Every time I think that Minnesota’s Tim Walz must be the dumbest governor in America, I remind myself of two words: Gretchen Whitmer. Still, Walz is definitely a contender. Today he announced his most recent turning of the “dials” of his subjects’ lives. Gyms will reopen on a very limited basis, a tribute to the political clout of Bahram Akradi, the founder and CEO of Lifetime Fitness, who organized a campaign on behalf of gyms and health clubs. Bars and restaurants are to remain shut down indefinitely for indoor dining, but they can have outdoor dining on a very limited basis.
Then we have family gatherings. They are still mostly illegal, but, with Christmas impending, there has been a slight relaxation in Walz’s dictatorial regime:
Indoor social gatherings are strongly discouraged; however, indoor social gatherings involving not more than two households, up to a maximum of 10 people, are permitted as long as members of different households maintain at least six feet of separation from each other and adhere to additional precautions for social gatherings on the Stay Safe Minnesota website (https://staysafemn.gov/). Outdoor social gatherings involving not more than three households, up to a maximum of 15 people, are permitted as long as members of different households maintain at least six feet of separation from each other, and participants adhere to additional precautions for social gatherings on the Stay Safe Minnesota website (https://staysafemn.gov/).
I have four kids, all of whom will be in town for Christmas. Under Walz’s shutdown order, we can only host one of the four for Christmas dinner, indoors. And, of course, we have to stay six feet away from each other, so I suppose that means separate tables. If we are willing to have Christmas dinner outdoors, we can host two of our four children, again, apparently, at three separate tables. The other two will have to drive through McDonalds, I guess.
To understand how insane Governor Walz’s order is, you might need to live in Minnesota. The forecast for December 24, Christmas Eve, shows a high of 10 degrees and a low of 3 degrees. That is Fahrenheit, not Celsius. Christmas Day will be balmy, with a high of 22 and a low of 10, with a chance of snow.
The idea that anyone will have dinner on Christmas or Christmas Eve outdoors under these conditions is a sick joke–a sick joke that is perpetrated by the governor of the State of Minnesota, who glories in his ability to perpetrate such absurdities. Likewise, the idea that it is viable for restaurants to stay in business via outdoor service in Minnesota in December and January is ridiculous.
What we are seeing in Minnesota, and elsewhere around the country, is not a sane approach to public policy, but rather the manifestation of a proto-fascist urge to exercise total control over everyone’s life. In this regard, Tim Walz is certainly among the worst, but he is not alone. The sad reality is that millions of Americans have happily dispensed with just about every known freedom–you can’t leave your house without government permission!–in hopes of avoiding a respiratory virus that is dangerous to the elderly whose health is already severely compromised, but not noticed by most under the age of 70 who contract it. Home of the brave, indeed.
Happily, some are now fighting back. Here in Minnesota, quite a few restaurants and bars defied the “law”–i.e., what I think is an arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional one-man edict by our governor–and opened their doors for business today. It remains to be seen how many will follow. The brave restaurant owners who led the way, like Larvita McFarquhar, are now being threatened with jail time. The proto-fascists will do anything to retain control over the most intimate details of your life.
The time has come to rebel. If a medium-strength respiratory virus can rob us of every known freedom, the republic is doomed. Let’s not let it happen.
Finally, I should add that neither I nor any member of my family has any intention of complying with Dim Tim Walz’s “emergency” order. Christmas dinner is our business, not his. In a totalitarian state, of course, everything is the government’s business. But we are not there yet. Not quite.
UPDATE: Seen on social media: