Price of freedom is eternal vigilance
The Cape Gazette has been carrying those watchwords on its front page since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. They were painfully important then; they are painfully important now.
In the case of the 9/11 attacks, our freedom was threatened by an act of war perpetrated by outside enemies determined to destroy our way of life.
Currently, our freedom is threatened by injustices such as the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer. That tragedy unfolded within the context of a pressure-cooker atmosphere created by lockdowns from well-meaning government leaders attempting to curb the deadly spread of the mysterious coronavirus.
Vigilance in the guise of citizens armed with cellphone cameras witnessing the Floyd killing sparked one of the strongest social justice movements of the last half-century. That movement and vigilance have the potential for a major protection of our freedom by democratic efforts at all levels to revolutionize law enforcement and significantly curb abuse of power.
Regarding the coronavirus, its illness can not only rob us of our freedom but also our lives. Strong action in the uncertain early days of the epidemic was totally justified.
However, we have also seen that to ensure that associated restrictions of our individual liberties don’t become permanent, we have had to become vigilant about gathering accurate information regarding the disease so we could push back responsibly and question authority where it made sense.
Democracy can best protect our freedoms when, as conservatives or liberals, we use well-informed vigilance to provide sound reasoning to those we elect to lead us.
Being well-informed means finding trusted sources of news from a variety of different directions, and being willing to listen to opposing viewpoints to better sharpen our own positions.
Cape Gazette is committed to publishing accurate reporting about the activities of our local governments, and a wide variety of opinions in our Viewpoints pages. The well-informed push and pull of our political institutions and eternal vigilance toward injustice will give us our best shot at a free and stable society where all can prosper.