by Bob Barr
The COVID pandemic is over.
Thanks to the work of President Donald Trump, a vaccine is widely available to anyone who wants it. And, coming from that research, a new pill from Pfizer that cuts the risk of death and hospitalization by 90 percent in individuals who contract COVID, is in front of the Food and Drug Administration for approval.
Those who want to protect themselves from COVID can do so easily, and those who chose not to take advantage of the vaccine or the pill (when it is approved) are in any event are unlikely to die from the sickness. By all goals and measures set at the beginning of the pandemic, this is moment for which we have waited.
The return to “normalcy” can begin right now; except, that is, for Dr. Anthony Fauci and his band of merry Biden Administration fearmongers standing in our way.
Democrats know that as soon as the pandemic is over, the COVID power party will end, and all those “emergency” powers they have enjoyed for two years will run dry. For a political party that invested so much of its identity into using COVID to moralize, mandate, and manipulate, the end of the pandemic is a worst-case scenario.
It is not that they do not believe the pandemic is over. They just cannot afford to let it end.
The powers enjoyed for nearly two years wielded by numerous mayors, city councils, governors, and a bevy of unelected health department bureaucrats have produced a rush of political adrenaline, the likes of which have not been seen since the post-9/11 rush of anti-terrorism measures.
As anyone who has worked even briefly in government knows all too well, once government achieves any degree of power, it becomes almost impossible to wrest it away from the hands of bureaucrats exercising it. Power truly is addictive, and the Democrats’ new blueprint already is being readied for the next engineered emergency.
The COVID pandemic provided an endless supply of excuses for Big Brothers of all stripes to concoct new ways to impose their idea of “order” on our lives. Now that they have had a taste of what is possible under “emergency” conditions, there is no way they will willingly go back to the old, and constitutional mode of governing the country.
Instead, “COVID” will morph into the next “public health crisis” – which, as I have written, can incorporate anything from racism to global warming to gun crime. Each such “emergency” will offer justification for Washington and for governors from Massachusetts to Oregon to continue exercising leverage powers authority that already has been abused far beyond any notion of the legitimate exercise of power under our Constitution; and, of course, spend ever greater amounts of deficit dollars.
There are but few ways to slow, much less stop this trend from becoming a permanent roadmap for how cities, states, and federal governments operate.
Most important, we need to start electing the right people. We need to find and elect true conservatives; not faux populists who only oppose broad emergency powers because it is not in furtherance of their emergency. Genuine, limited government conservatives recognize and understand the danger in capricious use of sweeping government edicts and mandates, particularly those that violate the separation of state and the private sector, as well as those violating fundamental principles of federalism.
We also must use the judicial system – federal and state courts – to bring sound and constitutionally based legal challenges to instances of government overreach. Importantly, this method of righting the ship of state should not be viewed as the first option, but rather a tool to be used in those instances where the polityical fails have failed to self-correct. Turning to the courts to solve every new or recurrent problem disrupts the carefully crafted tripartite system of governing, and eventually plays right into the hands of the Left.
Finally, we must demand that those individuals already in office, both elective and appointed, do their jobs and not let them off the hook when they fail to heed our demands.
None of this is new or rocket science. However, in today’s environment, where the government has tasted unlimited, “emergency” power and will fight tooth-and-nail to keep it, every means at our disposal must be turned to the goal of defeating such an occurrence. As they say, failure is not an option.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.