Day 313: I am not above the fray

Today’s the 313th day of our state shutdown and the 73rd day of our 21-day curfew.

Deb and I are fine. We had lunch the other day with a like-minded friend, and at one point the conversation turned to how the WuFlu restrictions here are less repressive than those in some other states. That’s absolutely true, and perspective is always useful, but saying “it could be worse” is cold comfort to Ohio citizens, businesses, students, families and communities.

An assault on Liberty is an assault on Liberty. On that we agreed.

My home state is in its eleventh month living under illegal and unconstitutional “orders,” and finally the Ohio General Assembly has a good shot at delivering the governor the smackdown he deserves.

Under the provisions of Senate Bill 22, which was introduced on Tuesday, the legislature could nix a public-health order by passing a joint resolution. It also limits any health “emergency” to 30 days and accords authority for extending a declared emergency to the legislature, again by joint resolution.

One of the bill’s primary sponsors in the Senate is a practicing physician. So there’s that.

If SB 22 passes both chambers the governor will veto it, of course. But the new GOP legislative advantages, in theory, offer hope of a successful override. Six senators and five representatives would have to defect, given current party-line dynamics, to sabotage veto-proof majorities.

Obviously, this is overdue. It’s time we got Liberty back on its feet in The Great State of Ohio.

When I look around at the people I choose to include in my American Life, it’s clear that I make no room for so-called “moderates.” I have little patience for creek-straddlers and fence-sitters, the plenty-of-blame-to-go-around crowd, folks who insist that I must give equal weight to all voices.

If this was 1775, these people would be standing in the middle of the Old North Bridge, calling for “unity.” (I can imagine some trembling colonial moderate shouting, “This is not who we are as Americans!”) I, on the other hand, know that America was founded by extremists, not centrists — fearless and intractable men.

I am not above the fray. I take sides.

And then there’s what I call “experiential elites.” They strut and they scold, telling me that I can’t truly know unless I played the sport or have the diploma, traveled the world or dwell in a city, own ovaries or a prison record or skin of a different color, live the shtruggle or suffer with the addiction.

They think they’re Teddy Freakin’ Roosevelt — “the man who is actually in the arena” — but almost without exception these are people who had to buy a ticket to get in. They believe they’re qualified exclusively to speak and do and direct, and that everyone else should just shut the hell up.

Yeah. No.

I don’t need to be a doctor to make informed decisions about my own health or have opinions on matters of “public health.” I don’t have to be a tenured law professor to understand the Constitution. An old white man has more than enough cred to pass judgement on violence committed by young black thugs. My opposition to illegal immigration is no less valid because I’ve never been to Guatemala.

These are people who don’t belong in my world. My circle is small these days and getting smaller, and that’s intentional.

It has its benefits.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

(Header image: This is the vintage Estwing carpenter’s hatchet we’re replacing with a Bark River Camp Ax in our RVing kit. It came to me with clues about its history scratched into its shank — best I can tell, the hatchet was employed on a family farm in Ross County, Ohio. Over the last dozen years the humble tool has worked hard and served us well, both in camp and at home.)

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