I was asked by NH Journal to pen an opinion piece regarding the reopening of New Hampshire, which you can find here, We Are All Essential, It’s Time to Reopen NH, as well as the counterpoint by Senator Jon Morgan, I Want to Get the Hell Out of My House, Too — but We Can’t Rush Reopening.
Here’s my piece in full:
Freedom is the answer, what’s the question?
It is possible to be concerned about the virus, and the economic downturn and the destruction of our civil liberties. I am, which is why I attended the rally on Saturday. I don’t underestimate the virus, but I also don’t underestimate the cost of the shutdown or the dangers of trading liberty for a false sense of security.
Life is about tradeoffs, and when you use faulty data to implement faulty “solutions” — restricting peoples’ natural rights, instituting a lockdown to “flatten the curve,” and dividing Granite Staters into “essential” and “nonessential” groups — bad outcomes must follow.
We are all essential.
It is not the role of government to pick winners and losers. Unemployment leads to societal malaise, to increased suicides, domestic and child abuse, substance abuse, higher crime, lowered standards of living and shortened life spans.
Almost 20 percent of Granite State workers have lost their jobs already. That’s at least 125,000 people, mostly blue-collar workers and small business owners.
That’s the population equivalent of Manchester and Amherst combined. Next time you drive through Manchester, imagine, No one around me has a job anymore. Then drive past the next block, and the next, and the next.
Then consider that state employees are not being furloughed or laid off. Consider that they declared themselves “essential” and YOU, “nonessential.” Consider that union contracts with jaw-dropping benefits and above-market salaries are being ratified in emergency meetings that are not open to public scrutiny.
Consider that despite being told the hospitals would be overrun, another inaccurate prediction, more than 20 percent of N.H. hospital workers have been furloughed or laid off, effectively destroying private/elective healthcare, perhaps forever.
Then consider that your property taxes are going up… Then consider when they say “we are all in this together,” is it really true?
If we don’t have enough data to make good decisions, can we at least stop making bad ones? The original estimates were overstated by more than 30x. That’s soothsaying. What consequences do these unelected “experts” face for being wrong?
Different countries tried different approaches but the fatality rates look similar globally. Ironically, Sweden and South Korea both took less draconian approaches, and their curves look similar to ours, “the land of the
What kind of society do we live in when the government can suspend its own rules based on the inaccurate opinions of unelected officials? The First Amendment guarantees our right to peacefully assemble.
“Congress shall make no law” does not include “except when” or “unless this scary thing happens” or even, “under emergency circumstances.” If the government no longer follows the Constitution meant to constrain it, why should we remain law-abiding?
We can always protect our most vulnerable without losing our freedoms. We can ask people to stay at home voluntarily. We can accept that individuals have different appetites for risk, as is the case in a free society. We can remember that free people move freely, and that the government does not own you.
But alas, we are giving in to fear over freedom, we are walking away from our founding principles, and because of this, we will suffer under a government-manufactured economic crisis, and New Hampshire will never be the same.
About the Author
Carla Gericke is the Republican candidate for State Senate in District 20. Learn more at CarlaGericke.com. She wrote this for NHJournal.