Pandemic Lessons Learned

By J. Alexandra Tuttle

During this pandemic, our nation has had nearly three months to reflect on many policies inherited from previous administrations. We have been forced to adhere to draconian ‘stay at home’ orders after our Constitution and Bill of Rights were cast aside. 

We have also been able to spend countless hours in self-reflection.  As a clinical social worker, I often took at things from a macro as well as a micro perspective. After this difficult period of time, there are lessons to be learned.

From a macro perspective, our nation has been preoccupied with this pandemic. Meanwhile, China has threatened to withhold pharmaceuticals and hoarded personal protective equipment (PPE), while they continually hack our government/businesses to appropriate our intellectual property, including development of a COVID-19 vaccine.  I don’t think many of us realized how heavily dependent the U.S. has been on China.

However, Members of Congress definitely knew about this vulnerability. Our highly paid politicians have left us exposed and beholden to a communist country. That never should have happened.  President Trump rightly plans to re-evaluate programs and trade deals in order to strengthen and secure the lives of American citizens. However, instead of working with the president on resolving issues to improve the lives of the American people, the Democrat-led US House of Representatives is eagerly planning an impeachment redux – much like the one they engineered during the months leading up to the Pandemic.  

As the pandemic recedes, what have our elected officials learned? As importantly, what have we learned about our elected officials?

Furthermore, many of us experienced an unexpected ‘crash course’ on the Constitution during the pandemic.  The purpose of the Constitution is to establish a limited government.  The First Amendment pertains to basic freedoms of religion, speech and the right to assemble, which some of those elected politicians WHO WORK FOR ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ seemingly have forgotten. 

We have seen our liberties infringed upon by those who tout the illusion of safety over liberty.  We have also been bullied and threatened.  It was a wake-up call when New Jersey Democrat Governor Phil Murphy said in response to those violating the state’s shutdown orders, that he “‘didn’t think about the Bill of Rights,’ and that the Constitution which he swore to uphold was ‘above (his) paygrade.’” This has been an important exercise that proved how easily we have fallen in line with the dictates of those who work for us.  

What have our elected officials learned?  And what have we learned about them? 

Thomas Jefferson noted that the ‘government derives its powers from the people.’ A review of the 9th Amendment may be in order for our elected officials, since it notes ‘the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’  It is time for our elected officials to be required to take a class on the Constitution prior to swearing their oath of office.  

What have you learned or been reminded of concerning your rights as an American citizen? 

During this pandemic, we have increased our nation’s debt to well over $25 trillion. After the last two administrations also increased our national debt, we continue to find ourselves on an unsustainable track.  We have witnessed the governors of states such as Illinois and California request a federal bailout because they too, have failed to rein in spending and have mismanaged taxpayer dollars prior to the pandemic.  Rainy day fund?  

What have our elected leaders learned about managing their state/nation’s budget?

We have heard stories about ten thousand cars lining up at a foodbank distribution center in San Antonio.  Many, I’m sure, never thought they would find themselves in this situation. Again, do you have a rainy-day fund? An emergency food supply? 

What have you learned about managing your finances?

As America begins to resurface from this pandemic, we have much to reconsider personally, as well as how we get our country back on track to honoring the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

J. Alexandra Tuttle is a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee 

Montgomery County Republican Party