Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures.
This past year we have faced a novel virus. In the midst of our need for exceptional measures, it is easy to lose sight of the fact our liberties are not conditional gifts from the state. Rather, we are endowed by our creator with certain "natural rights," and the state exists to protect those rights.
The state may curtail our rights during emergencies and limit the ways we are able to educate our children. It may prohibit businesses from engaging in free commerce, and suspend our right to assemble.
But it is essential that our elected officials be transparent about the goal of the restrictions on our liberties so that we may recognize when the goal has been met. We are no longer seeking to "flatten the curve," and we have little worry of our health care system being overwhelmed.
So what is our current goal? To eradicate the virus? To save as many lives as reasonably possible? To save lives at any cost?
Without having an explicit goal, it is all too easy for temporary emergency powers to become indefinite and permeant.
Monte Knetter, Sun Prairie