I should never get into political discussions with co-workers, but…We started by discussing the communicability of the COVID-19 virus and whether masks were effective (he believes everyone should wear one – I believe that only those who are sick should wear a mask at all).
After a while, our discussion descended into whether ANY elected official has the power or authority to restrict Constitutional rights “in the public interest.”
I argued that there are NO circumstances – including nuclear war – where the government has the power to restrict Constitutional rights, because once you set a precedent that “these times require it” you have achieved the “Franklin Constant”: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.
He argued that COVID was “special” and that we needed to shut down everything to prevent people from dying. He also argued that, if another coronavirus showed up next year, he’d be willing to shut down the country again.
To which I said: “YOU are a tyrant. You’re willing to destroy lives and businesses because of YOUR fears. Why don’t you lock YOURSELF up in your own home and leave the rest of us alone?”
… crickets …
“I’m willing to take a chance and let my immune system do its job. Why aren’t YOU willing to take a chance and let YOUR immune system do its job?”
… crickets …
We ended up laughing about a fly disrupting the VP debate – and how the fly was gaining more attention than what was said – and left with smiles.
He knew – even before this – that I’m a Constitutional “originalist” and believe that if the Constitution doesn’t grant the Federal government a certain power, that power descends to the States and then to the People (10A).
The Constitution is silent on marriage (Obergefell) and on medical procedures of any kind (Doe). Hence, any SCOTUS rulings on the subject are ridiculous: without a Constitutional basis, those issues are non-justiciable at a federal level, just as gerrymandering is non-justiciable at a state level.
Nowhere – NOWHERE – does the Constitution say “except when people get sick”.
I managed to get him to say that he would fully violate Constitutional principles and protections because of HIS fear of disease.
I’m pretty sure I know how he’s voting on 11/3.