There are few things more expositive of government overreach and malfeasance than clear breaches of things like the Bill of Rights, and, across the U.S., state politicians and bureaucrats have been busy doing just that. But there’s another revealing manifestation of government injustice worth frequent reiteration: hypocrisy, and, surprise, we get to see both the breach of the Constitution and hypocrisy manifested in the COVID19 crackdown activity of Maine Democrat Governor Janet Mills.
The Press Herald reported on July 2 that Mills will issue a new “Executive Order” commanding that business owners in much of southern and coastal Maine must require customers to wear facemasks when in their establishments.
Which is odd, because the establishments are theirs, not hers. But this fundamental concept of private property seems lost on her and other authoritarians who want to tell others how to live.
Notes Joe Lawler, of the Press Herald:
The order will require large retail stores, lodging establishments, restaurants, and outdoor bars and tasting rooms in the coastal counties of Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York, and in the more populous cities of Bangor and Brewer and Lewiston and Auburn, to enforce the state’s face-covering requirement. An executive order currently in place requires businesses to post signs reminding customers to wear a mask.
So, now Mills will MANDATE that people wear masks when engaging in voluntary interaction, or they will face a $1,000 fine or six months in jail. Where will this stop? Is it any wonder why many Americans worry that this kind of unconstitutional command is a precedent that could lead to government-mandated vaccines?
As I noted last week for MRCTV, the efficacy of the masks is already in question. His Medical Majesty himself, Anthony Fauci, has had at least two different positions on the wisdom of wearing masks. But the efficacy is not the heart of the matter.
The heart of the matter is about rights, free will, freedom of voluntary association, and private property, and, simply put, on every front, Mills has neither the government power now the moral right to threaten others with punishment if they don’t “wear the mask.”
This is a point to be made to anyone who argues that there is a “public health police power” inherent in any government. There is not. In fact, there is no such thing as “public health” There is only individual health. “Public” is a term applied to a certain undefined number of people under the power of the state. It is always reducible to the individuals therein, and all individuals retain their rights, at all times, regardless of what the state might claim. They don’t magically transform into some giant blob known as “The Public.”
Some people claim that the original rationale of government was to punish people who might harm the lives or property of others. But this is different than protection from a naturally occurring phenomenon. The state is not supposed to be involved in such cases at all.
If the state has the power to force people to wear masks in order to prevent the weak from contracting the Wuhan Coronavirus, then what happens when this virus is spent and another virus appears, or the seasonal flu arrives and a certain percentage of the population is – as it always is – immunocompromised? Can the state force people to get checked every time they leave their home? Force them to wear masks indefinitely, anywhere?
The point is that private property and private voluntary association are all extensions of God-given free will, and to interfere with those voluntary interactions is a moral crime. In a world of purely private property, anyone opening a shop or home opens under his or her own stipulations and rules. People invited to enter may accept or decline the rules, enter, or move on, and the owner will prosper or suffer based on what he or she has decided. Likewise, any interactions someone ELSE many have with a person who has entered a shop are voluntary, and the same logic applies.
The only areas where people are FORCED to engage are those where the government takes their money to run them, where government forces people onto the same roads or into the same buildings, and it shouldn’t take much mental energy to see that there’s an underlying imposition that’s already occurred: taxation to create and run those government spheres. The fewer there are, the more decisions individuals can make about their own safety and lives.
Governor Mills stands in complete contradistinction to this principle of free will.
Not only will she mandate that people running businesses only allow mask-wearers into their shops, she will mandate that hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other places where out-of-state visitors might stay must collect “certificates” that those visitors are “COVID19-Free.”
You got that right. She will require that visitors from Massachusetts and Rhode Island get tested before visiting Maine, take the results with them, and show those “results” to the people running the hotels, etc. When the state demands records from the proprietors of Maine-based temporary residences where tourists might stay, the businesses must turn them over – or could lose their licenses. The actual visitors will be forced to “quarantine for 14 days” if they don’t have the records.
But, heck, the list of “verboten” states used to be bigger. Mills formerly included Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey on it, but they were exempted on Friday, July 3.
So, perhaps this is her friendly face – one of two she can flash, depending on political expediency.
Indeed, Mills appears to be two-faced about her own rules.
Despite her mask mandate and her public pronouncements about the importance of wearing the masks to fight the invisible enemy – the deadliness of which no one can quantify – Governor Mills was caught – yeah, you got it – NOT wearing a mask while within a few feet of others.
As The Daily Mail reported last week, Mills was caught by photographers when she visited the Stonington Ice Cream Company and…she didn’t wear a mask.
Perhaps she should recall the words of one of her own tax-funded bureaucrats:
'A violation of the Governor’s Executive Order on face coverings is by statute punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000,' Lindsay Crete, spokesperson for the governor’s office, said in a statement.
There is no precedent for this kind of open, flagrant hypocrisy and aggressive disregard for the Constitution. Mills and many other governors have openly declared their hostility to the Bill of Rights and voluntary interaction, to private property and peace.
It’s not surprising she should disregard her own commands. Those are for others, and not for her.