, Newburyport, MA

February 13, 2013

Patrick's idea of 'protection' is too much

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I wish to express my profound displeasure about Governor Deval Patrick’s executive order limiting travel during the recent blizzard. On the surface it looks well-intentioned: allowing quicker, safer clearance of snow and protecting drivers from the dangers of travel in such poor conditions. However, there are at least two objections that override such considerations:

1) The profound limiting of personal freedom by executive order is inherently oppressive. It begs the question, what will be next? The same logic behind Patrick’s executive order would apply to a snowstorm with expected accumulation of 12 inches. Then again, perhaps we should readily give up freedom for a nor’easter bringing a couple of inches of wind-driven rain. When does it stop? And when does it go beyond weather to any other issue the government considers necessary for our “safety and security”?

2) The increasing tendency of government to act as a nanny is inherently insulting to intelligent, responsible people. This can take various forms and be endorsed in various ways. Examples would include New York City’s banning of soft drinks over 16 ounces to promote better health. Or celebrity Chris Rock’s recent comments about how First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama are “kind of like the mom and dad of the country” (Rock also called the president “our boss”).

So, we need to decide what kind of citizens we wish to be in our state and our country, and how we want our duly elected leaders to govern. Do we really want our president, whether he be Barack Obama, George W. Bush, etc., or any of our other elected officials, to act as our dad and be governed accordingly as children who can’t be trusted with freedom?

Thomas Savastano