INSIDER COLUMN: WHEN GOVERNMENT’S LOST OUR TRUST

Do we rely on government for too much? Has government intruded too far into our lives? The answer is likely yes to both. And when we’ve lost trust in that government, just what are we to do?

Maybe it’s one thing for which to be thankful in this time of the coronavirus: in all that we’ve been through, all that we are going through, the ineptitude of government and the willingness of certain officials to impose their will and judgment upon us has been revealed.

With multiple reports of inaccurate and inflated positive test results, test results for people who have never been tested and conflicting recommendations of various medical professionals, no wonder the messaging is mixed and the actual picture is clouded.

What are we to do? We are left to our God-given common sense to evaluate the information, weigh its validity based on our own knowledge and experience with information from those we actually do trust and then act in our own best interest as best we can determine it.

Yet, there are those in government, at various levels, who have seized upon this opportunity to wield their presumed power to take advantage of those who are either vulnerable to or in fear of the virus. One such example is County Commission Chair Bryan Lober who from the beginning has shown his propensity to substitute his judgment for ours, and even that of the entire elected body on which he serves, in forcing what he sees as “for our own good” measures upon the entirety of the county. Fortunately, those measures have, in large part, failed.

In that failure, though, others have seen opportunity to do exactly the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale. It has resulted in a patchwork of regulation from jurisdiction to jurisdiction throughout the county. Their mandates on businesses and individuals alike go far beyond the scope of their authority or, worse yet, reason.

Some towns have smaller, business specific measures that fly in the face of equal treatment for all. Others have all encompassing measures that are intended for all of us whenever we venture into the public eye. I am amazed at the mask wearers in alone in their cars or simply walking through a parking lot or plaza.

Some of these regulations have no penalty provisions while others are severely penalized. The expectation that law enforcement or other government employee resources are to be used for enforcement of these measures forces the question as to whether there are too many such employees for those departments. Otherwise, how could normally stressed staffing levels allow for reassignment to this kind of duty?

With unreliable information in abundance and conflicting responses from competent medical authorities, we are left to make the call on our own.

One can hardly blame businesses for taking the action mandated by government in order to remain open and serve their clientele. So, too for the business, in response to public fear or even panic, that creates mandates for apparel like masks in order to ease potential customers’ minds.

And it all falls back to those elected officials, at any level, who see it as fit and best to substitute their opinions and judgment for that of a public that has been entrusted with its own safety for over 244 years. Thankfully, it’s election season and we have the opportunity to replace at least some of those arrogant officials who would rule us as opposed to serving in a government position.

Let’s hope that the electorate is informed and paying attention enough to make that call.


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