On exceedingly rare occasions, politicians tell the truth. There aren’t enough of these scarce events to form a reliable sample, which prevents my offering anything more than an educated guess, but I’d say their truth-telling is always accidental and inadvertent.
So it was over the weekend when Chris “Fats” Christie, New Jersey’s führer, confessed that imprisoning people who have committed absolutely no crime is the State’s “job” – though of course he didn’t phrase it like that. Speaking of his kidnapping and caging of Kaci Hickox, the nurse who returned from Sierra Leone with no symptoms of Ebola, Fats intoned, “The government’s job is to protect safety and health of our citizens … I have no second thoughts about [arresting and detaining, a.k.a., quarantining Ms. Hickox].”
Sounds as if Fats ascribes to Karl Marx’s political philosophy; for sure, he’s not quoting the Founding Fathers. They never listed “protecting the safety and health of our citizens” among the powers of the very limited government they established, in large part because they understood that was the Lord’s prerogative. They would have laughed at the idea that so inept and evil an entity as government could prevent, cure, or even contain disease. No, the Founders who weren’t outright anarchists saw the State’s only role as protecting liberty, or, as Jefferson put it in the Declaration, “…to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…”
But let’s take Fats at his word. Who among us will disagree that government excels at imprisoning the innocent? Meanwhile, notice that no “second thoughts” about such cruel injustice trouble these sociopaths.
Let’s also cheer Ms. Hickox – though with reservations — for her spirited defense of our inalienable rights against these thugs. Alas, I doubt she’d fight them if she actually did harbor Ebola or some other terrible contagion: my research suggests that she and her colleagues would then consider her “quarantine” as justified as Fats does. Indeed, the medical profession often urges the government to abuse populations exactly as it has in Ms. Hickox’s case, though nurses are normally in charge of incarcerating the rest of us rather then enduring it themselves. We’ll hope that the callous abuse poor Ms. Hickox has suffered and documented shows the industry exactly why government should never possess such powers over us nor deputize medical personnel with them.10:00 am on October 27, 2014 Email Becky Akers