From pictures and videos I’ve seen online it appears that several hundred people gathered at the State House today to protest the Governor’s economic shutdown. That is their right, guaranteed by both the New Hampshire and United States Constitution, and it appears not a single person was arrested for gathering in violation of the Governor’s Emergency Orders. So, now what?
For many who were there today, the Governor had already lost their vote on principle for his Emergency and Executive Actions related to COVID-19. If His Excellency rushed into his office this afternoon and started unravelling his Emergency Orders, would that win these votes back?
Even if it would, at what cost would it come?
From the facts we know today versus what we knew a month ago it certainly appears like a Governmental overreaction, at least for the State of New Hampshire. There’s a myriad of information out there that competes with the actions taken, and then of course there’s a plethora of other information that says the actions are justified.
But the information and facts hardly matter at this point. The toothpaste has already been squeezed out of the tube, and now the only policy maker in the State has to keep walking the chosen path.
Abandoning the current path and keeping the current path are both unwinnable courses of action that are sure to make November interesting. Many on the “right” have declared that they’ll never vote for the Governor again, while many support him no matter what actions he takes. Many on the “left” would never vote for him regardless, but yet the Governor way outperformed in many “blue” districts across the State. Either course of action moving forward will cost him votes without winning any new ones. That’s a political reality.
If His Excellency ran into the office at this moment and unravelled all his Emergency Orders and “#ReopenedNH” it is without a doubt that every single death from that moment forward would be tied directly back to the corner office. If he keeps the current path, every single unemployment claim is pinned to his coattails.
While we know for a fact the early models were dramatically wrong, and essentially a pile of garbage that influenced public policy across the WORLD, the policy is here to stay. At a steep cost, politically, economically, and even in terms of mental and physical well-being.
It is, of course, one’s prerogative to vote on principle or conscience, to vote for the lesser of two evils, or to “vote him out.” That’s a discussion for 6 months from now, not for today.
The discussion for today is, what now? You protested. You gathered. Now what?
For the true believers in civil disobedience, will you re-open yourself? If you own a “non-essential” business, will you open and challenge the State to shut you down? A long-term risk for short-term gain?
Will today’s protestors patronize businesses that re-open against Government orders? Will they encourage their “non-essential” business owner friends to reopen immediately? Or, was this protest just an empty show meant for little effect?