- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 4, 2020

Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley is biking the battleground states as part of an ongoing series, visiting 14 states in 14 days to hear what real Americans think of the 2020 election. All of her interviews may be found HERE.

PIPESTONE, MINNESOTA: Pipestone is a small town with a massive American spirit. And in this day and age of hate-filled politics, partisan punditry and vicious attacks in the streets masquerading as First Amendment peaceful protests, it’s a breath of fresh air to find people, nestled as they are in the southwest corner of the state, who not only love America, but actively live out American values.

They don’t want the government telling them what to do.

They want to work for themselves, provide for their own families, and teach by doing the next generation that hey, socialism may talk a good talk, but when it comes down to the dollars and dimes, it’s competitive capitalism and free-wheeling entrepreneurship that walks the walks. It’s individual creativity and productivity that wins the day.

That keeps the country free.

That secures the limited government vision oh-so-guaranteed in the Constitution.

“Our governor’s not elected to make law. Our governor’s elected to enforce law. But since March 17, our governor’s been making law,” said Jeremy Whipple, owner of Pipestone Building Materials, in reference to the stringent and randomly targeted crackdowns on businesses due to COVID-19.

Nail, meet head.

There’s a key message that often gets buried among all the coronavirus fears.

Governors, state politicians, local officials and even public service health bureaucrats the nation over, take a memo: Executive orders are not laws. They’re not duly passed, legislatively approved, constitutionally sanctioned. In many — most? — cases, they’re not even consented to by the people. And in a nation with a government that’s supposed to be of, by and for the people, any political expectation of blind citizens’ obedience is a big deal. It just doesn’t pass the constitutional smell test.

Especially in Pipestone, where the citizenry may be few — less than 5,000 — but patriotism and love-of-freedom principles loom large.

“You just keep going,” said JoAnn Arbach, owner and manager of the Stonehouse Supper Club & Quarry Lounge, on how her restaurant, her town is rebounding and surviving the coronavirus crackdowns. “You come up with ideas. You have to be innovative. We did a lot of social media marketing, we talked to the community, collaborated with other businesses … You got to work with other businesses, that’s the only way to survive and our community is really good at that. … And you just do it because you want success here. You want this town to continue to not only grow but at least during this, stay. Stay at this population and jobs, opportunity. So. You just remember that.”

It’s the bootstrap approach that used to mark America’s way of life.

Do for self — not wait for government.

Do for others as you would have them do for you.

Kudos, Pipestone. Founders would be proud.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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