America's Huddled Masses Yearn to Breathe Free

Emma Lazarus could not imagine, when writing the 1883 sonnet inscribed on the Statute of Liberty, that the words of lines 10 and 11 -- “Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” -- would bear such relevance to the situation now being endured by American citizens under government lockdown thanks to a global pandemic midwifed by scientists in a Chinese viral research lab in Wuhan.

The Wuhan pandemic is a liberal/progressive dream come true. It gives them the recession they have prayed for to oust President Trump. Their reason for getting up in the morning is to enact laws and programs that control every aspect of our lives and the Wuhan virus gives them the chance to do just that. They are not letting this crisis go to waste, moving swiftly to exercise authority they do not legally have to shred the unalienable rights our Creator endowed us with and the Constitution written to protect them.

Americans are tired of an oppressive government that, for our own good, they tell us, locks us in our homes based on computer models that have never been right from day one and health guidelines that keep changing so much they might as well be written on an Etch-a-Sketch. They want to “flatten the curve” by crushing our hopes and dreams. They seek treatments and a cure for a virus, ignoring the health-care costs of crushed lives and dreams, the human costs of lost jobs and careers, of nest eggs broken on the ground, of people who used to provide for their families fighting in stores over rolls of toilet paper. We are being guided by the best infectious disease experts in the world, we are  told, experts so smart they didn’t anticipate or consider the lives lost from depression, suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, and despair in a land where abortion is considered an essential procedure but heart stints and CT scans not so much.

Americans are poor from an economy brought to its knees by an incompetent adversary, China, and a government whose leaders sit at home in their mansions in gated communities eating expensive ice cream stored in refrigerator freezers few Americans could afford when times were good and normal.

Americans are huddled in their homes in numbers the government must approve of. The Last Supper would have been illegal under current guidelines as it involved more than 12 people having dinner outside their own homes.

And they yearn to breathe free, wanting to play catch with their kids in an empty park only to be taken away by the police state that has arisen around them. They want to paddle a kayak on an empty private lake or to hear a Sunday homily or sermon over a speaker in their cars in a church parking lot without a bevy of Barney Fifes handing them tickets for amounts higher than most criminal bails.

Americans sit in their houses watching pressers where reporters who aren’t locked in their homes, have a job to go to, and never miss a paycheck harass a President Trump who was called a racist for imposing a needed travel ban from China and is accused of having a financial interest in drugs like hydroxychloroquine that are widely used as a treatment by a plurality of doctors to fight the virus  and has been safely used for other purposes for decades while the experts around him dismiss evidence of success as “anecdotal.”

We would do well to remember the Statue of Liberty was created not to welcome immigrants as liberals who want open borders claim. It was conceived to celebrate the liberation of American slaves:

Lady Liberty was originally designed to celebrate the end of slavery, not the arrival of immigrants. Ellis Island, the inspection station through which millions of immigrants passed, didn’t open until six years after the statue was unveiled in 1886. The plaque with the famous Emma Lazarus poem -- “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” -- wasn’t added until 1903.

We have become slaves of an oppressive, if well-meaning, government bureaucracy and liberal activists in and out of government who, like Rahm Emanuel, think crises are a terrible thing to waste and who, like House majority whip James Clyburn, thinks it is a perfect opportunity for liberals to push their agenda. This is why we see Nancy Pelosi pushing vote by mail and the elimination of voter ID requirements.

Consider the irony of liberals who oppose voter ID as a “show me your papers” form of tyranny while being open to things like the proposed “immunity pass” which, after being tested for virus antibodies, would allow one to go to work and otherwise move about freely. Never mind that those who heeded warnings and guidelines, didn’t get sick and didn’t spread to others, are rewarded with continued house arrest. All this makes sense to the liberal mind that thinks it is fine to put prisoners on the streets for fear of the virus while closing down gun and ammo stores that would allow us to protect ourselves from them

Americans chafe under the notion that the constitutional right many fought, died or were maimed for are not considered essential in a pandemic, Witness the pastor who tried to hold a drive-through Sunday service where people stayed in their cars while listening to his sermon on a loudspeaker:

"Drive-in church services that attempt to adhere to social distancing guidelines by keeping worshipers physically apart from one another in their own cars will not be allowed this Easter Sunday in at least one Mississippi community, as the coronavirus crisis has left wide swaths of the country shut down," reports Fox News

It happened in the city of Greenville, Miss., where King James Bible Baptist Church previously enacted this 'drive-in' format after a state-wide shelter in place order was issued by the governor early this month.

“Churches are strongly encouraged to hold services via Facebook Live, Zoom, Free Conference Call, and any and all other social media, streaming and telephonic platforms,” the mayor of Greenville said in an earlier directive.

But as Fox notes, the governor's order did not place a specific ban on drive-in services: "The Rev. James Hamilton of the King James Baptist Church in Greenville tried to hold a drive-in service anyway -- and police arrived to shut it down, as seen in cellphone video he recorded."

The pastor can be seen confronting police who just before Good Friday services arrived with multiple squad cars to "warn" the church not to hold any services there, Easter included.

In a video of the confrontation, a police officer actually approaches Pastor Hamilton and asserts this astounding line: "We got an order from the governor, your rights are suspended." You are allowed to use the drive-thru at the liquor store but face fines or arrest in a church parking lot. And lest you think this was just one overzealous cop, consider the words of the Democrat governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News:

Carlson asked Murphy about the arrests in Ocean County, N.J., of 15 men who were congregating for a rabbi's funeral at a Lakewood synagogue in early April. 

The Bill of Rights, as you well know, protects Americans' rights -- enshrines their right to practice their religion as they see fit and to congregate together to assemble peacefully," Carlson said. "By what authority did you nullify the Bill of Rights in issuing this order? How do you have the power to do that?"

"That's above my pay grade, Tucker," Murphy replied. "I wasn't thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this... We looked at all the data and the science and it says people have to stay away from each other. That is the best thing we can do to break the back of the curve of this virus, that leads to lower hospitalization and ultimately fatalities."

The very Constitution you took an oath to protect and defend is above your pay grade, Governor? This is the attitude Americans are starting to rebel against. Democrats accused Trump of being a dictator. Governors such as Murphy, and many mayors too, are little dictators, little Napoleons whose true colors are being revealed, who believe in data and science but not liberty and freedom and not an American people who tamed a continent, split the atom. Went to the moon and beat Nazism, Fascism, and Communism.

So its not surprising that Americans take to the streets in places like Michigan to protest a governor who thinks it's okay to buy marijuana but illegal and dangerous to buy seeds to plant tomatoes and vegetables in a spring garden or to buy a garden hose in April. Don’t tell people who lost their livelihoods that they are risking their lives. For many, thanks to the lockdown, their lives are effectively over. They are fighting the pandemic of big government, saying enough is enough, saying what Patrick Henry said in fighting government oppression -- give us liberty or give us death.

Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

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