This week, our state marks a somber anniversary. One year ago, Governor Whitmer declared the first state of emergency associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nothing has been the same since.
Today, government overreach remains the rule, rather than the exception. Government bureaucrats are no longer worried about how much they interfere in our private lives and how much they control businesses. They have no problem telling us what we're allowed to do and how it must be done.
History shows us that removing the grip of government control is hard. In fact, there has never been a country that has allowed government control to the extent we have over the past year that has successfully gone back to being a free nation.
Some call this the great reset. They theorize that, like frogs in boiling water, we'll become so used to being told how to live our lives and do our work that we won't notice when the pillars of freedom are knocked to the ground, when free markets are no longer free, and when our social and civil discourse are altered beyond recognition.
Even now, we see the result of this attempt at robbing Michigan of its freedoms. We have a divided government that is embroiled in the greatest power struggle we've ever seen. Republican leaders, determined to challenge the overreach of the state's executive branch, are struggling to rein in the governor's rampant abuse of power. She, in turn, is refusing to let go.
And, in the background, we have a public discourse that is increasingly aimed at silencing the voices of those who think differently. As a result, people who have something to say find themselves "canceled" or ostracized by others. Our social media feeds are more negative than ever, as people struggle to find social norms in a world run amok.
There is no doubt that our state and our country are at a crossroads. Our nation was built upon moments where brave men and women choose to do the right thing, not the easy thing. Oftentimes, not the self-serving thing. We are at a defining moment in our state’s history. A moment where we need leaders who are willing to act boldly and take the steps necessary to restore the balance of power in our government.
Today's moment will be defined by leaders who are willing to break through the common mold of the politician, to go beyond the rhetoric, and dauntlessly pursue the vision our forefathers had for a free State, even sacrificing their positions in the next election if they must.
Our Constitutional Republic was created by men who understood the sacrifices that it would take for our nation to remain free. We now need leaders who are willing to follow in their footsteps. Leaders who will stand up and say a firm no –with actions and votes—as our personal freedoms remain under constant attack.
If we don't, as Ronald Reagan said, "... one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
Indeed, March 10th represents a sad anniversary of a time when fear trumped common sense. When power ran amok. And when our state lost its collective way.
This year, let's mark the anniversary by finding it again.
Meghan Reckling is the Chair of the Livingston County Republican Party, member of the Michigan Republican Party State Committee, and former candidate for State Representative.
Article originally published in the Detroit News on March 13, 2021.
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