To the editor:
I want to thank Gary Shade for such a thought provoking letter. I looked around Apple Valley for someplace to surf, but I didn’t find anyplace – let alone an ocean! Seriously though, are Americans really as pathetic as he writes to us? Are we all freedom losing cowards and wimps?
I think we need to take a trip down history lane. The most obvious comparative times would be the flu of 1918. What kinds of freedoms were limited then? New Ulm banned public gatherings on Oct. 15, 1918. Minneapolis banned church gatherings starting on the 13. St. Paul on Nov 4. Even the University of Minnesota took steps, postponing the start of fall semester. Most of my reading leads me to conclude that those ‘stay at home’ orders are not to different than today’s orders.
Let’s talk about some other examples where American rights were suspended. Hawaii was under martial law between 1941 and 1944. President Ulysses S. Grant suspended American’s rights in part of South Carolina in 1871. Under Jefferson Davis, various parts of the Confederacy suffered under martial law and suspension of habeas corpus.
Were Americans during these times wimps? Doubtful. Have any states or federal government declared martial law or suspended fundamental rights? Not yet. Does it seem likely? Not yet either.
The point here is let’s not go full on hyperbole and let’s set tone and writing in the context of current events and history. A few months of getting my haircut at home is not equivalent to years of martial law and the Minnesota governmental restrictions during this pandemic is similar in tone and quality to past pandemics.