Commentary

There’s no justification for centralized and dictatorial government

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I’m not a doctor but I played one in real life. I served as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy for 21 years. Anyone who is familiar with the military healthcare system knows that enlisted personnel diagnose and treat military service members under the care of a physician, either directly or indirectly, as a routine healthcare delivery practice.

In times of emergency, healthcare is also provided to civilians as seen recently with the assignment of the USNS Comfort to New York City. In addition to providing primary care in thousands of medical encounters, I spent years providing direct critical care treatment in large military hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well as in an ICU in an operational environment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

My time in service included being in charge of a primary care clinic at Brunswick Naval Air Station, as well as time on General Officer and Admiral’s staffs to include a three-year tour at the Pentagon. Enough about my resume and let me get to the point— the current public health situation is not a justification for centralized and dictatorial government.

Woah! Am I calling the governor a dictator? Well, despite the recent headline in the Lewiston Sun Journal, I did not, and I’m not necessarily saying so now. I did say that, “Governor Mills has gone full totalitarian.” Totalitarian means, “relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state,” according to Google Dictionary. Wouldn’t you agree that this is what the current state of government affairs is in Maine?

Based on the fact that we have one person unabated by checks and balances making laws, directing spending, and making decisions that are impacting the lives of all Mainers, we’re all subsisting under a totalitarian style of government contrary to the constitutions of the United States and State of Maine. Here’s what really concerns me at the moment.

Flu season is normally October to February. We’ve heard from Governor Mills and Dr. Shah that the goal posts for the management of COVID-19 have been moved again, and that we are now tracking and using “symptoms” as an indicator for the government justification and use of overly-restrictive quarantine orders that are killing Maine’s economy and its businesses. Note that this has been differentiated from “presumptive” COVID-19 cases.

Also, we heard extreme foreshadowing of “another spike” during one of the governor’s recent news conferences, and what the reaction to that would be. In addition, we’ve heard the word “inevitable” over and over again from the governor.

This choice of word, meaning “certain to happen; unavoidable or a situation that is unavoidable,” in my opinion, demonstrates conditioning through foreshadowing that we will face more government intervention and an attempt to continue the emergency order and run our government by a single individual. Conscious decisions by an individual do not constitute “inevitable.”

The initial quarantine measures were to “flatten the curve” and prevent healthcare capacity from being overwhelmed. It wasn’t to eradicate COVID-19. It wasn’t to completely prevent illness. It wasn’t to track and prevent citizens from developing flu-like symptoms. It certainly wasn’t intended to inevitably kill Maine’s economy.

With an important election coming up for everyone on November 3rd (regardless of your political opinions or preference), it is greatly concerning to me that we are using symptoms during an impending traditional flu season as an indicator and justification to potentially impact an important election.

The reality is, there’s still no real plan. No real details. No results on financial relief mechanisms, capricious and ever-changing requirements, and continually shifting objectives and goal posts. What we do see are unrealistic views on how businesses operate and exist in the world, without care for business owners. No understanding of the economy, with nothing but “wishes” and expectations of a federal bailout.

As noted, totalitarian means “relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state.” There’s no justification for centralized and dictatorial government under the guise of a public health care emergency that has not materialized to the extent it was forecasted. Most importantly, Maine isn’t inevitably forced to continue to subsist in this manner any longer, nor should we.

About Matt Leonard

Matthew Leonard, of Auburn, is a multi-tour combat veteran, former chamber of commerce president, business owner, and current candidate for the Maine State Senate. Leonard can be reached at mattjleonard@gmail.com.

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