The consequences of mandates


November 23, 2020 12:51PM

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, state and local governments across the nation are ratcheting down on citizens’ ability to celebrate with their families. And it’s not just the most liberal of states and cities taking such extreme measures. We are having this problem right here in Tennessee. While the state as a whole no longer imposes restrictions on individuals and businesses, several of our larger cities still do. Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced late last week that no more than eight people could gather together in the city, even inside their own home. And the Shelby County Health Department sounded like the governor of California when it declared that masks shall be worn at all times while eating, except in between bites.

It’s attention-grabbing headlines like these that do more harm than good when fighting Coronavirus. When you forcibly intrude into citizens’ own homes with your directives, people become more inclined to “break” the rules. And when you tell people that they have to slide on and off their mask between bites of turkey, they just flat out start ignoring even your sensible regulations. 

Never in my lifetime have so many unelected government bureaucrats intruded into the lives of people all across the globe as they have during this pandemic. Many attempts to mitigate the spread and impact of the virus are of course noble. But even more, including eight-people-in-homes limits and masks-between-bites rules cross the line from reasonable to unconstitutional to outright dumb.

Treating people like they are a mass of morons who should just shut up and listen to their masters who know best is not going to make the virus go away. To the contrary, it makes it harder for us to all work together to take sensible action to control its spread. Leave it to government busybodies to screw this up. It’s time to start curbing their authority to issue these restrictions in the first place.