*By Vincent Cavaleri
Each time an agent of the governor’s office imposes a fine, levies restrictions, license revocation, forces business closures, COVID related L&I infractions, Liquor Control Board action; or any other life impacting penalty to a business that is just trying to survive, they willfully become an agent of tyranny.
Recently these persecutors descended on my beloved city (without notification to the local jurisdiction) and proceeded to demand small businesses to cease or change operations, threaten them with liquor license violations or revocation; and labor and industry violations relating to the governor’s unconstitutional emergency proclamation. These brave entrepreneurs that haven’t been bankrupted already are on life support, just barely surviving with these oppressive guidelines that have singled them out; but that didn’t stop the governor’s goon squad employees from “just doing their jobs”.
This is the phrase that seems to echo from their mouths every time they are called out for intimidating a small business owner or their employees. Sorry, none of you get a pass anymore by making that statement. You have a duty to the American people and the public you serve to refuse unlawful and or unconstitutional orders. I was just following orders is no longer acceptable. Intimidating minority business owners or other small business owners is simply deplorable. Preying on their fears of government is reprehensible. I remember in my military days how important the teaching of the chain of command was. Those sentiments were echoed when I joined the Sheriff’s Office many years ago.
There is absolutely no doubt or argument as to how critical the chain of command is. However, when personnel are given unlawful or unconstitutional orders, they have an obligation to respectfully refuse. This is the check and balance that exists in military and paramilitary organizations. We depend on the moral character of individuals to hold one another accountable; and give a high degree of credibility to the organizations we serve. Hiding behind a badge or government office is craven to say the least.
In all 50 states elected law enforcement officials have refused to carry out proclamations or mandates from governors they deemed unconstitutional. These enforcement apparatuses will not participate in unconstitutional conduct. They are heroes in my book. These elected law enforcement officials could have simply said “I’m just doing my job”, but instead did their duty, as prescribed by law. They could have acquiesced to the governors and mayors and made this all go away, but instead they placed themselves in harm’s way for all of us.
How many of us are willing to do the same? Sadly, not very many. We should be incredibly thankful that some are willing to put themselves on the line for something more than a job or an elected office. I don’t think America would have come this far without the unselfish. However, this effort requires participation from everyone. I have been given a bull horn and promise to not be a coward with it. That’s my pledge to you. We all have a role and need to do our part. It’s no longer acceptable to hide behind “I’m just doing my job”, that’s a cop-out.
Peace and blessings to all of you in 2021…..Vincent