We Choose to Resist

Published January 21, 2021

Once again, Americans face a time for choosing, and the stakes could not be higher.

In 2020, Americans endured some of the worst attacks on freedom in our nation’s history. Personal liberties were stifled. Businesses were shuttered. Trillions of dollars were “printed” out of thin air. Dissenters were silenced. Homes were raided. And after the questionable reported results of the 2020 elections, the outlook appears even bleaker in 2021. 

In the face of these assaults on freedom, some are staying silent, waiting for the storm to pass.

But not us. Like so many others throughout America’s Heartland, we have made our choice, and we choose to resist.

The Declaration of Independence states that all people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Further, state constitutions give legislatures, not governors, the power to create laws. Governors may only enforce the laws passed by legislatures. 

None of these foundational documents contain an “except” clause permitting the trampling of our basic freedoms and the assumption of dictatorial powers in the wake of a virus. Nor are there “except” clauses granting radical expansions of authority to fight climate change or pursue social justice causes. Our state and federal constitutions were designed to protect the people against such abuses. And yet, in their endless pursuit of power, leftists in both major political parties have tossed aside our rights and demanded the people cower in the face of government agents.

The Heartland Institute refuses to accept these unlawful infringements on our basic freedoms. All people are essential. All people’s livelihoods are essential. All people’s freedoms are essential. And contrary to the beliefs of so many in the ruling class, Walmart is not more essential than small businesses, and Starbucks is not more essential than family-owned restaurants. 

When government actors assume unlawful and dictatorial powers to impose mandatory cower-in-place orders and shut down people’s livelihoods, cronyism, corruption, and tyranny inevitably result.

I wish I could tell you that things are poised to get better on their own, but they are not. The forces that stripped away so many of our freedoms in 2020 have even bigger plans in 2021. More than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate have cosponsored a resolution to declare climate change a “national emergency.”

Similarly, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
expressed his desire for the Biden administration to circumvent Congress to impose permanent, COVID-19-like restrictions on our freedoms in the name of climate change.

“The climate crisis is an emergency,” Merkley said, adding that Biden should use “every tool available to him, including declaring a national climate emergency and using emergency powers to take unilateral executive action.”

When Americans sit idly by while government actors take away their “small” freedoms, those government actors soon take away “larger” freedoms, too, and invent new justifications for doing so.

So, we here at The Heartland Institute choose to resist, and we are starting by launching our “Governors, Not Gods” program, which is aimed at empowering state legislators to defeat governors’ unlawful lockdown orders and election rules. 

Our monthly Health Care News publication, which is mailed to every federal and state legislator, regularly provides the truth about coronavirus-related medical issues.

We will soon be mailing to hundreds of thousands of teachers our Climate at a Glance teacher’s manual, which will provide concise, lesson-oriented facts about climate realism. And these activities are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Heartland Institute chooses to resist, and in so doing, we choose individual rights over government tyranny, small businesses over crony corporations, and freedom over fear. 

I ask you now to choose to join us in this worthy endeavor. Your support has never been more important