Governors Actions Have Saved Lives: Please Do Your Part
This letter is in part, a response to a letter to the editor from last week with the title: “Governor’s orders are against Constitution”. As to the title, contrary to what Republican leaders in the state houses wish, the Governor is acting upon her authority that exists in state statutes. She is doing what a serious leader should be doing in this national crisis, listening to the best epidemiological scientists and disease experts to protect the lives of Michiganders. The author issues several hypothetical questions to which I will respond to.
“What is happening in our country?” Well, sadly, we have an unstable, inept, grossly corrupt and greedy narcissist playing the role of president during a pandemic and our economy and the very lives of countless Americans have been decimated due in no small part to his administration’s failed response.
“What right does the Gov. have taking away…(his) barber license…?” There are laws that are meant to be followed as per each citizens agreement with the social contract. The barber, like much of the GOP these days, believe law following is something that only “others” must worry about. “Are we now living in a banana republic?” Sadly, sir, I would say yes. That is, as long as Trump sullies the oval office. When he is replaced, we can begin the re-establishment of the rule of law. We can institute science and merit-based laws and governmental actions based on the general welfare of ALL of the American people, not just those who can serve the presidents interests and he and his cronies’ unquenchable lust for money. In short, we can have a government that works again. I hope the American people now see the importance of good governance. I hope this crisis has taught us that we can never again elect people to lead the government who’s chief interest is in the deconstruction and weakening of that government.
“What sense did it make to shut down just certain aisles at Home Depot or allow fishing in a row boat as long as it didn’t have a motor, etc?” That was due to the alarming ability for this virus to spread. Limiting travel (ex. Fishing with a motorized boat, which almost always involves travel and going to a gas station) and traffic through retail stores helped to slow the spread and ‘flatten the curve’ in our state. We have had a very serious outbreak, which now has over 50,000 cases and is nearing 5,000 deaths.
The author also refers to “…us (Michigan, as) the laughing stock of the nation.” Actually, here in Michigan, Governor Whitmer has taken aggressive actions on par with other states, some with Republican Governors (i.e. Ohio, Maryland). These states have been effective at controlling the spread and are looked at as models for other states to follow.
The Governor has released a six step plan to reopen and you can do your part to help us progress forward with those steps. Unfortunately, it is possible to go backwards. A back-slide can be caused by the actions of folks protesting in Lansing and the scores congregating at a local barber shop refusing to wear personal protective equipment in public.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention two major underlying causes of the backlash to the governor in this state. One is misogyny. There are (unfortunately), a constituency of citizens who simply are not comfortable with women in positions of power. Two is intense tribalism/partisanship. If we had a Republican Governor who was undertaking exactly the same steps as governor Whitmer, there would be no such backlash. Third, is electoral politics – there have been targeted efforts stoked online by well-funded special interest groups (some associated closely to the conservative activist DeVos family) to leverage the pandemic to politically weaken Democratic governors in states important to the president’s re-election this November.
In closing I say to my fellow citizens who are angry about the inconveinence that the coronavirus has brought to your lives, I know there is a good chance that there is no one you know, personally, who’s been infected with the coronavirus. This makes the hardship you are bearing seem unreasonable. But, the reason humans have been so successful on this planet is due to our ability to work together, to care for each other. To empathize. To feel compassion for those we may never meet, but who are humans with wants and needs like yours, nonetheless. When a person wears a mask and gloves to go out, when they honor these temporary restrictions, they are acting in a chain of good-will towards fellow man that has been unbroken for hundreds of years.
Mark Zacharda, Bennington Twp.