This week has marked a significant turning point in American attitudes regarding the coronavirus crisis and, more significantly, the stay-at-home orders that have swept our nation and devastated our economy. Such orders have mandated certain activities — often under threat of criminal penalty — and required closure of businesses deemed “nonessential” by various government officials.
Citizens are starting to get restless as they realize that the government is encroaching on their liberties without much visible attempt to return things to being as normal as possible while still living with the reality of this virus.
In Michigan, thousands of cars descended on Lansing, the state’s capital city, on Wednesday to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) executive order. The state’s executive order is one of the most draconian currently in place. In North Carolina, protesters standing streetside were told publicly on Twitter by the Raleigh Police, “Protesting is not an essential activity.”
Thankfully, there are national leaders standing with citizens in defense of their rights, and in defense of American ideals. That is, trusting individuals and businesses to behave smartly by advocating for slow, responsible, and necessary reopening of segments of the economy.
At FreedomWorks, we stand alongside those expressing these sentiments, as we continue to advocate to #ReopenAmerica. The second chapter in our #LoveAmerica campaign, #ReopenAmerica does not at all mean forgoing responsible measures that must be taken to slow the spread of the virus. Quite to the contrary, it means showing up and demonstrating that individuals can and will take ownership of such measures if government loosens its chokehold on the economy and allows people to — slowly but surely — get back to work.
In Congress, unsurprisingly, many allies of liberty have stepped up to help turn this into reality, both sounding the alarm of the threats to our liberty as well as advocating to #ReopenAmerica. Check out some of the highlights from our FreedomFighters in the House and Senate:
- Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.): “I advocate that we continue to follow the patterns of behavior that will reduce the risk of community spread. At some point, though, we cross from a mitigation period of separation to inducing health and societal problems from poverty and economic duress… It’s time for a new approach, one that values and protects all life. We must give hope to the public and set forth a plan to reopen the economy and remove oppressive government restrictions. Right now, the cure is proving worse than the disease itself.”
- Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas): “We need to work, help each other, worship together, and support each other – and we can chart a path to do that while protecting the vulnerable and adapting our lives.”
- Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah): “[O]ur task remains the same: support families, businesses, and our health care system through this crisis, so that we can all get back to work as soon and as safely as possible.” He also said, “As we reopen our economy, let’s be sure to look at those regulations we suspended and ask if we really needed them in the first place.”
- Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-Ariz.): “By staying home we are reducing the spread and impact of the coronavirus on Americans but we are also killing our businesses and the livelihoods of millions of American families… I am encouraging President Trump, the Centers for Disease Control and FEMA to evaluate the data closely and implement a plan for Americans to return to work based on risk groups and risk locations. We have the information now and we know how to do this.”
- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio): “We cannot allow the cure for the coronavirus pandemic to be worse than the problem. Although this pandemic is serious, we must not forget our most basic liberties. If we do not protect these liberties from government overreach, we will likely lose them forever. Vigilance, now more than ever, is paramount.”
Of these FreedomFighters, Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Andy Biggs are also among those appointed to serve on President Trump’s new Congressional Economic Task Force, geared at advising on how to reopen the economy. They are in good company, joined also on the Task Force by liberty warriors Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) as well as Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Mike Johnson (R-La.).
It is clear now that the reason why to reopen the economy is obvious, so it is encouraging to see the Trump Administration and key members of the House and Senate joining us in turning now to how to #ReopenAmerica. Undoubtedly, the first place to look for ideas is at “essential” businesses that have been successful in keeping infection rates low while staying open throughout these times.
As always, businesses are innovative and respond to market demands. Many already have demonstrated such in the extra precautions they have taken to ensure worker and client safety. To #ReopenAmerica, businesses and individuals alike need to — and will — rise to the occasion.