I see in recent issues of the paper harsh criticism of those protesting Gov. Whitmer’s stay at home orders, limits of personal freedom, and business shutdowns affecting citizen’s livelihoods. Those government decrees were supposedly done in the interests of personal and community health. But they all cut deeply into our value of God-given rights as American and Michigan citizens. Are those extremes so vitally important? How does one balance the scale of individual liberty vs. community health in so called “lower the curve” models of illness and death in a given time frame? Right now surveys say individual rights are subservient to the health of the masses. All these extreme anti-liberty moves were to limit the number of the sick so hospitals could take care of the ill, and not qualify the sick as in wartime injuries. So is it wrong to protest in the state capitol as those Michigan citizens have done the last several weeks? Should Gov. Whitmer and others belittle protesters on the grounds of silly motives like motor boating, golfing or not being able to gain one’s livelihood? Can we know if all these restrictions were necessary? Were the sickness and death models correct? One may never know.

Let’s go back in time to 1770s colonial America. We belonged to the Crown, wards of King George III. Since time and treasure was required for upkeep of the colonies, was it not fair to restrict liberty and access costs to those colonists? I believe that those who are critical of the protests would say yes! Benjamin Franklin stated “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.”

If we as citizens so easily forgo liberty in the interests of security, maybe we deserve what we get—neither.

—David Naeyaert,