Americans are beginning to push back on many of the draconian stay-at-home orders across this nation. Protests have erupted in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina. More protests are scheduled over the weekend in Colorado.
The recipe for these protests are elected officials going too far with their stay-at-home orders, local media not reflecting the concerns of the people, and a national media that would rather fight the President than fairly cover the pandemic.
In Colorado, a father was detained by police while playing t-ball with his daughter in a park and obeying social distancing rules. Church-goers in Mississippi were cited and initially fined $500 for attending a drive-in church in their own cars with the windows up all while drive-in restaurants were allowed to operate. Residents in Michigan are told which products in a grocery store are essential and which are not. In Denver, pot stores are considered essential businesses and remain open only because they have good lobbyists with connections to the Mayor’s office. The same city has cited appliance and craft stores for remaining open. In Raleigh, North Carolina, the police deemed protesting a “non-essential activity.”
Americans back to the founding of this nation have engaged in protest during government overreach. The Boston Tea Party was a response to English government aggression. Protest is an essential activity to our constitutional republic.
Local media has not reflected the concerns of their people. A popular reporter in Colorado deemed those obeying the orders are making “tough sacrifices for the common good” whereas those challenging the orders as a “few folks who want to make noise and get attention.” This bizarre dichotomy continued when he claimed challenging an epidemiologist on COVID-19 pandemic numbers was akin to questioning a firefighter trying to put a fire out at your house.
The goal of this reporter was not to understand the issues around COVID-19, challenge the experts, and best communicate data to his viewers. Instead, his goal was to shame people into submission who have valid concerns about the constitutionality of stay-at-home orders, the economic impact the orders are having on our state, and the data being reported by elected officials.
National media is more interested in fighting the president than covering the pandemic. Tune into any one of the President’s daily briefings and this dynamic is on full display. CNN covers the daily briefings as if they are wrestling matches. One reporter claimed that being at a president’s briefing was akin to being in a “crucible.”
Unfortunately, local and national media along with overzealous elected officials will claim these protestors are the problem. To the contrary. Local media has ignored the concerns of citizens trying to shame them into submission, national media is too interested in fighting the president, and some elected officials are engaging in outright unconstitutional activity. This is the recipe for more and more protests.
COVID-19 has killed people, decimated our economy, forced people out of their jobs, created tremendous stress upon families, and challenged our rights in a constitutional republic. Until our elected officials have a plan to address all of these issues and the media is willing to cover these issues fairly, protests are going to continue to take place.
Jeff Hunt is the Director of the Centennial Institute. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Centennial Institute or Colorado Christian University.