I would have attended the Operation Gridlock protest in Lansing earlier this week, but I had important business to handle. With the shutdown of gardening stores across the state, it has put a great deal of strain on my small business. We have had to rely primarily on orders over the internet and that has resulted in crunch of funds during a time of anticipated growth that has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I thank the patriots who showed up to fight on my behalf and on behalf of the thousands of small business owners who are being crippled due to emergency measures. This is not about white people not playing golf or protecting our ability to perform superfluous leisure activities. This is about people of all colors losing what they have spent their lives building. This is about the American dream dying before our very eyes.
The rally was extremely galvanizing and divisive. My heart goes out to people who oppose the protests as well. There are health care workers who were inconvenienced because of the city-wide traffic jam in the Capitol. Although the hospital system made it clear that there were no negative impacts because of the protest, the added stress for healthcare workers cannot be discounted. The last thing we would ever want to do is make it harder for the first responders helping us dig our way out if this terrible ordeal.
With that being said, the protest was incredibly necessary. These shut-down orders, while well-intentioned, are not working. Gardening supplies are banned but you can buy liquor to poison your body. Michigan residents can’t buy paint but they can buy lottery tickets. People are waiting in horrible pain having to hold off their so-called elective surgeries while abortions continue unabated. It is completely arbitrary, and the time to push back is now.
During this time of mass hysteria, government officials are rushing to outdo each other and show their strong leadership by curtailing our liberties. Other even more sinister officials are just pushing us to see what they can get away with. If Americans roll over and surrender their rights because of coronavirus panic, it will not be difficult for them to do it during the next crisis whether it is real or promulgated. It will mean the death of the Republic and our civilization.
Was the Operation Gridlock loud and messy? Yes, it was. Were there people there with flags and signs that were less than politically correct? There sure were. Any grassroots protest movement has these types of things happen. But it was more than necessary. Detractors would say that there was risk involved, but was there not risk involved for the Founding Fathers? They put their lives and their sacred honor on the line despite their faults to secure our liberty. Driving in cars and taking flak from an angry opposition is a small sacrifice in comparison to what they did for liberty.
Founding era revolutionary Thomas Paine said on Dec. 23, 1776: “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
We should heed those words and proceed accordingly. The times ahead will be tough, but we must not waver in our fight for liberty. We have to muster all the courage inside of us amidst the struggle. I hope to be in attendance at the next protest and see you right beside me.
Proprietor of Edenz Hydro & Garden Superstore