Fears of Authoritarianism Rise With COVID-19 Crackdowns

P. Gardner Goldsmith | April 8, 2020

The shocking reports increase each day. The longer the United States engages in the political and social activity of trying to fight the Wuhan coronavirus COVID-19, the more alarming the accounts people in society share about the manner in which the political world is behaving.

From possibly the most innocuous example of why people might be troubled by the actions of local, state, or federal agents, to the most jaw-dropping, the stories are incredibly memorable, and have added fuel to Americans’ search for some way to surpass fears about the virus.

Perhaps the silliest example comes from Crowley, Louisiana, where local residents recorded the blasting the “Purge Siren” in their neighborhood to announce the curfew the government is imposing. That was the series of films in which, of course, the idea was that for one night a year, murder, robbery, rape, and other forms of violence were not prohibited by statute, so, it sure was sweet of the cops to perform their little prank – a move the chief claimed wasn’t intended to freak out anybody. How nice. 

Not to be outdone, an ambulance blastied the same thing in Washington, D.C. The American Medical Response company apologized and said those responsible for the siren had tendered their resignations.

In Valley County, Idaho, the County Commissioners – are telling landowners that the government will only allow them to rent short-term living-space to “people who are providing essential services in the community, or are quarantining themselves.”

Violation or failure to comply with this Order (aka renting to the wrong person) constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. 

Republican Idaho State Representative Heather Scott is urging civil disobedience against Governor Brad Little’s “stay at home order,” issuing a video entitled, “The Virus That Killed The Constitution."

In Maine, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols is publicly defying Democrat Governor Janet Mills’ “Stay At Home Order” and her calls for police to literally stop any drivers with out-of-state plates on their cars and tell them to leave, and to stop Maine drivers to tell them to go home. Said Nichols in a written statement:

We will not be setting up a Police State. PERIOD.

The Sheriff’s Office will not purposefully go out and stop vehicles because they are on the road or stop and ask why people are out and about. To do so puts our officers at risk. This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!


His statement goes on to explain that what the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will focus on is "rare situations where there are a lot of people overtly hanging out in public – obviously in defiance of the Governor’s order."

And MRCTV’s Dan Montanaro recently reported on a Kentucky judge basically ordering house arrest and ankle bracelets for anyone deemed to have been “exposed to COVID-19” and then found to have disregarded Democrat Andy Beshear’s “Stay At Home” order.

Such is the case in California, where footage of a lone ocean surf-paddler being besieged by “authorities” in a tax-funded boat (who don’t keep six feet from each other, by the way), and, shortly after the boat drove him to shore, cuffed by cops on the beach, went viral -- indicating that “social distancing” of hundreds of yards and separation by ocean water is insufficient to shield a powerless guy from Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s edicts that people not leave their homes unless he says they have a good reason.

All to stop the virus, mind you.

It's a strange scene in Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s city, where images of hindered hoops are surfacing. Walsh actually sent government agents to zip-tie basketball nets around the city.

The stories mount, and make many wish there were just something, some hope of –say -- a cheap pill derived from quinine or something, that might offer great promise against the power of COVID-19 from utilizing ACE respiratory receptors to attack the lungs! If only there were something like that out there, and if only a huge survey of physicians worldwide might show that they felt this medicine was the most effective at stopping the virus! If only there were controlled clinical studies on such a drug being used in conjunction with Azithromycin to save people. 

What if such a drug were already helping people who were publicly heralding it, but President Trump had to waive all kinds of bureaucratic FDA tests that were causing delays?

Why, that news might give Americans hope. It might mitigate fear, and allow some of the authoritarian politicians to cool it.