The media have it all wrong. The argument is that people protesting to open their states are on one side and people who want to beat Coronavirus are on another. This is completely wrong. It is not individual rights vs doing what is right.
What makes America great and the thing that makes us most unique is that we are one of the few places that recognizes that people have Natural Rights. The Founding Father’s did not invent this concept that people are born with rights and that the State does not bestow them on us nor can they take them from us. But those wise men recognized the truth of Natural Rights and ensured that when they built a new country, we based it on that concept.
Too often people confuse rights with privileges. Rights MUST be protected by the state and CANNOT be violated by it. You see this confusion in two ways. First when they attempt to infringe on people’s rights, which you see all the time with gun control laws. Second, some people attempt to blur the lines between rights and privileges by asserting that all sorts of things are rights (like an income or healthcare).
The lockdown that, on paper, is meant to combat the spread of Coronavirus is damaging to that very goal. Our freedom helps us innovate. And our freedom creates the economic miracle that we have seen in the country over the last century. It is economic might that provide the fuel to win two World Wars and the cold war. It was economic might that allowed us to democratize car and home ownership and reduce poverty and feed the world. It was economic might that fueled the computer and Internet revolutions. And, it is economic might that fuels medical innovation and is critical to beating Coronavirus.
Over the last couple of months we have trampled rights and simultaneously wounded the economic engine that fuels our innovation. We need to get people back to work and restart that engine. Government debt is harmful not helpful to innovation and freedom. We don’t need more of that, we need to let people get back to creating value.
By recognizing that man has a small number of inviolate rights we have created a truly unique country. We attracted tens of millions of people seeking those rights and many more seeking the economic opportunity that protecting those rights allowed to grow. The huddled masses bit isn’t about sending bad people here but in getting out of people’s way so they can realize their own potential (or not).
What has made America so successful politically, economically, militarily, culturally and so on is that one, core truth. If you believe in American you recognize that our ability to innovate and to overcome is without peer in human history.
So any talk about….”well in Europe….” is irrelevant and dangerous. The State is limited here because of our rights in ways that other free countries are not because they can alter or rescind freedoms which are granted. China can build bridges faster, because they can pick and choose the privileges people get. But it does not make them stronger as a society. It is their Achiles heel.