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The Danger of Disproportionate Measures

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

The Danger of Disproportionate Measures

It is utter folly to throw the full force of law into the treatment of one illness without consideration for the effects those measures will have on every other aspect of individual and corporate life. Those who recommend, or worse yet legislate, such actions cannot be trusted. Those who ascribe to themselves new and unlimited, and often quite obviously unconstitutional, powers to bring the full force of law to bear on society to address one threat while ignoring the collateral damage to society as a whole are to be feared, not idolized for their heroic efforts. They are either small minded, unable or unwilling to see beyond the one aspect of life around which their professional lives or this singular issue revolves, or they are driven by a thirst for fame, fortune, or power that presents a real and present danger to every person their policies touch, now and even more egregiously into the future.

Can a government agency mandate, without any process of constitutional establishment of law, that no foods contain nuts because some have the misfortune of life-threatening allergic reactions to nuts? Can a government agency mandate, without any process of constitutional establishment of law, that no foods can contain sugar because some have the misfortune of life-threatening reactions to sugar? Can a government agency mandate, without any process of constitutional establishment of law, that some businesses can remain open because a bureaucrat decides those businesses are “essential”, while other businesses must close because that same bureaucrat decides those businesses are “non-essential” (disguised under Emergency Powers)? You can rightfully argue that the first two examples do not relate directly to our current coronavirus situation because they are not associated with a communicable illness. They would, though, save lives each and every year, as would laws that prevent swimming (reduce drowning deaths) or bicycling (accidental deaths). If every life matters, and government is allowed to mandate measures to “save” every life in every circumstance, society will experience drastic restructuring. Government mandates from every possible quarter will dominate every aspect of our lives. What we are experiencing now in the midst of the coronavirus hysteria will become normal. And please realize that a federal, state, or local government that gives itself power, outside normal legal parameters, will naturally continue to exercise those powers in whatever circumstances it deems appropriate. I suggest what has been and continues to be inappropriate, disproportionate, improperly devised and administered measures to deal with a real threat to the citizens of our country is also a terrifying prelude to the future actions of our government. My impression is that President Trump has shown the most reserve of any official, in particular when compared to governors and government agency bureaucrats, even as the cries for maximum intervention on the federal level escalate. If the Progressives at any time in the future win the Presidency, or control of both the House and Senate, the precedents now set will be used to destroy the very nature of our country. These are indeed dangerous times, but the greatest danger comes from those who have assumed the power to rule with unprecedented means, not from an illness that calls for a serious, measured response.

We live in a world where government in general, and government agencies in particular circumstances, tells us that only the power and force of government can provide us with quality of life. It is only through the actions of government that quality of life can be attained, only through the actions of government can we achieve happiness. No individual is capable of achieving success or self-fulfillment without at least the support of government, and in most cases only through the direct intervention of government. Former President Barack Obama stated “If you got a business you didn’t build that”. We should all realize that statement is actually true for former President Barack Obama. He, along with a host of career politicians, have not accomplished a single thing outside of government. They owe everything; wealth, fame, power, influence, their very well-being, sense of purpose and fulfillment in life to government. For them government is everything. For us lowly fly-over people, though, the opposite is true. Former President Ronald Reagan stated the truth for most of us when he said “government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem”.

Never has that been more starkly demonstrated than in these days of the COVID 19 pandemic. Governments around the world have assumed unprecedented powers to solve a significant problem that can best be addressed by a high level of personal and community accountability. Extra measures of personal hygiene, attention to social spacing, and a powerful sense of responsibility to community that leads us to look out for our neighbor and our neighbor’s neighbor, along with the best efforts of the medical community, are the most effective solutions to the real and present danger presented by the coronavirus. That approach is far better, I think, than measures mandated by government that allow people to freely gather in some public places, like grocery stores, but do not allow them to gather in most other places, including churches, even in small numbers with attention to the above priorities. In simple terms, individual responsibility is the best solution to the problem. The government and its agencies cannot, though, trust the citizens of this country to accept and practice responsible behavior. A facsimile of the desired behavior must instead be mandated and carried out under the full force of law, even though the measures have been set in place by persons in high government position or by bureaucrats in government agencies, not through the normal formation of law.

So, the government and specific government agencies manufacture, with the unfettered and enthusiastic assistant of the media, an outsized hysteria surrounding a dangerous illness. The government puts in place draconian measures that may or may not protect the public from the spread of the illness. Those measures cause immeasurable, and it seems highly probable disproportionate, damage to the mental and emotional health of all those concerned, along with and because of the financial stresses and changes in societal circumstances those measures cause. The government then becomes the only solution to the immense problems they created. Economic stimulus packages are required to solve the problems caused by the solutions used by the government to address the previous problem.

This is actually nothing more than a very large scale example of much of what the government of the United States of America does. The government intervenes in business, in delivery of medical services, or education and then provides a government based solution that creates a larger problem than the original one. In the case of this corona virus government agencies that were blatantly unprepared for a large-scale contagious illness event have now failed to administer a balanced, thoughtful solution to the problem. Again, as stated in the opening paragraph, it is folly to address one problem without careful consideration for the collateral damage the solutions will produce.

What I find curious beyond description is that our government manages to escape responsibility for, it seems, any and all misdeeds. You would think citizens would demand government officials who make egregious errors in judgement or show signs of corruption be removed from their positions or at least redirected in their approach. That appears to rarely, though, be the case. I predict an accurate assessment of the government and government agencies management of this coronavirus situation will prove it has been an abject failure. If the normal patterns are followed, though, the crisis will pass, life will return to some level of normalcy and no agency or person will be held accountable.

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