May 3, 2020

Why We Protest

Guest Column by Dr. John McGinnis
Host of WRTA’s Two Way Radio. Former PA 79th District State Representative

[Remarks made at the Blair County Tea Party Rally on May 1 to Re-Open PA.]

What exactly are we doing here? Petitioning an out of control government? I’m guessing Kim Jong Wolf and his secretary of health are having a pretty good laugh right now—they’re saying, “look at the schmucks appealing to us to allow them to exercise their God-given rights. How pathetic!” They have a point.

Please allow me a moment of nostalgia.

In his farewell address one generation ago, President Reagan talked about America as a shining city … a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity.

The Gipper summed things up this way: “After 200 years, that shining city is still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom….”

How do we look around Pennsylvania and America today with anything but shame? On the pretext of a virus, the optimism and confidence of Reagan and a nation’s trust in God and liberty has been repudiated. The stay home, stay safe message is exactly the opposite of our Pilgrim heritage that created the shining city of liberty. On the smallest of probabilities, we treat our fellow citizens as threats to our lives. We cower seeking refuge in collectivism and dictatorship. We have abandoned any pretense of a land of the free and a home of the brave.

In his 2019 SOTU address, President Trump said, “America will never be a socialist nation.” Really? Apparently “never” meant one year and one virus later.

When businesses close because the government orders them too, that is socialism. When government determines which businesses are essential and which are not, that is socialism. When government arbitrarily denies or issues waivers to employers pleading to maintain their operations and the livelihoods of their employees, that is socialism. When the government decides when, where, and how medical treatments will be allowed, that is socialism. When citizens are ordered to shelter in their own homes and are told, “we’re all in this together,” that’s socialism.

When the government sends out trillions of newly printed dollars to favored businesses, organizations, and voters, that’s socialism. When this new money debauches the currency of our country now and for decades to come, that’s socialism. When many in Congress voted against an omnibus bill a year ago of less than a trillion dollars on grounds it is reckless spending and now nearly all of Congress votes for multiples of that in the belief that government should print, borrow and spend on a scale never before seen in human history, that’s socialism.

How appropriate today is May 1, the traditional date for celebrating communism and the ideas of Karl Marx! For America, this is a day of disgrace if not surrender. Because even when the lockdown lifts, an infrastructure of hundreds of sleeper cells of totalitarians will remain in every state capitol and every agency of the federal government. Liberty that is contingent on government and not given by God is not liberty.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s not surrender. Exercising our God-given freedoms in defiance of dictators is no vice; deference to diktats in violation of our Constitution is no virtue.

While you might think of our current state of affairs as a health crisis or an economic crisis or even a political crisis, the real crisis is much more profound and severe. This crisis is about nothing less than the soul of America.

In reference to Sweden’s corona policy of non-intervention in its economy, economist Fredrik Erixson said, “In a liberal democracy you have to convince and not command people into action. If you lose that principle, you will lose your soul.” How is it that the Swedes understand freedom better than Americans?

Yes, by all means, let’s open up Pennsylvania’s economy. But why wait for the tyrants’ permission? If America is to regain its soul, we must commit ourselves to re-establish a commonwealth of liberty and self-determination.

Our state constitution says we are “Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty.” Well, we’re not acting very grateful these days. William Penn was right: Those who will not be governed by God, will be ruled by tyrants. Refuge in government is submission to tyranny.

In opening PA’s economy, let’s reclaim our rights as sovereign citizens and our heritage of a Constitutional government of specific and limited powers. Let’s regain the soul of America with an unabashed, unapologetic, and undiluted belief in freedom.  Let's Proclaim Liberty and defend it.  Anything less is surrender.

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