Kudos to Texas for opening. Plus: Fringe group focus unfair to Trump backers. Socialism's here.

By Gary Abernathy

Gov. Abbott latest to affirm a free and open state

A big tip of the 10-gallon hat to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for announcing his state’s mask mandate and covid-related business restrictions will end March 10. Abbott is already coming under intense media criticism for his decision, but hopefully he won’t cave to it.

Governors like Abbott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem – all Republicans, coincidentally or not – deserve credit for weighing health recommendations against constitutional rights. Too many governors, including Mike DeWine (also a Republican) in Ohio, ceded too much power to health officials. They blindly followed the recommendations of their state health directors, which ended up destroying businesses, kept family members apart, suspended school functions and curtailed worship services.

Later, trying to be all conservativy, DeWine proudly boasted that Ohio never ordered churches to close. But he sure tried to shame them if they opened. DeWine at one point said he didn’t consider holding church services “a Christian thing to do.”

In April of last year, DeWine infamously said, “Any pastor who brings people together in close proximity, a large group of people, is making a huge mistake. They're endangering themselves, their family, and total strangers… It is not a Christian thing to do, it is not in the Judaeo-Christian tradition to hurt people, and I'm sure no one intends to do that. But by bringing people together you are risking their health, your health and total strangers' health. This is just a huge mistake."

Pastors don’t “bring people together” for church. The churches open, and people decide for themselves whether to show up or not. DeWine has long seemed unable to give people credit for having the intelligence to make their own decisions. His incarnation as a governor who believes in heavy-handed state control has been revealing, and will almost certainly lead to a primary challenge in 2022.

Some people will say, “Look at the numbers. Ohio has done much better controlling covid-19 than the states you’re applauding.” That may or not be true. But that’s not the point. In a free society, risk is part of living. People can make choices for themselves without dictatorial governors treating them like children. They can choose to go out and live life, or they can choose to hunker down and avoid contact with people. Both choices can be respected.

Again, kudos to Abbott, DeSantis, Noem and other governors who have done much more to respect the rights and intelligence of their citizens. “Abbott’s move seems entirely motived by politics rather than public health,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza complained. Yes! The point is not whether it’s “too early” to reopen and get back to normal. The point is that a free society needs to live and operate freely, even when risks exist.

Focus on fringe element unfair to most Trump supporters

If the amount of attention paid by the media to fringe groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and others actually reflected their influence in the general population, we’d truly be in trouble. But most Republicans and supporters of former President Donald Trump have little to no knowledge of any of them. Many in the liberal media are clearly trying to equate Trump supporters with such fringe radical groups, which undoubtedly played a role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 but have little to do with Trump’s overall level of support.

If Trump supporters in general can be smeared with such guilt by association tactics, Trump and any official and candidate who associates with him can likewise be painted with the same brush. That seems to be the motive of all these stories and features about these fringe groups. It’s inaccurate, dishonest and shameful to equate the majority of Trump supporters with these marginal alliances.

 Socialism kicking into high gear with ‘guaranteed income’

Our inevitable slide into socialism is continuing. It started incrementally years ago, but kicked into high gear with the first covid “stimulus” package in March 2020, when thousands of dollars were deposited in people’s bank accounts or sent to them in the mail whether they needed it or not. It happened again with smaller payments in January, and is about to happen for a third time when Democrats in Congress pass their $1.9 trillion – that’s trillion – package.

Meanwhile, USA Today reports that the “guaranteed income” movement is quickly gaining traction. “Guaranteed income has become more critical in the longer-term as the nation’s gig economy spawns a growing population of freelance and contract workers who don’t receive benefits and whose income fluctuates from week to week… Proponents say the initiatives provide households financial stability during sharp economic swings, alleviate stress and broaden recipients’ horizons. They also come without the scrutiny and work requirements of programs such as welfare and food stamps.”

Well of course they do. Free money, no stipulations or work requirements. coming to a mail box or bank account near you. Goodbye capitalism, hello socialism.

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