The call to vigilance by Gale Long (“Beware of real danger,” Our Readers’ Views, March 22) should be well-heeded. Emergency powers assumed by the government at the beginning of a crisis are not quickly surrendered when the crisis is mitigated.
When the state of Washington began closing down citizens’ opportunities to gather, the churches (spiritual centers of all names) were at the top of the list. The closing of bars came three days later.
While these closures may be necessary, the precedent is uncomfortable.
Primary elections have been suspended or modified in at least six states. The federal Department of Labor is trying to prevent states (Washington and Oregon were prime targets) from publishing unemployment rates.
When we allow the central government to control the flow of information, we will not hear the whole truth. Irish politician and lawyer John Philpot Curran said in 1790, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”
Some things never change.