Opinion: Mr. Inconsistent | Aaron Neuman

Governor Murphy announced today that he is lifting more restrictions he put into place to combat the spread of Covid-19 in New Jersey.

In today’s announcement, Murphy said that he will be signing an Executive Order today lifting the 50% capacity limit placed on New Jersey Transit and private-carrier buses, trains, light rail, and Access Link vehicles. While this is a welcome announcement, it further underscores the lack of logic and sense that has been endemic to Governor Murphy’s response to the coronavirus.

It is fully understandable that the governor wants to get the state’s economy back up and has therefore made the decision to re-allow full capacity in buses and trains. But it simply doesn’t make any sense to allow that, and at the same time prohibit restaurants, many of whom are on financial life support, from having even a 25% indoor capacity limit. There is no way on Earth that sitting in a packed NJ Transit train is safer than eating in a nearly empty restaurant. Anybody with a brain can tell you that.

This isn’t the first time that Governor Murphy has shown inconsistency when it comes to his social distancing rules. At the same time that the governor had police ticketing people gathering in their backyards for a barbeque, he attended – in-person – a large protest and directed the police not to break them up or ticket the participants. Again, the inconsistency is glaring.

But it really goes further than plain inconsistency. The governor’s insistence on being able to pick and choose what activities are ok and what are not ok, and using separate rules for the same activities but for different purposes (religious gatherings versus protests, etc.), show us the need for legislation that takes power away from the governorship.

Nobody should have the power to indefinitely lock people down. If it truly made sense to suspend people’s First Amendment rights because there exists a national or state emergency, a majority of lawmakers would agree to it and approve it in the Legislature. That power should never, ever be given to one person. But that is what we have now, and we see how inconsistent and tone-deaf he has been towards his constituents.

I don’t know him personally, but Governor Murphy is probably a nice guy. Deep inside his heart, he probably just wants New Jersey to get past Covid-19 in the best shape possible. I don’t have a problem dealing with certain annoyances that have been imposed on us to combat the virus; we live in extraordinary times and we have to deal with reality.

But when the governor picks and chooses winners and losers, based not on science data or health standards, but on political motives, we have a serious problem. Having a Mr. Inconsistent as governor isn’t just wrong, it’s dangerous to the fundamental freedoms that make this land great.




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  1. He is one big hypocrite,abuser ,dictator. Who has and continues to literally torture many innocent citizens especially those who actually work for a living and don’t live off the government.
    Shame on him.

  2. 1) He did not attend a protest “at the same time as ticketing people in a backyard”. They were two months apart, and a lot more things were allowed and recognized as safe in NJ at the time of the protests than at the time of the backyard crackdowns.

    2) “Anybody with a brain” should be able to see the difference between sitting on a train for a few minutes with short interactions where all people are wearing masks and sitting in a restaurant for an hour or more with continuous sustained exposure to the same people where mask wearing obviously isn’t possible or expected. Did you really not think of that, or are you willfully blind?

    3) Stop with your bluster about the legislative process. The Courts in nearly every COVID related decision have left the painful decision making squarely in the hands of the Governor. The legislature obviously feels the same, or they’d be working to pass laws to aid or detract from the Governor’s regulations. Their inaction has shown that they feel he is best equipped to handle a crisis of this sort.

    4) Nobody is “locked down” any more. There are a larger amount of regulations in place now than during usual times, but that is of course to be expected. Your claim that our freedoms are being suspended is false, as there are regulations enacted in every area of our lives at all times. There is (rightfully) a balance between what we are allowed to do and what we are lawfully restricted from and that is perfectly consistent with our First Amendment rights.

  3. Mr. Neumann claims that Governor Murphy isn’t allowing “nearly empty” restaurants to open. As S209 pointed out, it’s impossible to eat while masked, so restaurants would have to remain below 50% capacity to open. But how many restaurant owners are even willing to open under those restrictions? Profit margins in the restaurant business are low, and many restaurant owners are saying that they are unable to operate profitably at below 75% capacity.

    • Fortunately, what you believe doesn’t matter, only the established science does. See the article the Lakewood Scoop published today on the efficacy of masks.

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