Constitutionalists watch with fear as Democratic mayors and governors openly defy the U.S. Constitution. Liberty taken in emergencies is seldom returned. Democrats heretofore have defended the Constitution’s civil liberties regardless of emergency circumstances. Today they hand deliver civil liberty to Republicans. Older Democrats are perplexed with their party’s abandonment of this emphasis and younger Democrats, now increasingly socialists, do not seem to care.
“If you see someone failing to practice social distancing, rat them out.” Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers April 18, “Snap a photo of an offending person or crowd, set the location on the image, and text it to 311-692. Action will ensue,” according to Mary Kay Linge, Georgett Roberts and Laura Italiano’s article “De Blasio urges New Yorkers to snitch on social distance rule breakers,” in the New York Post, April 18.
The following day reacting to the enormity of criticism accusing him of employing fascist and communist tactics on his own people and reminding him that such snitching on Harriet Tubman in the Civil War and Ann Frank in Germany under Adolf Hitler would have destroyed both.
The mayor doubled down, adding, “This is not snitching, this is saving lives.”
He reminded them of the $1,000 fine for those that failed to heed social distancing guidelines.
“We need those photos. We need those locations so we can enforce right away,” he said.
To date the “city had issued a total 244 summonses and fines of up to $1,000 thanks to ‘proactive enforcement efforts,’” They had also patrolled “restaurants, bars and supermarkets” and made two arrests.
“The folks who still don’t get it are gonna have to pay a price,” the mayor said, according to Lee Brown’s article “De Blasio: Ratting out neighbors for social distancing isn’t ‘snitching’” in the New York Post, April 19.
But de Blasio was not the first to dump the Constitution and encourage snitching, Democrat Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had already done so March 31.
He ordered, “If any nonessential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the ‘Safer at Home’ order and ensure their compliance.”
He boasted of his “business ambassadors” having already visited 540 businesses enforcing compliance as of the end of March. He too had a hotline for snitchers.
“You know the old expression about snitches, well, in this case snitches get rewards,” Garcetti said. “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe,” according to “‘Snitches Get Rewards:’ Garcetti Issues New Rules for Construction Sites, Encourages Community to Report Safer at Home Violators,” in the Los Angeles Times, March 31.
He did not explain how Angelenos were rewarded by losing their freedom to assemble.
But Democratic governors are implementing other draconian unconstitutional measures. In Michigan, led by Gretchen Whitmer, “The governor’s order provides that residents cannot leave their homes except for essential services such as food or medical supplies or engage in outdoor physical activity. It also bans travel to second homes and vacation properties. Businesses, meanwhile, cannot require workers to leave their homes unless they are necessary for basic operations or to ‘sustain or protect life,’ like grocery store and health care workers and law enforcement.”
When one goes to the store, he may not purchase gardening or camping supplies, only essential items, he said.
One Michigan resident complained that “he is forbidden to see his girlfriend of 14 years because they live in different homes.”
One resident was arrested on his own boat on his own lake for being engaged in outdoor physical activity. Businesses forcibly closed include “landscaping and gun shops, while marijuana stores, with curbside service and delivery, remain open.”
One Michigan resident “complained that he can’t even use his time off to take his son fishing on Lake Charlevoix because motorboats have been banned under the order,” according to “Michigan residents sue Governor Whitmer over coronavirus pandemic orders,” U.S. Legal News, Reuters, April 16.
In New Jersey, a man was arrested for sitting alone on the beach. Moreover, Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy uses drones to spy on people searching for social distancing violators, a practice also used in New York City. He has closed church and synagogue services and arrested people for attempting to attend them as have most Democratic-led state governors.
Gov. Murphy said, “We have to find a different way to worship,” according to “Tucker Carlson Interviews Governor Phil Murphy” on the “Tucker Carlson Show” on FOX, April 15.
Kentucky Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear ordered limited “in-person church services” and took down license plate numbers of parishioners who had gathered on Easter Sunday and did other similar draconian measures. These actions caused Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to tweet, “Usually in a totalitarian state, they first shut down dissent, then they shut down religion, Gov. Beshear did it backward, but still the same result.”
Demonstrators, hereafter, were ordered to remain in their cars, according to Ben Tobin’s “Rand Paul attacks Andy Beshear for running ‘totalitarian state’ with protest restrictions,” in the Louisville Courier Journal, April 17.
This story is much the same with other Democratic governors: Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. But the abandonment of civil liberties, especially the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights has been common to state Democratic Party leadership. Republicans have become the defenders and party of civil liberty and Democrats its greatest threat. Constitutionalist want both parties defending the Constitution.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit https://www.LibertyUnderFire.org.