Updated: Feb 18
After 9/11, we praised the “first responders” – the firemen and police officers who charged into the burning World Trade Centers, giving up their lives to save others. These men and women were lauded for what they are – heroes. They displayed a level of courage that few people can ever muster. For years after that tragic day, people wore NYPD and FDNY hats and shirts to honor their sacrifice. But over the last two years, we have been told that the same police officers we praised for their courage and sacrifice are vile racists. Politicians have passed legislation to defund the police based solely on that unproven charge of racism. So, people who would never go into a burning building to save another human being, who would never run toward the bullets to protect others have taken essential resources away from those who would. People who surround themselves with armed guards for their own protection, have stripped the funding for the people who job it is to protect everyone else.
During the first year of the pandemic, we praised the “frontline medical workers”, nurses and doctors who risked their lives caring for dying Covid patients. Day in and day out, they went to the hospitals, donned their PPE gear, and stared this deadly pathogen in the face, trying to save the lives of the infected and dying. Now, the livelihoods of many of these same frontline workers are being taken away because they refuse to take experimental vaccines that the government and private hospitals are mandating. Once again, people who would never risk their lives for another person, who remained as far from the frontline of this pandemic as possible, are firing the people who have manned the frontline for the past 2 years, resulting in a dangerous hospital care shortage at the time we can least afford it.
We also praised “essential workers”, like truck drivers, for risking their lives to bring us the necessities to live as we remained locked down in our homes, scared and protected from a virus that these essential workers confronted every day. Now, we are being told to hate the very same truck drivers because they have the temerity to protest for their rights and freedom from a heavy handed and overly intrusive government. The very people who were too scared to even leave their homes during Covid want to destroy a group of people who went out and faced Covid head on to keep our country running, our people fed, and our economy alive.
But this is the way it works. This is what happens when the elites have the power. They believe they are the special class of people with special privileges and protections, and their virtue is more important than everyone else’s lives. The elites praise people who risk their lives to provide the elites the necessities they need, but as soon as those same people have the courage to stand up for what they need, their courage becomes inconvenient to the elites, and they vilify them. We are seeing this with the Freedom Convoy in Canada, and the ones springing up around the world. The truck drivers were our heroes when we needed them to bring us our food, and other essential goods, but now when they want something – their freedom, they are attacked and denigrated.
Police officers, frontline medical workers, and truck drivers are more essential to our country and to our lives, then the very people who are trying to destroy them right now. This pandemic has proven these people have the one characteristic that the elites will never have – courage. Most politicians and government bureaucrats are cowards. They hide behind their offices and bureaus, and bully people less powerful into submission. This is why politicians like Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, want to crush the Freedom Convoy, and why French officials have ordered the police to attack the trucker protest that rose up in Paris, and why Joe Biden is advising Justin Trudeau to use federal power to break up the protests, and why TD Bank has frozen over $1 million donated to the truckers.
But these protests were inevitable because the very people who have the courage to risk their lives on a daily basis for the greater good, also have the courage to stand up for what is right. They face death every day, so does anyone actually believe they will shrink away from heavy-handed politicians or bureaucrats? They are just as willing to stand up for everyone’s rights and freedom as they are to risk their lives for others.
By fighting against mandates and protesting for freedom, these people are simply doing what they always do, courageously standing up for the rest of us. They know that if the government is allowed to continue to strip us of our freedom and rights as they have done during Covid, the politicians will never give our freedom and rights back. The powers that the politicians bestowed upon themselves during the pandemic will be seized again and again at the politicians’ discretion based on the flimsy guise of protecting the greater good. But as we have seen the last two years, it is not the politicians or the bureaucrats who protect us and the greater good, it is the police officers, the fire fighters, the frontline medical workers, and the truckers, the very people the politicians are trying to destroy, who have the courage to protect, provide for and save us. And right now, they are standing up across the globe, not merely fighting for their own, but everyone’s freedom and rights.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.