Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Engagement Director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry in studio to weigh in on Bill Lee’s recent executive order and the precedent for law in America.
Leahy: Our good friend Grant Henry, grassroots director for Americans for Prosperity for Tennessee. Grant, I thought Congressman Mark Green made an outstanding point there about the overreach of the executive branch and the diminution of the legislative branch. This has been going on for decades. It’s getting worse and worse and worse. What are your thoughts about that?
Henry: It’s not just who we were speaking about a second ago. The Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. It’s not just President Biden coming out and sort of giving this unilateral executive order saying, hey, we just have this eviction moratorium. Just out of whole cloth.
Leahy: There is no constitutionality in putting a moratorium on evictions. It’s the destruction of the property rights of the owners of those properties. Did you see President Biden legal but not legitimate and somebody said, is that constitutional? He said, well, I don’t know if it’s constitutional or not. And that then implies, I don’t care.
Henry: Yes. And the response there, if I don’t care in the response of it as constitutional or not just saying, well, it’s not really constitutional. But it at least gives us another month or so to figure something else out.
What it does is destroys the faith that the common people have in the institutions of government. And in America, we have a government of voluntary consent. This is where we are right now. And we’re reminded again of this life not by lies. This is from Solzhenitsyn.
Let me read a quick excerpt here. It says we have so hopelessly seated our humanity that for the modest handouts of today, we are ready to surrender up all principles, our soul, all the labors of our ancestors, all the prospects of our descendants, anything to avoid disrupting our meager existence.
We have lost our strength, our pride, our passion. It’s not just the executive branch of the national level either. Look what we’re doing with these vaccine passports.
Leahy: By the way, you’re a big Solzhenitsyn fan, aren’t you? I just think he speaks to a lot of the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian dissident who was in a Russian gulag for 30 years. He wrote The Gulag Archipelago and other books. I couldn’t read any of his books. (Henry chuckles) He just went on forever and ever and ever.
He had a little bit of that Russian Tolstoy-Dostoevsky. He’s got to write and write and write until he got to the point. But nonetheless, he was a celebrated and important historic figure.
You know, it’s interesting you used to phrase their Grant and I think it’s very good. Our government is based upon the consent of the governed. There was a commentary we had at The Tennessee Star yesterday.
Does the Biden administration believe in its own legitimacy? And if you look at the actions, what do you call a regime that lies constantly and then admonishes the people when they question the integrity of the regime and its anointed figurehead?
I’ve talked about this whole legitimacy problem of the Biden administration. I believe he is our legal but not legitimate president. I’ve documented and we’ve documented at The Tennessee Star in half a dozen states unlawful election procedures.
We’re not going to go back and turn back the clock. I don’t think the guy is legitimate. I think in his heart of hearts, he knows he’s not legitimate. What do you think about that?
Henry: Look at the other thing this does. Washington, D.C. runs off precedent. And I’m not just talking Supreme Court decisions. I’m talking about what a previous president has done, the future president may end up doing the same thing. So if we have a president now who’s setting a standard by which he says, I don’t know.
Look, I’m gonna issue an executive order knowing it’s not constitutional, but we’re going to do it anyway. But what happens next time around? Look at what they’re doing in Congress right now.
If they’re saying, look, we can’t really legitimately pass legislation. So we’re just gonna cram everything through an alleged budget bill and say it has somehow relation to spending.
The next Congress is going to do something similar. My fear here is that the federal government is going to push so hard for such a long time, people will voluntarily stop following the law. And when they voluntarily stop following the law, which is exactly what we’re seeing right now, one of two things is going to happen.
Either pure anarchy or, in my opinion, you have to put some power back in the Tenth Amendment. You have to let states do what states were originally meant and designed to do.
Leahy: Yes, but we’ll get to that a second. So if you’re a listener to this program right now and you hear all of this stuff, all of it fact-based, I guess you have a couple of options. You can curl up into a ball and hope nobody comes after you, or you can get yourself in a mountaintop fortress and defend yourself.
Those appear to be the options. Now, you said something very interesting about states’ rights and the states’ pushing back against the federal government. We have a story at The Tennessee Star, however, that says maybe the state government is a bit of a problem.
