Thanksgiving 2020 is a different holiday than perhaps any in a generation. Most of us do not remember the celebrations during World War II, when goods were scarce, but those not engaged in the European or Pacific combat theaters could enjoy a feast with family and friends. This year, however, a virus emanating from China has upended the American Thanksgiving traditions with Draconian edicts mandated by statewide authorities who feel it necessary to play potentate if not dictator in the name of public safety.
Never before have these unalienable rights suffered such assault in the United States of America.
So much for fun, food, and football with friends and family. Even the most socialist among us could not have anticipated the level of intrusive regulations instituted by many states regarding the celebration of a national holiday. The orders are mind-boggling and laughable – so much so that many law enforcement officials have explicitly stated that they will not be bursting into homes and dragging people out for mask violations.
Heil the State!
Yet this type of authoritarian atmosphere opens a Pandora’s box of suppression that is frightening and unprecedented. Americans have become accustomed to living by those legendary seven words inked by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Never before have these unalienable rights suffered such assault in the United States of America. If family celebrations embody pursuing happiness, you are out of luck this year. God forbid you invite too many relatives to your home, lest a neighbor decide that all the cars parked outside represent a threat to public health and safety and dial 911.
We should not forget that our Founders took time to explain these unalienable rights. They spelled out that “these truths are self-evident,” which means any nitwit can understand them and that they are “endowed by their Creator,” which means they are given to man by God. Such self-evident and God-given rights are not only under fire but also systematically being removed from the public writ large by those chosen to represent them. Luckily, the Framers suggested a remedy for those who try to withdraw these rights from the people. Perhaps this is why we see thousands of residents taking to the streets in Michigan, California, and New York.
Have the people of these United States finally taken notice that their liberties and freedoms are being trampled upon? Have they finally had enough of the autocrats who aim to control every area of their lives from state capitols and governor’s mansions? Will we, as a people, rise up against these authoritarian regimes and say STOP?
In an ironic twist, perhaps this Thanksgiving we should be most grateful for our dwindling liberties – because only then will we begin to recognize their significance in our lives and be willing to stand up and fight for them. Many fear that if we don’t take on the petty tyrants we have elected to represent us, the words of John Adams may be more than a warning and rendered prescient: “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.