Earlier today, Governor-Elect Greg Gianforte announced that his COVID-19 policies would be announced next week. The following is an open letter to Governor Gianforte with helpful encouragement to do what is right by the Montanans who elected him – and all Montanans – in regard to the Great Coronavirus Panic of 2020 that has so negatively affected our great state.
It is with the greatest respect and admiration that we write to you with input regarding the policies you will put into place at the beginning of your tenure as the 25th governor of our state.
Governor, our greatest hope and prayer is that you will exercise great caution – far more than shown by your predecessor – regarding the individual rights of our Citizens. We understand that if you do what is legitimately right by our populace, you will be in the minority (for now) among the governors in the 50 states. You will, should you do the right things, stand with Governor Noem of South Dakota in rejecting the alarmism and hysterics of a media that refuses to differentiate between science and conjecture, medicine and pseudo-science fanaticism.
We understand the dilemma. If you act according to the best possible and most current scientific studies on COVID-19, you will be acting against the advice of many within the medical community who have made a sacrilege of the Scientific Method and who have replaced genuine scientific inquiry with the conjecture of supposed consensus that is driven more by politics of Big Government than by sound medical research. Should you replace the draconian policies of your predecessor, Governor Bullock, you will be accused of devaluing human life for the sake of personal liberty.
While the medical community should be an important part of your counsel, it must not be your only counsel. You must also bend your ear to economists, clergy, mental health professionals, and business owners who all have an equal stake in the long-term wellbeing of our state.
Governor, the oath you will soon take binds your conscience to fulfill its vows to protect and uphold our Constitution. Caring for the physical safety of Montanans, while admirable, is not a part of the oath of your high office. And while public safety is certainly a concern of the governor, whatever measures you take to mitigate the threats of COVID-19 must be in keeping with your oath to uphold and defend our liberties as granted in the state constitution.
Your predecessor made clear in his many press conferences and public policy decisions that our liberties were not weighed into consideration regarding our public safety. This has not only been unconstitutional, but it has been immoral. God has placed you into a position to punish the wicked and praise the good (1 Peter 2:14). And contrary to the opinion of Helena bureaucrats and a number of unelected health officials around the state (particularly in Yellowstone, Gallatin, Missoula, Silver Bow, and Carter counties), it is not wicked to attend church, to run your small business, or visit your family.
We have seen in our great state these things – the ordinary but significant aspects of daily life – be discounted as selfish, cruel, heartless, or unloving. We have seen your predecessor blame – without an ounce of actual empirical evidence – freedom-loving Montanans for the spread of an illness that by all accounts is comparable in mortality figures to the seasonal flu. We have seen Governor Bullock’s public posture pit neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother, demonizing those with differing opinions on the severity of this virus or the wisest course of action to protect ourselves.
But Governor, please remember that your primary job is not to protect our lives, but to protect our liberties. While some will scoff at this notion, we make such a statement while standing upon the very foundations of our government and time-tested principles of Western Civilization. In short, you are honor-bound to first and foremost protect our freedoms even more so than our lives. You must be, unlike your predecessor, bound by the Constitution of the State of Montana.
We know Montanans because we are Montanans. And this intimate knowledge of our state and its fine people leads us to believe that every individual and every community is best suited to determine how to protect ourselves from the Wuhan Virus. What we need you to do is say no to government solutions that are much more dangerous than the virus itself.
We pray that you would avoid the obvious absurdities that have characterized Governor Bullock’s COVID-19 response. These absurdities include, but are not limited to, the idea that mass gatherings are okay in public schools but not churches, that Wal-Mart may remain open to sell products that small businesses provide but cannot because they have been shuttered via executive order, or that COVID-19 spreads worse after an arbitrarily-imposed curfew. We have endured, far beyond reason, policies that make little sense, built upon notions (for example) that the virus can spread inside establishments after 10PM worse than before 10PM or that the virus can be caught standing up in a restaurant more so than sitting down. None of these notions are scientific; they are instead superstitious and spurious.
We humbly ask that you immediately repeal the statewide mask mandate that is already largely unfollowed and equally unenforceable. There simply is no empirical and verified evidence that face-coverings prevent the spread of COVID-19 (as the warnings and disclaimers on their packaging admit). The same government that now tells us face coverings are the key to preventing COVID-19 is the same government that months into the pandemic told us that masks were unnecessary and should not be used.
Governor Bullock told the Montana people that the state Supreme Court has upheld both forced quarantines and forced vaccinations, a statement at roughly the six-minute mark of his initial mask declaration. As you are aware, the claim was not only dubious, but deceitful. Bullock referred, no doubt, to a 1905 ruling of the Montana Supreme Court upholding the requirement of a Billings woman to vaccinate her dog for rabies. But Governor, we are not dogs and COVID-19 is not rabies. Please repeal this mandate immediately.
Furthermore, numerous officials across our nation have recommended mandatory vaccinations for our citizenry. Please be aware, Governor Gianforte, that Montanans will not tolerate that discussion or suggestion and will receive it as terrorism at the hands of the government. We are armed and well prepared to guard our own personal autonomy when it comes to what we inject into our bodies and when. Simply put, this is not a decision of the state to make for its People who are prepared to invoke our Second Amendment liberties when tyranny demands it.
Additionally, it is most likely that the requirement for vaccination will be strongest not from government, but from private industry and Big Business. Airlines have suggested requiring proof of vaccination to travel, to give one example. Businesses have proposed requiring their employees to vaccinate in order to maintain employment. We need immediate action from the Governor’s Office to put Big Business on notice that any strong-arm coercion of Montana Citizens to inject unknown or hastily-tested substances into our body will not be tolerated. At no other time in American history has it been suggested that a specific medical decision must be made in order to conduct travel or business within our borders, and it is not an acceptable option in a free Republic.
Montana’s nickname has been bequeathed, “The Last Best Place.” Truly, so far as freedom is concerned, it might just be. And we elected you, our dear Governor, to preserve that heritage for our children.
We pledge to treat our neighbors with compassion, to protect the elderly and immune-compromised, and to not take health risks that are unnecessary. But with all due respect, those are decisions for us to make and not our elected (or all-too-often, unelected) officials.
In return, we desire that you pledge to diligently provide necessary public resources to our health departments and hospitals in a way that does not infringe upon our liberties.
Surely, as Patrick Henry would acknowledge, life without liberty is not worth living.