive, and illegal.
I don’t expect any court to stand up to ALAIC Newsom, and I have been sorely disappointed by elected officials everywhere for standing idly by while ALAIC Newsom destroys our economy and our great Republic. There have been islands of freedom loving individuals standing up to California’s petty dictator, but far too many acquiesce, most out of fear.
It is time to say NO!!!!. NO!!!! to curfews. NO!!!! to shut downs of business, schools, government offices, and family gatherings and vacations. NO!!!! to the planned destruction of our economy. NO!!!! to the petty dictator who knows these restrictions are unnecessary and don’t work. How do we know that he knows that these restrictions are unnecessary? He doesn’t even follow them himself.
This last Thanksgiving, I partied like a Governor, in a gathering that had more than 3 families and didn’t social distance. I didn’t (and I won’t) wear a mask everywhere, because they are unnecessary, and, in some cases, counterproductive. More than all of this, though, I am a freedom loving American who refuses to bow to a petty dictator. There needs to be more who stand for freedom. We need to shut down a government that thinks it can get away with this oppressive behavior.
The truth is we get the government we deserve. We will either exercise our freedom or lose it. It truly is up to us.