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Stroebel: Mini dictators popping up

Empower Wisconsin | May 22, 2020

By State Sen. Duey Stroebel 

Sen. Duey Stroebel

It only took us a week to see what liberals would do statewide if the Wisconsin Supreme Court had not required Gov. Tony Evers’s health secretary to follow the law.  

The city of Madison and Dane County announced their “Forward Dane” plan that is intended to build upon the “Badger Bounce Back” framework from the governor. The 14-page manifesto includes nine tripwire metrics, multiple color-coded phases, and plenty of Orwellian language. Those implanting these policies are the most ardent supporters of Governor Evers. Their actions should be a chilling reminder of what the entire state probably escaped by a single Supreme Court vote.

All are informed immediately that Dane County will be under some form of restrictions until “widespread protections are available.” This is not defined, but a graphic shows a series of tightening and loosening restrictions ending with a vaccine. A vaccine is certainly months away, maybe years away, and possibly never coming in a universally effective format. Unelected health officials openly admit that any activity we wish to engage in should be subject to their orders for a vast, unknown period. Do not worry though, once there is a vaccine and there is presumably almost no public health danger, we enter Phase 4, titled “New Normal.” The new normal for our second-largest county has “to be determined” disease transmission mitigation requirements.

We are always lectured about following the science, but scientific reasoning requires more than simply invoking the word. Two of the nine metrics in Forward Dane do not have number thresholds, merely determinations in whether some increase in a number is “significant.” Determining whether something is “significant” is policy, not science.  The caps on all gatherings at 100 indoor and 250 outdoor defy any rational basis in science. Accepting that close proximity aids transmission, the number of people who can safely gather is a function of space. Camp Randall Stadium can fit a lot more people than 250 while observing any social distancing guideline. Likewise, capacity limitations on restaurants and stores progress on a linear 25-50-75 percent scale. No explanation is offered because they do not have to. They have open-ended power to run other people’s lives. After all, the common man would be lost without the benevolent instruction of Dane County “experts.”

At the close of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was famously asked what form of government the delegates had given the new nation. “A republic, if you can keep it” was his immortal reply. In 2020, COVID-19 will almost certainly not be the leading cause of death in America. It is a serious health event that warrants a proportionately serious response. It is not an existential threat to our state or nation.  The attitude of government officials like those we see in Dane County are an existential threat to our freedoms and way of life. While many local health officials around the state do not share this expansive view of their powers, it takes aldermen, county supervisors and county executives to empower these health bureaucrats. Are you watching your local elected officials to make sure we did not stop one potential dictator in Madison only to let loose dozens of mini dictators throughout the state?

Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) represents the 20th Senate District. He has served in the state Senate since 2015. 

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