February 17, 2021
Conservatives are asleep at the wheel
Thomas Jefferson regarded urban areas as “as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man” and looked to rural America for “more health, virtue and freedom.” Under his vision, one would expect no greater beacon of freedom than the official Mountain State of West Virginia, but the perfidious Republican Party has managed to turn one of the most rural parts of the country into the tyranny of San Francisco — with masks, child abuse in school, and closure of struggling businesses.
Living in Maryland during this period of totalitarian COVID fascism, just a short drive from West Virginia’s panhandle, I found myself longingly casting my gaze westward to settle in what appeared to be a nice red state. “West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home, country roads.” After all, every elected state official is a Republican, no Democrat has carried a single county in a presidential election since 2008, and Republicans control the Senate 23-11 and the House 77-23.
Then, my bubble was burst last September when a listener of my podcast informed me that West Virginia has the same diabolical mask mandate, criminalization of businesses, and abuse of children at school as Maryland does. In fact, Gov. Jim Justice even used Cuomo’s line about “if a mask just saves one life …” He believes one human being breathing normally is risking another person’s life. That is perhaps the most diabolical thing a politician can say.
Well, Governor, Cuomo quite literally has not saved even one life!
Just how out of touch are elected Republicans with their voters? The listener, who just recently moved to Putnam County, West Virginia, from Virginia for freedom, told me that her children in this Trump+43 county are forced to wear masks for 7 hours straight, including during PE and recess. Another listener from Boone County, which Trump carried by 53 points, informed me that businesses are being forced to inform on each other and are eventually charged with misdemeanors by the health department. The health department of this Trump+53 county has put into place a “three strikes and you’re out” system for businesses caught not enforcing the mask mandate. A number of counties in the northern part of the state still don’t have full in-person instruction.
One of the first acts of Speaker Roger Hanshaw in the first legislative session since Justice’s tyranny, rather than countermanding the governor’s inhumane, illogical, and illegal orders, was to order mask-wearing (HR 5) on the floor of the West Virginia legislature, just like in California.
A bipartisan group of legislators are pushing a bill (HB 2003) to limit emergency declarations to 60 days, a very generous period of time without legislative input. Yet Jim Justice still thinks that is infringing upon his monarchical powers…