On the national, state, and local scene we are witnessing a conflict between a number of factions. One on hand there are those who advocate “freedom to”, on the other there are persons who advocate “freedom from”. These positions are fluid however, with members of each faction crossing the divide to use the arguments of the other side to bolster their contentions.
Conspicuously, we have those who insist that their right to wear camouflage and carry long guns and pistoles is automatic and undeniable. On the other are citizens who insist that its their right to live without intimidation. In their respective arguments each faction crosses over to the other’s rationale. The gun folks insist that its their right to live without government rules. Those of the threatened cohort claim the right to free speech without censure or intimidation. Take a controversy and examine it, and it becomes apparent that the same process is involved.
At this point its become apparent that each side has become entrenched in their own arguments. No one wins. This conflict is nothing new for this country. Since the beginning there has been “freedom to” and “freedom from” clashes. Myth has it that peoples from Europe arrived seeking religious freedom. OOPS! Not true. The Puritans, Methodists, Baptists, and most others came here to establish their own territory to worship as they pleased, but woe to those whose religion was other than the prescribed version. Heaven help those who were Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and other forms of non-WASP convictions. These persons became the original NYMBY (Not In My Back Yard) cohort.
Of course this doesn’t include the persons kidnapped in Africa and made slaves, the Native Americans forced from their ancestral homes, and the Mexicans disenfranchised, among others. There were more but let’s just stop there.
The penultimate example of this conflict resulted in the civil war (please not the war of northern aggression or any other euphemism). Slave owners were frightened that slaves were gaining some traction with the common man. The primary slave owners were a small proportion of the population. A large portion of the white folks were tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and others, poorly paid and not much freer than the slave. Most of the income was allocated to the plantation owners. So the slave owners demanded the freedom to import human beings and enslave them. They had no sense of the need for communal freedom from exploitation, impoverishment, demeaning behavior, and silencing and killing the slave. The south is sill experiencing the consequences.
The basic freedom here is the freedom to harm, in coronavirus speak, its the freedom to infect. Isn’t there a basic freedom to work? Sure, when its feasible. The political factions in this culture have always been shortsighted. Take away taxes and diminish the pool of funds to assist the population with surviving the distancing. Not smart. Where are the companies and CEOs who benefited from the tax debacle? In their counting houses, or in off shore secret cash houses counting their money probably.
Am I advocating socialism? Your definition is probably crap. I am advocating communal caring. Who has the financial means to assist the population? The federal government. Well, the feds have sent billions to deserving folks. No, they sent billions to people who already have billions and an episodic pittance to the common citizen. What is needed is a steady amount of funds that will allow citizens to keep their heads above water. How would we pay for these huge amounts of outflow (interesting concept – outflow, sounds like a flushed toilet)? Raise taxes, cut deductions, limit management compensation, divorce management pay from stock awards. Most don’t remember that after WWII, the upper tax bracket approached 90%. Reinstate that level.
Lastly, I would recommend that anyone who advocates any persons, who are older, disabled, or susceptible to the coronavirus agree to die so the healthy can work, be required to work in a coronavirus unit providing direct care to virus victims until the threat is over or they succumb.
Some politicians have already volunteered to sacrifice themselves…what are you waiting for?