- The Washington Times
Friday, May 8, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A sheriff in Southern California, Chad Bianco of Riverside County, told the local board of supervisors earlier this week that he wouldn’t enforce stay-at-home orders because, get this, he thinks citizens can think for themselves.

Move over, doctors. Step aside, nurses. Bianco is much more a real hero — not just someone doing his job.


In these crazy COVID-19 times, where government has gone amok and politicians have become drunk with power, Bianco’s stand on constitutional principle is actually heroic.

“From the beginning,” he said, The Blaze reported, “I told you that I would not be enforcing this stay-at-home order, partly because I trusted our residents’ ability to do the right thing without the fear of being arrested. I knew that they could be trusted to act as responsible adults, and I was correct.”

Imagine that — a public servant actually serving the public, and not demanding the public who pays his salary kowtow and bend to his own will.

A public servant recognizing the proper role of public service.

He went on: “Not only do we not have the resources to enforce unreasonable orders, [but also] I refuse to make criminals out of business owners, single moms and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights. I believe Riverside County residents are responsible enough to proceed cautiously.”

Bianco for president.

This is exactly how the government — the federal government, the state governments, the local governments — should have treated Americans from the COVID-19 get-go: with deference.

With humble recognition of Americans’ intelligence.

With modest and quiet submission to the citizens’ ability — and right — to take the government guidance and medical recommendations and then judge for themselves how best to apply it.

Instead, bureaucrats, some elected, some not, ran roughshod over American’s rights — over Americans’ God-given rights. And, despite the fact the coronavirus data is showing serious regulatory relaxation is in order, bureaucrats, some elected, some not, are continuing their roughshod runs over Americans’ God-given rights, to this very day.

“[Lockdowns] eliminated constitutional freedoms put in place over 200 years ago,” Bianco said. “In the name of a public health crisis, our civil liberties and constitutional protections were placed on hold.”

And then he did something that would make the fear-mongers fueling COVID-19 crackdowns simply gasp with astonishment: he cited factual coronavirus numbers to support his viewpoints.

“Unfortunately, we have lost 181 of our residents to this virus,” Bianco said. “But keep in mind that this is only seven-thousandths of 1 percent.”

He called for a return to normalcy — and sanity.

“As leaders,” Bianco said, “we must adjust our decisions to better serve the county as a whole.”

Words of wisdom that should be forced reading and listening for all the other public servants of the country who want to continue their controls of the American people.

The fact is citizens aren’t stupid.

Americans are quite capable of deciding for themselves how best to protect their own health and that of their loved ones.

The trend lately has been to label doctors and nurses and hospital staffers and medical responders and the like as heroes for putting themselves on the frontline and treating COVID-19 patients. But they’re not; not really. They’re doing their jobs. They’re doing what they they’ve been trained to do — treat sick people.

Bianco?

He went above and beyond.

He took a lonely stand for the little guy, for the cowered masses, for the principle of freedom, for the fate of the Constitution, for the proper moral compass of our country’s government, for the right of the individual over government — at a time when doing so makes him immensely unpopular with many in the echelons of power.

Now that’s heroic.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.


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