It’s late, but I’m up thinking because I can attend church tomorrow in my sweats with a bowl of cereal in my lap if I want. I’ve noticed an uptick in headlines like these:

Ankle monitors  ordered for Kentucky residents refusing quarantine after coronavirus exposure

Three Massachusetts golfers arrested for violating Rhode Island coronavirus quarantine order

Sedgwick County launches page to report stay-at-home order violations

Paddle-boarder arrested for violating stay-at-home order

Ok, so what good are rights if they’re predicated upon things beyond our control? I keep hearing “we’re living in different times” but rights aren’t predicated upon “the times.” The change in circumstances doesn’t reduce rights to anachronistic privileges granted only by government. I understand that we are in the midst of a pandemic. I also understand that the biggest struggle for many Americans is the ability to trust what they read about said pandemic from a media and politicians who have spurned both voters’ trust and valuable time in an effort to politicize things to the point of jeopardizing national security. I also believe in the voluntary “social distancing” movement because I value good stewardship of my neighbor. I don’t need a godless government facilitating that feeling for me. People pass on the responsibility of stewardship to government because they don’t trust themselves to make the necessary decisions to keep themselves and others safe — and also because they apparently can’t help others unless by government coercion (I wrote a chapter on this in my latest book that dropped at the start of this pandemic, this the canceled book tour). This is how we have billionaires who caterwaul on cable news about everyone paying their fair share when they themselves cannot be prevailed upon to volunteer an extra check to the treasury. Good deeds are justified by whether or not the government makes you do them, that’s the thinking. It’s also the reasoning behind our newly-created Thinkpol, where even McDonald’s workers will snitch on you for driving across the state line for some golf.

People might think this attitude is arrogant, and frankly, it better damn ought to be; if there is one things about which Americans are gratingly (endearingly, really) arrogant about its our freedom: an unchanging constant throughout the generations. Our freedom has withstood wars, an economic depression, terror attacks, and even as we wrestle with cronyism, people flock to our soil for our healthcare and to our production studios to make it big in our market. There has to be a happy balance. Sacrificing freedom for a promise of possible protection is antithetical to the American DNA with which one is born with or manifests upon citizenship. As in all things, there must be a compromise of enforcement so as to not compromise liberty. I shudder to think that out of all the things we have withstood throughout the centuries that it is a virus that would lead us to forfeit our own rights and withhold questioning government action. We’re witnessing in our friends just how much government conservatives are comfortable with, and while the answer should be “not any of the above headlines,” some surprise me.

Within the net couple of weeks we will see if we overestimated the projections detailed by the various models. I tend to not believe anything I see displayed on a television screen anymore, so I’ve taken to using local reporting as a main measure, not NBC. My listeners all across the country are doing the same and callers describe in detail the sliding scale of severity depending on the population of their area. Our economy cannot be starved into nothingness or there will be nothing to back to once the virus is eradicated. There must be a happy-medium of protecting the vulnerable demographics and getting America back to work. This proverbial city upon a hill depends on it.