State and local leaders are in the news for telling residents what they can and cannot do during the coronavirus outbreak – actions one legal expert says clearly demonstrates that some politicians, given the chance, will move away from freedom and lean toward totalitarianism.
One example getting a lot of the media's attention is Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan) (pictured), who signed an executive order to combat the spread of COVID-19. But thousands of angry demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Lansing on Wednesday in "Operation Gridlock," protesting what they believe are draconian stay-at-home measures being imposed by the governor.
For example, under Governor Whitmer's order canoes are okay but powerboats are not; also, citizens can purchase a lottery ticket but not items needed to work on their house or to grow a garden. And her order doesn't allow Michiganders to drive to their in-state vacation home – but people from outside the state are welcome to come and visit their property in the Wolverine State.
In another example, the Democratic mayor of Greenville, Mississippi, issued an order that did not allow churches to hold drive-in services where people sit in their vehicles with the windows up and listen to their pastor's sermon. (More on this below)
Abraham Hamilton III, general counsel for American Family Association, discussed such directives yesterday on American Family Radio.
"This just reveals that we have many people in our country, including elected officials, who lean totalitarian. They learn statist; they lean in the opposite direction away from freedom," Hamilton said. "Circumstances like this that have the context or perception of an emergency allow those things to arise to the surface – and so I think you will see more and more instances like this."
One Michigan pro-family activist believes Governor Whitmer has gone too far in imposing her strict orders on state residents.
"It's the only state in America [and she's] the only governor in America who is imposing these types of draconian restrictions – and people have gotten to the point of rebelling," says Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan. "The people of Michigan largely went along, as a matter of common sense, with some of the earlier precautions. But this latest example, the people of Michigan are not going along with [it]."
Glenn contends the governor is trying to make a name for herself as sort of an "audition" for being Joe Biden's pick to run as vice president on the Democratic ticket in November.
"[But] I think after what's happening in Lansing, national Democratic strategists may begin to rethink whether … Gretchen Whitmer would actually be a drag on the national Democratic ticket as opposed to helping it," he tells OneNewsNow. "And I think frankly, and unfortunately, that may be the only point of leverage that forces her to backdown."
A Southern mayor backtracks
The Michigan governor is facing a lawsuit over her order. And so was Mayor Errick Simmons in Greenville, Mississippi – until he decided to back down.
Greenville's King James Bible Church, which on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Mayor Simmons, was the second local church to see its "drive-in" services shut down by the local police. The first was Temple Baptist Church, which also chose to sue the mayor for his actions. Late yesterday, Simmons "clarified" that drive-in church services are, in fact, allowed.
Hamilton, AFA's general counsel, discussed the mayor's actions prior to this latest development.
"The mayor of Greenville, Mississippi, may very well have [had] good intentions to want to prevent his constituents from contracting the coronavirus," the attorney offered. "But [to go] so far as to specifically shut down drive-in services for churches when you allow liquor stores [and fast-food restaurants] to have curbside service, and so on?"
Hamilton acknowledges that liberal politicians like Mayor Simmons and Governor Whitmer may not describe their actions as such, but "it just shows that … they have despotic tendencies [that are] coming to the surface in this coronavirus circumstance."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.