I’ve seen a few different people asking: What would you do if you were in the governor’s shoes now? For anyone who’s interested, here’s my answer.
It’s important to note that the current governor was elected by, and represents, a group of voters who want the government to take care of them, without worrying about theoretical issues like individual rights and limited government, or practical issues like the fact that a million bright, capable, independent, and highly-motivated people around the state would be coming up with creative solutions that that would never even occur to government, if government would get the hell out of their way.
He’s doing pretty much what his supporters want him to do. In his shoes, I’d probably be doing the same sorts of things that he’s doing.
In contrast, I could only be elected by a plurality of voters who ‘prefer dangerous liberty to peaceful slavery’, who believe that ‘death is not the worst of evils’, who reject the idea that ‘to solve American problems, you become something other than American’, and so on. So if I were in my shoes, but happened to be governor, I’d be doing what those supporters would expect me to do: offering advice instead of issuing orders; trying to facilitate cooperation and creative problem solving; and eliminating regulations that provide protection for established interests by making it harder, rather than easier, for new ideas to make the journey from minds to markets.
I would also be emphasizing that, however things work out, we are in the middle of a tremendous teaching opportunity, and the biggest question we face right now is what we’re going to use it to teach: The idea that the people need to be husbanded by government like farm animals in order to protect them from their own stupidity; or the idea that people are capable of addressing a crisis without abandoning the idea of a government that exists to protect their rights, and that gets its legitimate power to act from their consent.
Sooner or later, whether from COVID-19 or from something else, everyone is going to die. But that doesn’t mean liberty has to.