The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.” - Samuel Adams
As the world turns, or maybe burns, I continue to be amazed at some of the behaviors of folks in this country … including some in our own backyard. I get that crazy times can beget crazy actions but that doesn’t make those actions any more acceptable. Fueling the engine of fear are what I believe to be two monsters roaming the country. One of them is looking to kill as many as possible and the other is simultaneously snatching away as many of our freedoms as we will allow … while we sit and watch. The former less threatening than we’ll soon discover, the latter far more than dangerous than we imagined.
Making matters worse are a clan of governors who need their mental acuity checked. Specifically, the governors of New York, Virginia, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania and, of course, California. There are others but these “Einsteins” come readily to mind. Texas governor, *Greg Abbott, teeters on the edge at times but overall has, at least, been steady, predictable and measured. As I expressed last week, I don’t agree with Abbott on most of what’s he done managing the impact of COVID-19 but, in all fairness, I have never been nor will I ever be a governor.
For kicks and giggles, however, if I were the governor of this state or any other, we’d be open for business and living life. There would be a steady, consistent stream of advice for citizens, advice like practicing safe distancing, constant use of hand sanitizer and the essential need to be highly careful in everything we do, but we’d be living, for sure. I certainly would resist any temptation, reasonable and bizarre, that has the power to implode the economy and strangle the lives of the state’s citizens as I hang out in an echo chamber of unqualified colleagues acting like they can confront a disease nearly every authentic set of stats says isn’t worthy of it. Then again, I have zero interest in controlling anyone or messing with the constitution. While I’d be one of just a few governors who feel the same, hell would have to freeze over before I would touch any part of the constitution. Our freedoms aren’t up for debate nor are they at the discretion of some self-absorbed, power-hungry, whacky politician. Doesn’t matter if in peaceful times or when the world is in a paranoid free fall, liberties like ours are, as Samuel Adams once said, worth defending against all hazards and attacks, period.
As for the city and county, behaviors are getting a bit squirrely. Not so much the actions of the majority of elected folks charged with managing this COVID circus but more so the tactics of some out there who think it’s gratifying to blast away at people who have very little, if any, control in dealing with current orders of the state. I want to be on record saying that Mayor David Hill of Waxahachie, Waxahachie’s City Manager – Michael Scott, Ellis County Judge – Todd Little, and most of the county’s commissioners have done a solid job in managing this COVID-19 chaos. Despite wild, loud assertions of people who know better than to claim local officials are scheming to take freedoms away, none of it is true. The governor’s orders are the only enforceable orders in the state for COVID-19. If, like Waxahachie, a city or county wants to have its own orders on record, those orders will be the same as the governor’s. As I write this, Ellis County does not have any orders in place, in part, because it must abide by the governor’s orders anyway and, in other parts, because of some games being played at the courthouse.
Regarding those games, there’s never a good time to be a political showboat … especially when people are experiencing uncertainty and fears. Simply put, the level of self-serving rhetoric has gotten deep over at the old courthouse. In the middle of it can be found my ol’ pal, Commissioner Paul Perry. I kind of like Paul personally but, when it comes to his role as a commissioner, I’ve had enough. I saw too much of his schtick during the transfer of refugees to Lakeview Camp a few years ago and refuse to stay quiet now as he dances the same dance once again.
To be specific, Perry introduced a resolution, known as Resolution 3.2, this past week that basically calls for opening all of Ellis County. Sounds great on paper and, truth be told, I like the idea. The problem is that Perry, along with the judge and three other commissioners, knows the resolution is unenforceable and thereby a political stunt. What’s worse is that the resolution, again unenforceable, has the real potential to confuse many local business owners with respect to opening their business doors. That confusion can lead to an assortment of real problems for people who right now need as much clarity as possible. Not surprising, the resolution couldn’t get a second to Perry’s motion and was therefore rejected. Perry received sought after applause and silly kudos from his Libertarian friends but that’s not what he or any commissioner is elected or paid to achieve. Not even close.
As for the group Perry hangs with and those in it who can’t win a political race but certainly can be loud and obnoxious, I’ll have more to say about them next week. Should you have interest in who they are specifically, email me and I’ll be happy to tell you but for now I won’t give them the pleasure of public attention. That’s their endgame and I’m not playing. What’s ironic though is that I agree with most of which they espouse. The issue is the group’s chest-pounding, tough-talking, know-it-all approach. That approach is why they achieve so little with regard to what they want. I’ll tell you more about that next week, as well.
America will never be the same once this awful period of time passes. There will be a new normal – a normal that I believe has the chance to be far better than the old. My hope, and certainly my intention, is that we decide to reject every whim and every slightest utterance, whether from an elected politician or a powerful lay person, that attempts to convince the country that a hyped pandemic or any other seen or unseen tool is reason enough for even the most minor change to our freedoms. Should what be happening today ever raise its ugly head again, may we destroy it with unabashed passion, ruthless rejection and with the clear signal that America will not be destroyed by those pretending to have pure and honorable motives in mind.
We can’t be fooled again.
*Please note: given press deadlines, nothing in this column pertains to the decision made by Governor Abbott Thursday afternoon regarding Shelley Luther, the salon owner in Dallas. Next week’s column will address the entire matter.
Scott Brooks is the Publisher of the Waxahachie Sun and may be reached at 972-316-7712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.