Opinion | Bruce Butler: Thanks, thoughts and tangents
Common Sense Conversations
I want to take this opportunity to thank the many people who responded to my Jan. 24 column, “Enough is enough.” The feedback was substantial and overwhelmingly positive. People have come to grips with the reality of COVID-19 and are tired of masks, mandates and hypocrisy. I, and many others, am glad the Summit County Board of Health did indeed lift the indoor mask mandate later that week, and I applaud the Board of Health for making the right decision.
To those who wrote me about their personal struggles during the pandemic, from lost employment to fractured families to deep depression, I have kept you in my thoughts and prayers. For those who need some extra help, please do not be afraid to ask for it. In Summit County, Building Hope is a resource that is available to you, and for all Colorado, please call Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-8255.
For those who were disappointed that I did not weigh in on masking school children, I assure you I think it is time to end the mask mandates for school-age children — and on buses and airplanes, too. Enough is enough!
For those who want a biweekly columnist in the Summit Daily News, with a 700-word limit, to write a doctoral dissertation disproving the effectiveness of masking, I simply say the burden needs to be on the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other regulatory authorities to prove that mask policies and other COVID-19 mandates are effective when imposing substantial limitations on citizens’ civil rights and liberties.
There is some hope, however. President Joe Biden delayed his State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress and the nation until March 1, presumably with some expectations that COVID-19 cases would be on the wane by then and that he could claim some success against the virus amid the otherwise bleak state of his presidency. This is an ideal off-ramp to announce the repeal of any remaining COVID-19 mandates.
The events in Canada the past two weeks should be a sobering wake-up call for all of us. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unleashed the full power of the Canadian government and military to disenfranchise, arrest, confiscate bank accounts, bankrupt and punish thousands of middle-class, blue-collar citizens who dared to peacefully protest ongoing COVID-19 mandates, while braving frigid temperatures, carrying freedom signs and singing the Canadian national anthem. One has to wonder if he had shown the courage to come out of his hiding place and address the citizens, how much of this debacle could have been averted?
The situation also begs the question, where is Neil Young, the illustrious Canadian arbiter of COVID-19 truth? Podcaster Joe Rogan was such an affront to Neil Young and humanity that he demanded his music catalog be removed from Spotify in protest, but meanwhile his home country’s prime minister is making a strong case for dictator of the year. I guess Neil Young’s new single will be titled, “Crickets.”
Meanwhile back in Colorado, I am glad to see that Gov. Jared Polis likes to make Silverthorne and Summit County a regular stop, most recently for his reelection campaign. Careful observers have, no doubt, noticed that Polis has artfully extracted Colorado from state-level mandates in the last round of COVID-19 rules and restrictions. I am grateful that he has done this, but why the triangulation from other blue states? Whether you support the governor or not, he is a smart guy and an accomplished strategist. He knows it is time to put COVID-19 mandates behind us. Stay tuned for a potential presidential campaign in 2024.
And on the governor’s trips along Interstate 70, I assume he has noticed that the road surface along segments of the highway between Denver and Summit County are approaching third-world condition. Yes, I know there is a state match required for highway funding, but the federal government continues to print, spend and waste insane amounts of money to our country’s economic detriment. There is no need for new taxes, just sensible priorities. Can’t we get I-70 and our underperforming interchanges at Exits 203 and 205 fixed?
Bruce Butler’s column “Common Sense Conversations” publishes biweekly on Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Butler is a former mayor and council member in Silverthorne, where he has lived for 20 years. Contact him at email@example.com.
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