Action that abridges freedom should be justified with empirical evidence

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reservedSadly history shows that a good bit of our, and any, populace act as sheep following the crowd and noise mindlessly, hence the term sheeple.

Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote a great column about government overreach in time of crisis and it included this paragraph that rightly describes the sheeple:

“Why is this happening? Throughout history, free people have been willing to accept the devil’s bargain of trading liberty for safety when they are fearful. We supinely accept the shallow and hollow offers of government that somehow less liberty equals more safety.”

This “devil’s bargain” is repeated time and again and it is true that sometimes, rarely, a specific temporary surrendering of some liberty to authority to fight an eminent threat is warranted but the bar for such action should be extremely high.

A high bar for action means Governor Abbott and local leaders should not act as sheeple themselves, herded by the public panic and corresponding political pressure…

Did the people who pushed hard all week for a statewide closure of all restaurant dining rooms offer empirical evidence that serving food in well spaced dining rooms is any more of a threat for viral spread than people coming up one after another, all day, and getting takeout handed them by various waiters of a different type? Is there truly any less exposure, epidemiologically speaking, when hundreds line-up in a drive-through lane and each one of them interacts with various restaurant employees at an open window who in turn interact with hundreds more still coming up to the window all day and night?

If such evidence exists, I saw none of it presented or noted in any of the media stories pushing this extra-step of government lockdown on people’s freedom which, beyond inconvenience which we can take, is literally putting millions instantly out of work and likely bankrupting many of the small businesses that feed us.

A high bar for action means Governor Abbott and local leaders should not act as sheeple themselves, herded by the public panic and corresponding political pressure, but should back any decisions which trample on our rights with evidence based in sound science and not solely upon a group of unknown so-called experts’ so-called “common sense” or opinion.


Update: Texas Supreme Court opinion regarding government emergency powers may foreshadow future rulings; Let’s Not Pretend This Is Constitutional


  1. Mary Blandin says

    These so-called leaders should remember that we are not their children. We are their employers. Unfortunately, too many people choose to stay children, willing to let fools with titles tell them what to do.

  2. Laura Kent says

    Mr Pratt can you please make a concerted effort to pound sense into Abbott’s and Patrick’s hard heads and save so many of us extreme greif before we get arrested for being normal human beings

  3. Michael Barnett says

    The ordinarily amusing topiary at the corner of 58th and Indiana that looks a bit like Charlie Brown is themed with Freedom in commemoration of Independence Day. Yet, the murmur of FREEDOM by “Happy Face Bush” is muffled behind a fashionably designed mask. William Wallace, this is not. Irony, this is.

  4. Michael Barnett says

    -George Orwell, 1984 ch. 5
    The world view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them.
    -Aldous Huxley, Brave New World ch. 16
    They’re so conditioned that they can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. One believes things because one is conditioned to believe them.

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