During these times of uncertainty, we’d like to believe that our governmental leaders, both locally and federally, are working to do what is best for our nation and the people who claim citizenship. However, it’s been proven time and time again in recent weeks and days that some of these leaders have a tendency to be a bit overreaching, if not outright tyrannical.
Now, upon first thought, many of you reading this are likely to imagine me going into yet another rant on the many shortcomings of Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer, as she seems to be leading the pack in the ways she can stifle the freedoms of her people. But alas, I am not.
Instead, my topic of conversation, although similarly being a female Democratic governor, resides quite a bit farther to the west. Enter New Mexico’s governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham.
While Whitmer has banned people from gardening or painting their homes, Lujan Grisham has quite literally locked people inside the city of Gallup.
Gallup, a city of about 22,000 according to 2018 records, has recently seen a massive spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the area. And as a result, the governor is simply shutting all traffic off going to or from the city.
According to The Hill, “New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced she is putting the city of Gallup on lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases in the area. The governor said in a statement that starting Friday at noon she is closing all roads leading into Gallup from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily and that vehicles can only have two people maximum.”
Talk about overbearing.
The Hill reported the governor stating, “The spread of this virus in McKinley County is frightful, and it shows that physical distancing has not occurred and is not occurring. The virus is running amok there. It must be stopped, and stricter measures are necessary. A problem in one part of our state, with a virus this dangerous and this contagious, is a problem for our entire state.”
Sounds kind of like a child being punished for reckless behavior, doesn’t it? Things got a bit out of control, and now the adult is stepping in to put everything back in order.
Although, in the governor’s defense, it isn’t like Lujan Grisham was left with much of a choice.
Firstly, it is to be noted that the city of Gallup has indeed been infected far worse than most of the rest of the state. Information details that the city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus in recent weeks, which is more than a third of all cases statewide and just about five percent of all city residents.
Secondly, the city is in the midst of a mayoral change. To make the transition smoother and to also address the rapid spread of the virus there, both the former mayor and the incoming one met to discuss the issue, agreeing that this measure should be taken. And so they asked the governor to step in and put it in place.
However, that doesn’t mean that Lujan Grisham had to say yes.
Indeed, something needed to be done in the area to stop the spread. Lujan Grisham could have instead worked with the new mayor to encourage his citizens to promote safer social distancing or something. But shutting down the entire town from the surrounding areas? This is a bit extreme, even by Democratic standards.
Already the state is hearing complaints from local Native American leaders of the Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Nation in the surrounding area. Where most people from these tribes live, Gallup is the nearest and only city in which they can restock their supplies and groceries. Therefore, shutting the city down is essentially starving these people out.
My gut tells me that Lujan Grisham and Gallup’s mayor won’t be able to keep these “stricter measures” intact for long. It’s unlikely that the people will see this act as something actually good for the city. Let’s just say that state police checking every vehicle on the road after business hours for legitimate reasons isn’t going to sit well with a population that is supposed to be free.