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Horowitz: A conservative blueprint for creating an American sanctuary through localism


Local government matters more than ever

Maksym Kapliuk/Getty Images

President Donald Trump won a majority of the vote in 83% of America's 3,000+ counties. Why don't business owners and ordinary Americans have a sanctuary to live free in even a fraction of those jurisdictions, especially those within red states? Why don't the elected officials reflect the values of the voters in those states?

We can complain about the appalling governance in deep blue cities until we are blue in the face, but the inconvenient reality is that most red states and counties are governed by Republicans who are nearly as passionate about the COVID cult as Democrats are. Even in deep red counties, children as young as 4 are needlessly going to school with diaper cloths on their faces for seven hours a day, and life as we know it has been ground to a halt.

It's time for patriots to gather in these counties and create teams to fight for liberty in areas where the values already reflect our worldview. Yes, Joe Biden will have a lot of latitude to make dangerous foreign policy decisions. But at the local level, which is what ultimately affects our lives most directly, we should easily be able to create sanctuaries for ordered liberty. Trump won 83% of the counties, and Republicans officially control 31 state legislatures and 24 trifectas. So where is our California?

In Wyoming? Republicans control every statewide office in Wyoming, along with a 28-2 majority in the state Senate and a 51-7 majority in the state House. Yet the state has a ridiculous mask mandate along with other draconian, unconstitutional, and anti-scientific rules. RINO Gov. Mark Gordon called his own people knuckleheads and blamed them for a spread that has now clearly become an immutably natural and global phenomenon based on seasonality. We can blame Joe Biden all we want, but if we have governors in Wyoming and West Virginia who send like Andrew Cuomo, then we are clearly doing something wrong.

What we've learned this past year is that local government matters more than ever. The reason churches and schools are cowed into draconian mask mandates and businesses are forced to severely limit their activities is not because they fear the federal government. They fear the county health department shutting them down, a decision that is ultimately backed by the potential enforcement of the local police or sheriff's department.

However, in a functioning republic where the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, at least in the counties where the people respect it, this scenario should be off the table. The police should stand shoulder to shoulder with the citizenry in opposing unconstitutional and often inhumane violations of basic human rights. The sheriff, county commissioners, county executive, prosecutor, and school board members should all reflect those values. If they don't, there is clearly something wrong with what we are doing, given that we hold the majority of the electorate in these parts of the country.

How is it that a woman can be tased and arrested for not wearing a mask at an outdoor middle school football game in Logan, Ohio? Trump won Hocking County, Ohio, by a 52-point margin, yet this is something straight out of China … or San Francisco. Trump won 81 out of 88 counties in Ohio, and Republicans hold 2-1 majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Yet Gov. DeWine is getting away with a statewide curfew and implementing severe unconstitutional mask mandates and curtailments of business, church, schools, and life. Shouldn't these edicts be non-starters in the overwhelming number of counties in the state? Well, they would be … if we were doing our job.

Our job headed forward is to organize community liberty teams in each county Trump won, at least those where he won comfortably. It doesn't take an army, just a dozen or two people to organize, pressure local officials, publish data and counternarratives in local media, and promote local candidates. Every one of these county Sons of Liberty chapters should clearly identify every local official based on his position regarding coronavirus fascism. If they are good, they should be promoted; if they are wobbly, they should be pressured; if they are tyrannical, they should be thrown out.

Members of these modern-day Sons of Liberty would either run for these offices themselves or recruit candidates. They include sheriffs who will not enforce unconstitutional edicts, county prosecutors who will not take those cases to court, school board officials who will have our kids return to normal life, and county commissioners/executives who will serve as bulwarks against state and federal officials by codifying these policies into local law.

These community liberty teams must also organize the old-fashioned way – by phone and group meetings – to circumvent the authoritarian censorship online. They should pledge support for local businesses that refuse to be shut down by tyrants in the form of patronage and providing physical, logistical, and legal help to stand together as a community.

Concurrently, these groups can work on state legislative elections and legislative strategy to ensure that their representatives, at least in red states, are promoting freedom at the state level and using every available tool to check the power of the governors and a potential President Joe Biden.

As these beacons of liberty and American sanctuaries make headlines, the brush fire for liberty will spread rapidly through hundreds and even thousands of counties and townships that begin to realize that lockdowns are all pain without any gain against the virus. Eventually, swing areas and even some lean-blue county governments will feel the pressure from their constituents. But it needs to begin in the rural areas where the spirit of liberty is relatively stronger.

The time has come to place a mask on tyrannical government. That filter between the people and the bigger governments is the local governments, community NGOs, and local businesses. Given that "all politics is local," shouldn't we control 83% of those units of government?
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