CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., April 13, 2022 — Local candidates for mayor are counting on memory loss among voters so they can take office without having to account for government’s spasmodic cough-in-your-face Covid-19 tantrum.
Matt Hullander, Sabrena Smedley and Weston Wamp — Republicans fighting for county mayor May 3 — are united in not wanting to bring to the voter’s mind the humiliating overthrow of lawful government engineered from afar and implemented in Hamilton County.
There seems little shock, amazement or concern among the three that the wrongs done by Gov. Bill Lee starting March 12, 2020, might be repeated. The scorched-earth exercise of lockdowns and martial law brought state-owned occupations such as doctoring into a venomous lockstep with the “emergency,” bringing hundreds and thousands of deaths beyond those caused directly by complications of the SARS-CoV-2 version of the seasonal flu.
Voters are being asked to ratify the replacement of complicit county mayor Jim Coppinger. The candidates say they appreciate Mr. Coppinger and say almost in unison they won’t “throw him under the bus” as they run for office.
People who vote won’t be able to complain once the balloting winner takes office. Nonvoters will have the right to say, “See, I told you so!”
The candidates are united in promising leadership, local control, local interest in local people, conservative values and deep commitment to the county and its 367,000 inhabitants and residents.
Matt Hullander, in a debate, says on March 15 that Jim Coppinger has done well in office.
“If I’m fortunate enough to become mayor, I have big shoes to fill. Jim Coppinger has done a great job, and as he knows the mayor wears many hats. This race is not about one priority or two priorities, it’s about lots of priorities. I know how to multitask. This role needs leadership.”
Sabrena Smedley says she looks forward “to sharing my vision for Hamilton County when it comes to education, public safety, infrastructure and economic development and opportunities or Hamilton County citizens.”
Asked whether she supports — and doesn’t oppose — limited government, she says, “I’m a conservative. I support limited government. And we keep government limited by keeping things local and accountable to the people. I believe that God created all of us in his image, with rights, and we live in a free country to exercise those rights. And I believe in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. And, as a conservative, I want to as mayor to make sure that decisions made locally are made local. And that’s how we make government limited and accountable to the people.”
Mrs. Smedley hits hard the Christian angle — Christian, perhaps, but without the sharp edge the gospel puts on the high duty of magistrate and officer — and on the people who put up with wrongdoing and evil by judge, magistrate, chief or lord. She is trying to connect with her churchgoing voter, but without getting into messy particulars.
And without taking hold of the gospel as a weapon for liberty.
The messy particulars involve, chiefly, the role of the lesser magistrate when evil comes, and when temptation comes to the holder of the office. Temptation, chiefly, is in ignoring the limit, ignoring the law, overthrowing the rights of the people in pursuit of a higher duty, say — “safety” or “public safety” or “public health.”
Tennessee and Hamilton County followed the communist model of public health, which is based not in science, put in ideology. Michael Senger notes in a book about the role of the Chinese red party in the lockdown concept, governments globally followed a Marxist and totalitarian rationale in imposing a scorched-earth control of people and local economies, and seeing to it (with colleagues spread all about) that the lockdown method be copied.
“Senger has developed a lean, straightforward thesis that aims to cut the Gordian knot of what has befallen us,” says reviewer Steve Kirsch.
He lays responsibility for lockdowns at the feet of the Chinese Communist Party, and in particular Xi Jinping. In the strictest sense, he is surely right here: None of our countries would have locked down, if China hadn’t done so first and convinced the World Health Organisation that mass containment was effective.
Senger’s thesis, however, is more precise than that. He sees lockdowns as a manifestation of fang kong, Mandarin for “prevent” or “control” – a broader, ideologically loaded concept that extends to things like the isolation or internment of political dissidents and mass surveillance. “Xi’s lockdown of Wuhan,” he writes (p. 44) had been inspired by the CCP’s pet hybrid of public health and security policy: Fangkong, the same policy that inspired the reeducation and “quarantine” of over one million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities “infected with extremism” throughout Xinjiang and Tibet.
Xi Jinping, in Senger’s telling, then leveraged extensive Chinese relationships with political, media and academic actors throughout the West, to establish lockdowns as a “global policy” in “one of the most audacious psychological operations in all of recorded history” (p. 42).
Michael P. Senger, Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World (2021). 220pp. ISBN: 978-1957083780. $10.99
This rejection of constitutional government for a communist substitute by public officials in Tennessee was universal — with the rare exception of a Tennessee mayor, Andy Ogles of Maury County, and several district attorneys who openly refused to enforce “mask mandates.”
In Hamilton County, no official stood openly for constitutional government on those grounds. No official demanded to know the nonfraudulent exigency for the state of emergency and the state of martial law. There was no warrant, cause, legal basis, lawful ground or nonfraudulent exigency for any county “directive” pretendedly aimed at the general public and the inhabitants, generally speaking.
Office holders, and now candidates, assumed all was lawful, all was in order. They didn’t check. They didn’t noisily ask the right dumb question — “By what authority?” They assumed the claimed authority was rooted in the grants of law that regulate the government.
‘Immediately, if not sooner’
They didn’t consult the constitution. They didn’t look up “communicable disease law Tennessee” on Google or DuckDuck to see what the law says regarding contagions. They didn’t do the basic legwork of a man or woman who swears before God to uphold the constitution.
As relator in our mandamus case, I made oral arguments about this lack of a nonfraudulent exigency 60 days ago, on YouTube, before three honorable Tennessee appellate court judges. I filed suit Oct. 2, 2020, or 561 days ago. A petition for a writ of mandamus — filed when an official is violating a law — is an emergency action, due solution in 14 days (under the federal standard, and “forthwith” in Tennessee law — i.e., immediately, if not sooner).
The judges are dillydallying in their support of my sufficient and proper action, and are figuring out how to lie their way around all the vital and true claims I make.
No official asked this essential question about the nonfraudulent exigency. They didn’t ask in 2020. They’re not asking now. It’s as if they hadn’t noticed that Tennessee went commie for nearly two years, with vast damage, and a mass casualty event of the venomous jabs in progress this very hour.
In listening to their debates, it’s easy to forget what evils befell us starting March 2020. They are giving us amnesia.
On a 1 to 10 scale, the rankings
The most articulate of the three candidates is Weston Wamp, who liberally discusses the doctrines of federalism, and that part of the American rule of law. Because he is a man of ideas, and familiar with the basic outlines of our objections to the status quo, he is a step ahead of his rivals.
Mr. Hullander and Mrs. Smedley get a 2 on a 1-to-10 scale of likely performance in resisting tyranny in the several coming crises, the approach of which is troubling to watch.
Mr. Wamp gets a 3. The doctrine of resistance and interposition is not part of his concept of federalism, which has the lesser magistrate doctrine as the trigger. Mr. Wamp has not found the trigger, and makes no promises about the role of mayor to defy wrongdoing, crime or felony from remote quarters, be they Nashville or Washington.