Time to turn the American engine on again


“Fear Not.” These are the words that Mary heard from the Angel Gabriel who then told her that “she had found great favor in the Lord,” announcing that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus.

Even Mary found fear in the face of the unknown and needed to be reassured.  Mary knew the path ahead would be hard as an unwed pregnant girl, and could not see more than the next footstep before her, yet she listened, believed and embraced her blessing.

Upon Jesus’ birth, according to the Book of Luke, an angel appeared to shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem saying, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great job that will be for all the people.”

In fact, “be not afraid” and “fear not” are among the most common messages from God to his people.

Is it any wonder that even Americans who are accustomed to freedoms foreign to many of the people around the world, have been so easily convinced to engage in social distancing in response to the China originated COVID-19 virus? Fear is a powerful motivator.

However, fear is the enemy of freedom and it is time for President Trump to lay a pathway forward for America’s economic re-opening that our nation’s governors can use as a guidepost for jumpstarting America as we enter the rapid downward trajectory of the viruses impact arc.

Yesterday, President Trump told the nation, “We’re very close to completing a plan to open our country.” And we really need that.

Now today, President Trump is convening a special council on re-opening the economy consisting of key economic leaders in the nation.  In order to overcome the health fears, this panel will help inform America about the economic damage being done by the social distancing strategy while using their combined wisdom to develop a way forward to re-open the economy as fast as possible and help ensure the survival of the free market system.

The obvious emphasis should be on the local situations facing each state and individual community.  It makes little sense to create a one-sized fits all strategy.  The New York City metropolitan area has different legitimate concerns than Casper, Wyoming and these differences should be respected in any national guidelines created.

Lives being saved is important, and that is why President Trump called the decision on when to re-open the economy the toughest one that he has to make.  It is imperative that the President also be aware of the lives cost from the suicides, drug overdoses and addiction and the other deaths of despair that go hand in hand with economic depression.  And that is what our nation is dangerously close to falling into.

In about six weeks, our nation has gone from the best economy in at least 70 years with the fewest number of people unemployed than at any time since the year 2000 to unprecedented levels of unemployment insurance claims indicating that the unemployment numbers may be approaching 20 million.  Six weeks ago, small businesses were optimistic and thriving, with a month and a half into the social distancing disaster, Main Street is in danger of resembling an old West ghost town.

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Now it will be up to this council to take steps to re-open America.  There will be a risk in re-opening our economy, but it is certain that our nation will face a long-term economic disaster if we don’t restore our nation’s freedoms.

President Trump faced a terrible decision when the virus started washing over our shores. He has been operating on a full alert status using every waking hour in the fight to contain and mitigate the virus.  He willingly sacrificed his economic legacy in order to protect America from a projected million plus deaths.  Now, it is time for America to overcome fear and begin the process of turning free enterprise loose so American greatness can be restored.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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