AP featured image
A protester carries an American flag at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. Hoisting American flags and handmade signs, protesters returned to the state Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order and business restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic while lawmakers met to consider extending her emergency declaration hours before it expires. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A handful of preening, Constitution-challenged governors are showing America why the most terrifying words in the English language continue to be, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

Thousands are dead in New York nursing homes, thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mind-boggling order that COVID-infected residents be sent back to their nursing home to spread their germs to others.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recently told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson the Bill of Rights is “above my pay grade.”

In Minnesota, it’s cool to loot and burn down buildings so long as Gov. Tim Walz thinks he can get the American taxpayer to pick up the tab of rebuilding.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered her subjects — um, constituents — not to travel to their summer homes within the state’s borders, while her husband tried to be the first to get his boat out on the lake.

And then there’s Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who told reporters on June 16 he only took off his mask for a press conference, “because of the First Amendment.” Only a few days later, his Department of Health decreed that, “(E)very person in Washington state must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth when in any indoor or outdoor public setting.”

Not to be outdone, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has instituted a statewide mask requirement for everyone over the age of five, limited indoor capacity to 100 people, and restaurant and bar service must end at 10:00 PM.

Nevermind that both Seattle and Portland have been terrorized by rioters night after night for weeks.

The two cities seem to be playing “hold my beer.”

At what point does the public just say no?

We’ve had it, which is why the Freedom Foundation filed suit against Jay Inslee and Kate Brown for their unconstitutional mask decrees.

The Freedom Foundation has no quarrel with Americans who choose to wear masks when they leave their homes. Likewise, private businesses have every right to require them on their property.

But government mandates — especially those, like Washington’s and Oregon’s — that set up different legal classes for Americans: those allowed to burn and pillage without consequences and those for whom it is illegal to worship or attend weddings and funerals without the threat of prosecution, fines, and/or jail time, are another thing altogether.

Face masks have become political because certain elements of society WANT to make them political. Wearing a mask has become a sign of moral superiority, while not wearing one, government overlords tell us, signifies a lack of compassion and empathy.

Moral superiority, in turn, carries with it the imperative to chastise, bully, and intimidate those who won’t bend the knee on facial coverings.

It shouldn’t be this way. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you want to stay at home, stay at home. If you want to live your life as you did this time last year, do that. The government should have no part in your daily lifestyle decisions.

“Experts” can’t even agree on whether the face masks are beneficial or could actually be harmful for healthy people to wear on a regular basis if they aren’t submersed in a medical setting.

Requiring someone to wear a face mask by force of law, therefore, is essentially compelling them to support junk science in violation of their freedom of conscience and is nothing more than government-induced virtue signaling.

Inslee has now gone even further, telling businesses, “no mask, no service.” He wasn’t content in telling individuals how to live their daily lives; he now wants to tell business owners and shop keepers how and to whom they can provide service and earn a paycheck.

What are we the people going to do? Fight back — as long as we still can.

There may still be more lawsuits to come, and we’ll keep the RedState community updated.

Ashley Varner is the Vice President of Communications and Federal Affairs at the Freedom Foundation, a free-market organization committed to helping free public sector employees from union tyranny.