Opinion: Too much power in too few hands, says Canton resident
To the Editor:
Kathy Hochul proclaimed on January 5 that “the days of the governors overriding the rightful roles of the legislature are over.” Since when? On September 27, the newly crowned governor, anticipating staffing shortages at hospitals and nursing homes due to her impending deadline for mandatory COVID vaccinations, said these words in public: “I will be signing an executive order to give me the emergency powers necessary to address these shortages where they occur.” tinyurl.com/orders-from-the-queen In my opinion, the granting of her own emergency powers is sufficient ground to remove her from office.On March 5, 2021, the state legislature repealed the temporary emergency powers that were granted to Governor Cuomo at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. tinyurl.com/repeal-of-emergency-powers Our new governor, lacking these dictatorial powers, claims them by executive order. Whether or not you agree with her reasons for doing so is entirely beside the point. “One who exercises absolute power without legal warrant, whether ruling well or ill,” is, according to my Funk & Wagnalls dictionary (1943), the very definition of a tyrant.
Similarly, on December 6, our county government declared a state of emergency based on the false and inflammatory claim that there were, at that time, “15,459 confirmed cases” of COVID-19 in St. Lawrence County. tinyurl.com/declaration-state-of-emergency This is a misrepresentation, whether willful or ignorant. As of this writing, the number posted on the official county website has grown to 19,136 – but this is the total number of positive test results since the pandemic began, not the number of persons presently infected. Moreover, this number represents a 3.8% “cumulative positivity rate” among 492,968 COVID tests, which equals 440% of the county population. For every person who has never been tested for COVID, someone has been tested nine times – and every positive test result is counted as a “positive case” – even though the vast majority of these are multiple tests of the same persons. stlawco.org/covid-19-daily-update-center
There is a reason why we have, or used to have, checks and balances in this country. Too much power concentrated in too few hands, with little or no accountability, leads to the very sort of authoritarian rule that our founders overthrew by force and did their best to prevent from ever happening again. Those who rightly condemn the authoritarian acts of our former president should apply the same standards to our present governor and to all public officials.
Richard Hayes Phillips