Just like his father, John, made a spectacle of himself when, as George H. W. Bush’s Chief of Staff, he took personal flights on U.S. military jets costing $3,945 per hour to operate, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is showing his statist, authoritarian hubris in his most recent COVID19 crackdown on restaurateurs.
And he’s making it worse with some of his block-headed comments in support of it.
According to New England Cable News (NECN), Sununu just ordered restaurant owners to collect the personal information of patrons who sit down inside their establishments - these would be establishments that Sununu only recently “allowed” to operate at “full capacity,” but still have to mandate folks wear masks and can’t really operate at what he and his government call “full capacity” because, yeah, he still has not lifted his “social distancing” edicts.
In a story that NECN published with the misguiding headline, “NH Restaurants to Gather Info on Patrons to Assist in Contact Tracing, Sununu Says” – possibly leaving readers with the false impression that Sununu is merely reporting on a voluntary action being taken by the restaurateurs, rather than announcing his OWN MANDATE – the Chip-Off-The-Old-Sununu-Block said his order would go into effect on Halloween.
Trick or Treat.
Gov. Chris Sununu said he has approved a proposal that will require restaurants to gather basic information about patrons in order to assist with contact tracing if someone at the establishment tests positive for COVID-19.
And now, we get to observe the verbal legerdemain.
According to NECN, Sununu depicted this not so much as his own order – which it is – but as him “granting” a request:
The governor said his Economic Reopening Task Force received a request from the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association to require restaurants to collect a name, telephone number and time of arrival from patrons.
Which inspires any sensible person to think: if these restaurateurs want to collect personal information to then pass on to the agents of the state, why do they need to ask the government to force them to do so? They can ‘pull a Nike’ and ‘just do it as a condition of service.
Of course, Sununu isn’t discussing that. He’s taking the position of beneficent “helper” in issuing his edict, and, get this, he actually claims this order will make things “easier” for people trying to run their restaurants.
’We just want to make it simple for folks,’ Sununu said.
You read that right. By making struggling restaurateurs comply with even more of his edicts, he’s making it “simple.”
Disgusting? You decide.
And Sununu further attempted to wipe away any ethical protestations from the serfs by trying to portray equivalency between voluntary, peaceful arrangements between restaurant employees and clientele, and aggressive, police-backed threats and orders coming from the state.
He said the process shouldn't be too invasive, as that same information is usually collected for anyone making a reservation.
Does this man NOT understand the difference between force and peace? Between aggressive threats and voluntary association?
Has he not read the Fourth Amendment, which requires agents of the state to obtain PUBLIC WARRANTS, issued by JUDGES, upon the judges’ determinations of PROBABLE CAUSE? Warrants citing the person to be searched and the items being sought?
Has he not read the NH Constitution’s Section Two, Article 83, which only grants the state the power to “regulate” businesses that are monopolies (real monopolies are only those companies protected by statute) or collusively pricing?
It’s farcical to imagine such clownish statements from a political figure.
But the farce is dark, and destructive of liberty and the economy.
Already, a New England fixture, the ice cream shop and restaurant chain Friendly’s, has announced that its restructuring attempt has been crushed by COVID lockdowns across the region, and, as a result, it has filed for bankruptcy restructuring.
But Chris Sununu seems interested in finding any excuse he can to tell peaceful business people and their voluntary customers how they will interact, and he will completely disregard the US and NH constitutions as he does it.
And NECN will simply “report” it without offering any constitutional context or looking at who is actually issuing the edicts.
Is it any wonder people who are concerned with liberty and the so-called “rules” of the U.S. are turning away from “news” sources like NECN?
It’s a shame we can’t disregard the government in the same way.