It’s good to talk about positive stories and the excellent work by the Liberty Township Trustees, Tom Ferrell, Steve Schramm, and Todd Minniear, to pass Resolution NO. 2022-062 (the Reaffirming Our Commitment to Constitutional Principles) on June 7th, 2022. It was something unique and memorable. It was good to see government on the local level taking proactive action that was meaningful. And as I pointed out in speaking in favor of it, after Covid and the many government failures in reaction to it, the investment world needed something to reassure everyone that should something as disastrous as Covid ever happen again, there was a plan to deal with it. We, at this point, have to plan for some form of that eventuality in the political world we live in, that at the very least, local government will work on behalf of the people of their community to at least ask constitutionally based questions on the merits and legality. It was a horrible circumstance that all our laws and regulations were turned away from our systems of elections and were turned entirely over to health officials in Ohio and Butler County, which were unconstitutional in many tragic ways. So it took a considerable amount of leadership from the Liberty Township Trustees to take a proactive measure to reassure the public that local government was still in charge and would be in the future.
At first, when this idea of talking about making Liberty Township something of a Constitutional Zone it sounded to me like a redundant message. After all, all public officials take an oath to the Constitution, both federal and state, so by saying that they were a Constitutional Township was like saying the sun was out on a sunny day at the beach. That is until I went to Liberty Center to have lunch and noticed that the playground there was still shut down after two years of Covid protocols. Many of those protocols look ridiculous in hindsight. Still, when the playground was shut down, there had been movies about pandemics and various zombie apocalypses that had satisfactorily terrified the public, which health officials exploited for global gains of political power, which is a subject that we could write books on. Those books are emerging to tell those stories of deceit and corruption. But as to kids and the playground at Liberty Center, it’s a nice place in what I consider one of the best shopping destinations in America. Parents have enjoyed taking their kids there to let them play indoors and in air conditioning. The food court is right there, so it is a nice place for the community to come and interact with each other. But after two years of Covid, it was still shut down, even as most of the rest of society had gone back to normal. As I ate my food, the lights were mostly out, many of the upstairs portions of the mall were vacant of store activity, and it looked like a pretty sad situation.
So I called up Todd Minniear, who is one of the newest Liberty Township Trustees, and asked him what was going on with the mall. Were Covid protocols still keeping these guys from opening up their play area? As it turned out, mall management wasn’t sure how to proceed. They were waiting on someone from the government to come and tell them that it was alright to reopen. But of course, nobody was ever going to come from the government to do so, so the poor playground was left in limbo, leaving that whole upstairs portion of the mall to have very little social activity. I couldn’t help but add up in my head how many potential investors who might want to open a store in the mall saw this sad sight and moved on. If they had seen kids playing and parents enjoying talking and eating from the food court, they might have made a few million dollars of investment into a new store at Liberty Center, which it needs. Brick and mortar stores are a challenge under great economic conditions. So under a Biden economy, that only gets trickier. After some telephone tag that went on for a few weeks, Liberty Center found it was able to reopen its play area to the public, so it’s open now. Shortly before attending the Constitutional Resolution for the next Liberty Township meeting, I had lunch there again. This time it looked like I remembered it: kids playing, parents enjoying watching them, and having a nice place to sit and have some food. The lights were on, and things looked alive again. There was some exciting new construction on the second floor, somebody had made some investments, so it was a good story. One that should have never been bad in the first place, but it would be good to see something good happening that people could now enjoy.
For many, it is a terrifying prospect to have to go through something like Covid again. I have several copies of the state and federal constitutions that I refer to often, and by reading them, there is no reason to be concerned. I felt that way during the entire Covid shutdowns in Ohio and across the nation; every case that was put before the courts challenging the health directives was losing. We should never have done half the things that were done in reaction to Covid. The real science shows that there were medicines available at the time that could have easily contained it as a public menace. The problem was in the new way that we allowed health experts to gain control through an emergency, the management of our country. We had never seen something like that happen before, and it certainly wasn’t the fault of Liberty Center in following the orders that flowed down to them from the state. But in the aftermath, no leadership from those same experts came out in public and said, “it’s safe again.” Or, “sorry, there was never really a danger; we overreacted. Sorry if we destroyed lives and cost everyone billions of dollars, trillions of dollars nationally. We’re sorry.” No, they just stayed in their offices and left everything to the rest of the world to figure out. So Liberty Center was in limbo until Todd Minniear started making phone calls and asking questions. From the mall management side of things, they would expect someone from leadership in the community to ask those questions and get the answers, which is how the playground reopened. And the story ended up being a good one.
Resolution No. 2022-062 passed with a surprisingly large crowd clapping, and all the Trustees seemed to enjoy a positive thing for a change. After the meeting, I was able to talk to Steve Schramm and Tom Farrell, who were eager to tell me about all the things that go on behind the scenes where they fight for the Constitution and the protection of Liberty Township all the time. The trouble is that the public doesn’t see all those phone calls and questions. All they know is that Covid shut down the world once, and they needed to know that someone who represented them would be able to ask questions and challenge health directives in the future should something like that happen again. Because without that guidance, those investment dollars might just stay someplace safe and not flow into some new project. As we saw with Covid, the uncertainty of medical tyranny might just return. Only this time, the Trustees had proclaimed that they were there to help and would ensure that the rules of the Constitution would prevail in Liberty Township. Which, for many people, was a reassurance they desperately sought from somebody offering leadership after two years of scary indecision and protocols that were abruptly un-American.