By Daniel Bobinski
“It's a pandemic, stupid! What about people's right to live? You are putting others’ lives in danger by not complying. Sorry you are inconvenienced for about a month so we can save lives. And church is not essential.”
The above statement came in response to the article I wrote about the Easter service conducted in Idaho this past Sunday. I realize good people exist on both sides of the “shelter down” issue. That said, as an Idahoan and someone who seeks to preserve the principles upon which our country was founded, I want to offer a reasoned response.
As I’ve written previously, certain factions are taking advantage of this virus by waging a scorched-earth war on the American economy, and stirring up fear is one of their tactics.
Why didn't we have a media frenzy during the H1N1 pandemic that occurred during Obama’s administration? Partly because the powers-that-be didn’t need to smear a President running for re-election nor destroy a wildly successful economy that ran counter to their stated goals. Not that Obama had a wildly successful economy to destroy.
Let’s look at a few numbers. As of Sunday evening, April 12, Idaho public health officials reported a total of 27 coronavirus-related deaths in the state. The Institute for Heath Metrics and Evaluation predicts that by August 4, a total of 61 Idahoans will have died from coronavirus-related issues.
By way of comparison, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 58 deaths from the flu during the last flu season (2018-2019), 101 flu-related deaths the year prior, and 72 flu-related deaths the year before that.
According to the state’s own numbers, deaths from COVID-19 will not be any worse than what happens in Idaho during a regular flu season --- but legacy media never put a microscope on every seasonal flu death in the past, so nobody ever panicked before.
Let’s talk about Constitutional rights
“The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government.”
In other words, no matter what “emergency” the government faces (the great exigencies of government), the Constitution cannot be suspended. No governor or agency (such as the CDC or a State Dept. of Health & Welfare) can create a policy, declaration, or law that supersedes the Constitution.
Let me also quote the 5th Amendment to the Constitution:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The key words here are, “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process … without just compensation.”
All that said, it means when a state’s governor issues a “stay home” order, people are being deprived of liberty. And when a governor says non-essential businesses must close, a person is being deprived of property. These things are being done without due process.
Due process requires that that laws be applied equally, so identifying “essential” and “non-essential” businesses violates that. Due process also includes an accusation, the gathering of evidence, a plea, and a fair public trial conducted in a competent manner with an impartial jury. With due process, the accused has the right to be present at the trial, be heard in his or her own defense, and be free to cross-examine witnesses.
None of this is happening, and a governor’s declaration is not due process.
Some have tried telling me the government has the right to quarantine people. I agree. But according to the CDC, “Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.” This is not what governors are ordering. The government also has the right to isolate people, but that action, “separates sick people with a quarantinable communicable disease from people who are not sick.”
These definitions do not match the “stay home” orders governors are issuing for their state’s entire citizenry, but the orders do fit the definition of house arrest:
“In justice and law, house arrest (also called home confinement, home detention, or electronic monitoring) is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all.”
People are losing their life’s investments in these shutdowns. Business owners often scrimp and save for years to start a business, denying themselves and their families many normal activities. But with these governors’ orders, thousands are losing those businesses. So no, this is not just about people sacrificing for “about a month.” On much a smaller scale, my own daughter had plans to graduate college by a certain time. Those plans are now ruined. Classes must be made up, and colleges don’t always run the same schedule of classes. She lost not just 30 days, but perhaps a year of her life to this. That may seem insignificant to some, but to her it’s devastating.
I’ve been near tears reading about single moms who’ve lost their jobs, unable to buy food for their children. I have acquaintances in professional fields who’ve shared stories of unfathomable loss already, both financially and physically. Requests for mortgage bailouts nationwide are up 78%, with more than 2 million homeowners now in forbearance, and more are sure to come.
In the weeks, months, and years to come, I'm sure we’ll hear and read many stories of how these unconstitutional “lock downs” devastated people’s lives. I’m not looking forward to hearing these stories.
I’m sharing this bigger picture because the real danger isn’t a month-long inconvenience, it’s the permanent loss of rights and the devastation to our society if tyrannical actions are not halted. If citizens do not push back against these flagrant violations (aka ‘taking’) of their rights that occurred from a governor’s decree, then politicians will be emboldened to suspend our rights for whatever reason they think they can get away with, whenever they decide to do it.
Their businesses were deemed “non-essential” and shut down without probable cause.
Their businesses were shut down without due process.
They have not (and will not) receive just compensation.
With this bigger picture view, harsh, personal lawsuits may be the only actions that prevent similar encroachments of our rights in the future.
Putting lives in danger?
I keep hearing people say that by moving about, we are “putting lives in danger.” I am compelled to reiterate that the danger we’ve been warned about is overwhelming the healthcare system. To this I’ll share a quote from the COO of a medical facility, who recently told me, “We have everything we need to meet the demand. It’s p****** me off. We’re laying people off because our hospitals are empty.”
When Dr. Anthony Fauci and multiple reputable epidemiologists such as Larry Brilliant talked about the need to flatten the curve, they were very clear: It will not reduce the number of people getting the virus, but reduce the rate at which we get it.
And we do need to be exposed to it. Doctors are telling us that a very real problem occurs if we flatten the curve too much and prevent the population from reaching 50 - 66% exposure. If we don’t reach that number, we will likely see this virus return in the fall and the hype will start all over again. But maybe that’s what the globalists want.
Finally, in response to comments that “church is not essential,” it may not be essential to some. But I find it extremely arrogant to declare what someone else’s spiritual needs might be.
I’m presenting these facts to present a bigger picture. The heart of the matter is the future of America, and with that as the focus, I don’t think I’m being selfish. What I refuse to do is bow down to well-meaning but tyrannical government officials out of fear or a lack of personal responsibility.
I’ll end with a quote from Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa, one of nine governors who did not issue any kind of “lock down” order. She said, “I can’t lock the state down . . . people also have to be responsible for themselves."
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, best-selling author, columnist, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker. He’s also a veteran and a self-described Christian Libertarian who believes in the principles of free market capitalism – while standing firmly against crony capitalism.