Q&A of the Day – Are elected officials over reaching due to COVID-19?

Q&A of the Day – Are elected officials over reaching due to the coronavirus?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: President, governor, county, city. Everyday leaders at all levels of politics are taking executive action to limit our rights. Where does this stop?! I’m beginning to wonder if the conspiracy kooks who’ve been talking about martial law are right.

Bottom Line: I understand where you’re coming from. Generally, in government, we haven’t seen such broad executive authority exerted since World War II. But then again, we’ve not faced a threat this pervasive since then either. Earlier this week I began studyingthe disruption we were seeing in everyday life looking for comparisons for what we might experience economically. We literally haven’t had our country so thoroughly disrupted since World War II. Just as was the case during World War II, we’ll almost certainly get through this crisis and realize there were mistakes made along the way but that doesn’t mean many of the decisions that are being made right now are mistakes. The measures being carried out at the federal, state and local level – at least in Florida, are the direct result of recommendations by the CDC and National Institutes for Health. It’s hard to argue against their recommendations – though I understand the concern about potential constitutional issues. 

When it comes to National emergencies it’s important to have perspective. They aren’t new and we’ve had 60 since the National Emergency Act became law in 1977. The highest number of declared emergencies occurred during the Clinton administration, 17, though you might not personally remember any. President Trump had declared four prior to the current one related to the virus. The point is this, we’ve seen emergencies declared many times without widespread abuses of powers including during the current administration. My message for anyone who thinks what’s happening here is an overreach is this... Do you really think President Trump wants to be doing this? Someone who made his billions in the travel and entertainment industry? He’s putting his properties out of business temporarily same as all the others in the industry. For Floridians. Do you really think Governor DeSantis want to be doing this? Here he was with record high approval as Florida’s Governor riding a successful agenda through the state session. Now his “Year of the Teacher” has become one in which schools aren’t even in session. I assure you this wasn’t the plan. 

At the local level. I can’t speak ubiquitously to this one. There are decisions at the local level that are brutal, but probably necessary. For example, I can’t imagine how awful it must be to shutter businesses in your own community that are having to lay off their employees who are your neighbors and constituents. I haven’t seen an example of that happening with recklessness. Conversely, I’m extremely concerned with the policies being crafted across the state, specifically in Hillsborough and Miami-Dade that are aimed at releasing inmates due to coronavirus fears. I understand the concern of the prison population being vulnerable but the solution of simply not letting it in the facility by strict controls seems far more reasonable than releasing prisoners early into society at a time when unemployment is soaring and an air of nervousness is all around us. The best way to onboard prisoners back into society is with a job and an opportunity. That’s the opposite of what’s happening right now. Seriously, what are criminals without money and jobs expected to do? And don’t try casting me in a judgmental or presumptive light. I’m simply saying what’s real. And this is a time in which we should error on the side of protecting families already experiencing hardships over criminals who may pose a threat out of desperation or opportunity. 

One final note. Even martial law isn’t what some make it out to be. This is the United States of America. We don’t get our rights from the government like those in most of the rest of the world including China and Italy. We get our rights by God and only the laws passed in this country restrict our freedom. Just as a mandatory evacuation during a hurricane doesn’t mean someone coming to your door from the government forcing you out. Even marital law can only control/restrict public space – not your personal property. What’s happening in many places around the world quite literally can’t happen here. That’s why even in a pandemic it’s still great to be an American. And better still a South Floridian. 

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