In a recent op-ed, Executive Counselor Andru Volinsky calls for the government to “enforce the wearing of masks” by requiring that businesses refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering.
Later in the editorial, he states: “As governor, I would ask businesses to join us in enforcing this basic public health requirement” (emphasis added).
So which is it? Are we threatening to shut down businesses or arrest business owners if they refuse to comply? Or are we just asking nicely (pretty please)?
That’s the question that’s playing out all over the country right now, as law enforcement officers ponder the absurdity of arresting septuagenarian barbers for giving illegal haircuts. It brings to mind the movie Brazil, in which Robert DeNiro plays a renegade HVAC repairman, rappelling into the protagonist’s apartment to make unauthorized repairs, in defiance of Central Services.
Do we really want to criminalize unauthorized haircutting? (NB: In fact we already have, as Josiah Bartlett director Drew Cline recently reminded us. This just takes it to a new level.)
Let’s not beat around the bush. People like Andru Volinsky will stop at nothing to enforce (not merely to request, but to enforce) their vision of a better world. Compliance is not optional.
Like the overzealous hall monitor that we all hated when we were in middle school, Volinsky and his ilk believe that they were born with the express purpose of inserting themselves into our lives and making them “better”. It reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s famous line about the most feared words in the English language: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Here’s the message to Andrew Volinsky and the rest of the Democrat Party: The fact that you think you know better doesn’t give you license to meddle in private relationships. Business owners have the right to serve any customer they want, and customers have the right to patronize any business they want. This is the Live Free or Die State. As a candidate for governor, perhaps you should meditate on that.