Hageman: What are we willing to give up and at what cost?

Hageman: What are we willing to give up and at what cost?

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On July 4th 1776, 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. 56 men who felt our rights as human beings were far more important than their own lives. By signing their names, these men were pleading guilty to treason, against a tyrant king 6,000 miles away. These men didn’t do this standing behind the greatest army in the world. They did it facing that army. Each man knowing, odds were, every man on that list would hang. 6,800 men did die for those rights, and hundreds of thousands have died for them since.

Amazingly enough, the rights these men bled for have been given up, virtually without protest. In the time of less than a month, the First Amendment has been directly or indirectly disobeyed in the name of safety, following a virus known as COVID-19. This generation of Americans has proclaimed that in fact their lives are more important than our rights.

Are we so self-indulgent that we would rather wake up in Soviet Russia than not wake up at all? We would rather further indebt our children, professing we deserve stimulus more than they deserve the American Dream? This concept may sound outlandish, but what our leaders have done regarding our rights as Americans, in just one month without accountability, proves we have no idea what they could do with an entire year. If it can be done now, it can be easily repeated, only this time to take guns, civil rights or private property.

Governors, mayors, sheriffs and senators are pushing shelter-in-place ordinances punishable by law. The Constitution says we have the right to peaceably assemble. Yet people can be fined for not social distancing. The Constitution says no law shall be made respecting any house of religion. Yet churches are being shut down for holding services. As even the Kentucky governor indirectly threatens, some will be shut down indefinitely. When did these people’s word become law? When did checks and balances become extinguished? Is this the regulation without representation, we have been warned about?

If even the slightest notion of outlawing abortions is mentioned, thousands of angry protesters rush the street.

When the rights we were born with are taken away, not a peep is heard. Thousands of people believe that killing our children is more worthy a cause to get out of bed for, than protecting our rights to be free Americans? 22,000 deaths have been reported in the U.S from COVID-19. The number of abortions, according to guttmacher.org, is well over 16,500 a week, a sad reality of how far we have fallen.

Many of these governors are setting wild, unlawful precedents that are later to be followed by other states. If not followed, states are subject to ruthless media backlash, as they rush to put the blood on the hands of the one who disobeyed.

States must follow federal guidelines or be punished with a lack of funds. Imagine our Founding Fathers seeing states’ rights being in place but subject to such extortion.

Too many people have died to protect our liberties. What gives us the right to throw them out the moment times get tough? “Experts” have destroyed our economy with false claims and insane math. Lives have been ruined by their predictions. When will they be held accountable for the destruction of the U.S. economy? How many people’s lives have to be destroyed before we can say that in fact, the cure has become worse than the disease? President Donald Trump declared war on the coronavirus, making this the only war America has every fought hiding under a bed. If our rights as Americans can be nullified in the name of safety, then they in fact were not rights at all, but privileges.

Wyoming has long been known as the state which implements these radical ideals very last. Many people are proud to be Wyomingites for this very reason. It is too bad we have to settle for being proud to be the last to forfeit our rights, instead of being proud to be the only ones who never did. Precautions must be taken to help control a deadly outbreak such as this. I’m not insensitive or naive, people are dying. I encourage all people to act responsibly in such times. I have faith that most Americans and especially Wyomingites are responsible and intelligent enough to do so. Let’s make Wyoming the first state to head back in the right direction, not be last state to head in the wrong one.

Theron Hageman is a rancher near Jay Em, Wyoming.

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Stubson writes:

Born during the anxious times of 9/11, graduating in a pandemic, the class of 2020 -- a term which denotes clarity or sharpness of vision -- seems best suited to march forth into the maw of this erratic world.

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