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Community Voices: Bouchat has made clear he cares little for the people | COMMENTARY

Dear Commissioner,

To use your own words, you and your ilk are clearly the “selfish” ones in this debate. I do not believe that you are “sincerely concerned,” as a public official should be.

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As you stated in your recent op-ed, you were only stating facts, and to be clear, you were. However, to say that you had cherry-picked only a select few to support your argument would be generous at best.

What you have seem to have forgotten in your decrying of the infringement on your right to be foolish, is the shared social contract that applies to all of us as U.S. citizens. How have we moved from a place of caring for our fellow neighbor to one in which our neighbor can be damned just so I can make a decision which may carry consequences for more than myself? In your world, the individual is king, and the collective people can simply live in your wake.

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I would point out here that you are not a doctor or other qualified health professional. Are some people unhealthy? Yes. Are these some of the same people that are more susceptible to this disease? Yes. It is important to note here that some folks’ health problems have nothing to do with choices, something which you conveniently avoid in your opinion. However, for all of your righteous indignation at being asked to do something to protect these people as well as yourself, I see nothing in your argument, or your political platform, that demonstrates that you care at all for the American people. Where is your support for wellness programming? Health care? Education? Not there.

Your right to swing your fist ends when your fist strikes my face. The very nature of the stance that you have written in the op-ed explains that you don’t care if you strike my face. Therefore, this is about YOUR rights, not mine.

The America and the Maryland that I believe in and have faith in stands for more than just your right to be stupid. The values that this country says that it stands for are in direct opposition to your statements and your political platform. The Declaration of Independence states “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Notice, please, that LIFE is first. Also, the Constitution starts with “We the People”, not “I the Person.” Where is your caring for the American people and their lives? How have you lived into the proposition that all are created equal? Your opinion that has been published shows you to be neither caring nor equitable. It is easy enough to compare you to Marie Antoinette when she said, “Let them eat cake.” Her statement and yours demonstrate a disdain for your fellow citizens and a dismissal of the higher values of the American ideal.

If you were unhealthy as you described and you have now overcome those choices, you should be celebrated for that. However, the blatant dismissal of those that don’t have your fortitude belies your hypocrisy. Without knowing your story, there is no doubt that you didn’t achieve these things on your own. We all have a community that we should be able to rely on in times of need. And this is what you have forgotten about us is the sense of community that we should be able to rally around during this crisis. It shouldn’t matter whether I’m healthy or not, poor or not, wealthy or not, white or not, Black or not. What should matter is that we are all in this together, and by caring for the poorest of us, we care for all of us. That is what you have turned your back on. Your statements weren’t brave, they were cowardly, as they gave credence to the worst of our impulses. To blame the “other” for your inability to care for your fellow citizens.

As you stated, outside of nursing homes, Carroll County has fared reasonably well during this crisis. That is a testament to our citizens. \You have done nothing to support that; in fact, you have made the choice now to turn us around, injecting an argument needlessly, creating more division, rather than doing the work of a public official, caring for your fellow citizens.

If you don’t have anything helpful to say, please stay quiet. Shame on you, sir.

David Stovenour writes from Finksburg.

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