Columnists

Chuck Boutcher | Braindrizzle

“The fox is in the hen house”
 
Whenever we get into a situation that we believe society has never seen before, it is in our best interest to take a close look at our history books. No matter what we are experiencing, our human history is replete with examples which can be applied to current-day happenings.
 
For example, before the travel of European explorers to the Americas, along with the diseases they brought to the New World, many scholars estimated that the pre-Columbian population of the Americas was estimated to be as low as 10 million or as high as 50 million. Following the initial European colonization, millions of immigrants from Europe and Asia eventually settled in the Americas, bringing even more disease. During this time, the number of indigenous peoples plummeted. In many ways, it was an extinction event for some cultures.
 
Today, we can strike back with a broad portfolio of actions which can mitigate the damage caused by the Wuhan coronavirus. Social distancing, extending controls over our borders, stepped-up sanitation efforts, reductions in the federal interest rates, adding financial stimulus into the economy, etc., are all part of that mitigation effort.
 
But from history, there are other lessons to be learned as well. It has been said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” That quote has been widely attributed to former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel back in 2008 when the federal government enacted unprecedented amounts of financial government intervention, taking over businesses and flooding monies into some industries while allowing other businesses and industries to die on the vine.
 
Today, we can see similar actions being considered by our federal government. We see surveillance laws being created or renewed. The Patriot Act, which was passed following terrorist attacks on 9/11, is now titled the Freedom Act. It details how the U.S. conducts surveillance and investigation of electronic communication.
 
What can we learn from more recent history? We are fortunate to be living in a democratic republic that has the wherewithal to positively respond to help our citizenry, but “to those whom much is given, much is expected,” as told to us by John F. Kennedy. We must be vigilant in review of all the legislation being passed or renewed to ensure that the short-term benefit that is offered does not create long-term restrictions on our freedoms.
 
It is of utmost importance that we review and understand what is provided to each of us through the Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson told us, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.”
 
When I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1977, I committed to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That oath is something that lives in perpetuity. We must strongly defend the many traditions of this nation which support individual freedoms.
 
t is a world that we can still recognize as “The land of the free and home of the brave …”
 
When we come out on the other side of this crisis – and we will come out of this – our world will never be the same. We just need to make sure that it is a world that we can still recognize as “The land of the free and home of the brave …”
 
God bless us all as we move forward.


Sample Theme Colors