Unshackling the commonwealth

So his majesty King Tom is letting us have a little more freedom — well, in a month. Because, of course, so much is likely to change between now and then.

The lifting of restrictions — most of them, anyway — is long overdue, and while we support this move by Gov. Wolf, we continue to object to his heavy-handed, unilateral rule over the commonwealth regarding the coronavirus.

We’ll be almost 15 months into his 15-day shutdown by Memorial Day, and while we agree a longer stay was necessary, we foresee a long wait before the end of oppression is upon us.

We, the voters, can of course remedy that in a couple weeks. There are two constitutional amendments on the ballot regarding this, and we cannot encourage strongly enough that you vote in favor, at last giving the legislative branch a say, rather than one ruler over all.

Although the holiday is a somber one, those hurt by the governor’s iron fist will finally — maybe — have reason to celebrate. Because, let’s face it, he can change his mind anytime.

We have to agree with Kerry Benninghoff, state House majority leader and one of our local representatives, who said in response to the announcement, “Today’s announcement is undoubtedly welcomed news for a Commonwealth that has suffered for far too long under unilateral and often confusing mitigation orders that have done untold damage to our children’s education, our economy and Pennsylvania’s future. Unfortunately for many hard-working Pennsylvanians trying to live the American dream, this announcement might come too late.”


And while removal of the mask mandate can’t come soon enough, don’t expect to see it anytime soon. The 70% vaccinated threshold the governor is holding against us seems like a difficult threshold to reach thanks to the significant number of Pennsylvanians who choose not to get one.

Interestingly, we hear that from many Trump supporters, overlooking the fact that the development of the vaccine and in record time was a promise kept for the former president.

Perhaps the governor could make the math more favorable — and more realistic — by deducting those who truly cannot get a vaccine for medical reasons from the population.

Or he can just set a date and let those who choose not to be vaccinated live with the potential consequences. Then we can all make a free choice whether to wear a mask, or to risk COVID and its unpleasant effects.

How many of those who will be honored May 31, who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of freedom, would agree?


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