Over the last few weeks, politicians at the local, state, and national levels of government have been increasingly asserting extraordinary power in the name of fighting coronavirus. As the power exercise continues to ramp up, and as the time people suffer lost liberty and lost income runs on, expect the crackdown to increasingly involve physical violence.
The longer the crackdown continues at its present or an increased intensity, the more the situation will look like a war between the enforcers of the mandates and the people who refuse to give up for so long so much of what gives life meaning.
Here is how I put it in my March 25 article concerning the drastic steps then being ordered by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to shut down businesses the city government terms “nonessential”:
Garcetti and other government officials across America are ramping up the threats against people who are attempting to do no more than proceed with living their lives. In the short term, the harsh tactics the government officials pursue may rather easily yield success for their goals of massively suppressing the expression of human freedom. But, with time, the resistance to the oppressive restraints will grow. Many people will not take well to being caged for a long time. Governments will need to exercise greater and greater force to try to keep the people down. There will be blood in the streets and blood in the businesses.It is now approaching two weeks later, and the tyrannical actions in the name of countering coronavirus continue to expand across America. Consider, for example, the villainous orders of Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo that include sending the military and police door-to-door and empowering state police to pull over all vehicles that have out-of-state license plates, all in the name of forcing a 14-day quarantine on people based on nothing more than that those people have been outside the state recently.
Now comes news of the enormity of the coronavirus crackdown being employed in New Jersey. Matt Arco reported Wednesday at NJ.com on some of the actions that have been taken by police in New Jersey to enforce the “order for New Jerseyans [to] stay at home unless necessary and the ban on social gatherings in the state.” These mandates, justified as needed to fight coronavirus, have led to police actions tearing away people’s ability to engage in a wide variety of social activities. Shutting down an indoor soccer match, a live auction, an engagement party, a gathering at a school for Talmudic study, a bar mitzvah, and an engagement party are examples Arco offers.
To make the violations of people’s rights even worse, the shut-downs, as Arco notes, are often coupled with fining individuals for violating the government’s coronavirus orders and even for child endangerment (though even the most ardent coronavirus fearmongers tend to admit that the danger to children from coronavirus is the most minimal).
Don’t expect the enforcement in New Jersey to let up soon. Arco quotes New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy giving this assessment of how the enforcement will proceed:
We’re going to be out every night, every day. We’re not going to be nice about it.Anyone who has seen some videos of police brutality at traffic stops and elsewhere should know that this expansion of police powers will lead to violent actions by cops, whether the cops act upon malice or out of fear for their safety. It is just plain dangerous to invent a whole new class of prohibited peaceful actions for police to stop. Haven’t we been through this already with the drug war?
If this were a movie, the audience would be yearning for people to resist the ascent of the police state. They would be hoping victims will throw punches or pull guns in response to the repeated and widespread attacks on people’s ability to engage in fundamental human interactions.
That type of response does not seem to have happened much yet in reality. But give it time. People have breaking points at which they decide enough is enough. More people are reaching their breaking points each day.
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