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Authority resides with the people

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • May. 06, 2020 - 9:39 AM

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Authority resides with the people

The Newnan Times-Herald

I have spent 100% of my time over the last few months serving, informing and caring for our amazing community as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is so abundantly clear that many of us are struggling with fear, anxiety and pain as we fight to adapt and understand this new threat. I have worked to stay informed and share fact-based information with those that I serve, especially since so much information is polluted with political bias and hidden agendas.

The calculus involved in responding to this situation MUST include physical, economic and spiritual needs. The vast majority of reporting you read is speculation. Opinions on the “right” way to respond are as varied as the “news” sources that promote them. We need to find our “new normal” that addresses this virus without ignoring the realities of a functional civil society. A healthy life is more than just a medical equation.

It is also clear to me that government control is NOT the answer. The response in states who have willingly traded their liberty for a sense of security, as well as those who have respected the founding principles of our country, have proven one basic truth: personal responsibility has been the primary determinant on the success or failure of mitigation measures.

The citizens are, and should be, the arbiters of responsible behavior. I believe we should be doing everything we can to slow the spread of this virus AND we should not give up a single ounce of our liberty to elected government bureaucrats. “We the people” can, and should, responsibly get our country back to work while doing everything in our power to protect the medically fragile.

Risk is dynamic, especially in a complex adaptive system like this. When we add a mitigation factor to address one aspect of risk it impacts other risk factors in uncertain ways. Reducing risk in one place may disproportionately increase risk in another area. Be vigilant and be adaptive.

Again, the only reason I share this is to help you mentally, physically and spiritually prepare for what lies ahead. The peaks and valleys for this virus have only just begun. I have been a supporter of strong social distancing measures AND in strong opposition of a government forced shutdown from the very beginning. This is only a contradiction if you believe ultimate authority lies with the government.

I believe ultimate authority resides where the founders placed it: with the people. We must all have a clear understanding of the real danger to many human lives both from the virus and the effects on our economy.

We must then take stock of what the “new normal” looks like for our family and steel our mind, body and soul to prepare for what is to come. Together we can get through this crisis and be stronger for it.

Stay safe out there and God bless.

Representative Philip Singleton