Headline: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s new COVID-19, Executive Orders Threaten Liberty, Observers Warn. Did you see that executive order on Friday?
Henry: No, I should have looked into this.
Leahy: Let me just hit you with it and get your reaction. Among other things, Lee’s executive order signed Friday, permits more flexibility and behavioral health care to relieve capacity, train and allows medical laboratory directors to monitor facilities remotely.
All right, so it also gives the state government discretion to use the national guard in connection with certain health care and emergency service operations. But wait! There’s more. Wait for this one. Let me just hit you with this and see what you think Grant.
Henry: (Chuckles) I’m waiting.
Leahy: Are you waiting?
Henry: Bated anticipation.
Leahy: Here we go. (Laughter) Lee’s executive order also permits telephone assessment for involuntary commitment cases. And it also allows for the construction of temporary quarantine and isolation facilities. What possibly could go wrong with that Grant?
Henry: I don’t even know what that means, necessarily.
Leahy: Let’s say somebody doesn’t like Grant Henry, and they get a healthcare professional to give you a phone call. And that health care professional says this guy, this guy’s crazy. He’s not following COVID protocols. We’ve got to put him in a quarantine facility. That’s what that means. How do you like that idea?
Henry: Look, I don’t know. Did it happen overnight that the Tennessee population and the American populace are just incapable of making their own decisions now? The vaccine has been around for a while.
People that don’t want to get it to people that do want to get it, are perfectly fine making their own decisions. And they’ve assumed the resulting danger, just like we do and everything else in our lives. If we can allow people to make calculated decisions on whether they
Leahy: There is that libertarian strain coming out again Grant. (Laughter)
Henry: If you want to ride a motorcycle or go climbing in a free society, people have the right to make their own risk assessments, even if others don’t approve. And the rest of us should get to live our lives without limiting others because of the decisions.
Leahy: Grant, your discussion has sparked an inquiry from Caller Paul, who wants to talk about this executive order. Paul, from Franklin, you’re on The Tennessee Star Report. Good morning, Paul.
Caller Paul: Good morning. Thank you very much. Great program, guys. I totally enjoy listening. This executive order that Bill Lee signed, I guess, Saturday in August sixth.
Caller Paul: Should we be concerned about some of the things in it, as the use of the National Guard for one. Plus the telephone assessments or involuntary commitment?
Leahy: Paul, it looks like you have that executive order right in front of you. I’ll read it. Number 14. Telephone assessments for involuntary commitment cases are permitted. The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated section 33:4 are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to allow the issues of certificate of need under Section 33 for the emergency involuntary commitment of a person with a mental illness or serious emotional disturbance based upon a telephone assessment of such. Yikes!
Caller Paul: Also number 19, the inspections of the mental health and substance abuse of penalties and services are suspended. So in other words, they can do stuff to you. And you know, who cares?
Leahy: Paul, I have a sense here that the theme of individual liberty is something you tracked very closely. Because in our listening audience, I doubt a lot of people have a copy of this executive order, although you can link to it at our story. Are you involved in any group supporting individual liberty?
Caller Paul: No, I’m not. I was just reading the news either Saturday night or Sunday morning and saw that and just went, whoa.
Leahy: I had the same reaction, by the way. I had the same exact reaction. I said, whoa. And by the way, Paul, we’re having a phone conversation. If this is being monitored, apparently somebody could say one of us (Laughs) is emotionally…
Caller Paul: Distrubed.
Leahy: Or has a mental illness problem and they’re going to come and take us away.
Caller Paul: This comes from Bill Lee. I know he’s not the strongest conservative.
Leahy: We tried to call him about this and he hasn’t responded. But Grant Henry, what suggestions do you have for Paul who’s worried about phone conversations being monitored?
Henry: I would say maybe keep your eyes on the headlines in the next couple of days. I would predict Bill Lee’s going to come out and now this is just purely my prediction, but it looks like a lot of this executive order goes towards just allowing greater regulatory flexibility, maybe extending some telemedicine guideline allowance, maybe tweaking some ideas for a certificate of need.
The point of making is when the COVID shutdown happened, we had to at a pure necessity alone, go to more free market-driven principles with the way that we approach health care. The way I read some of this executive order is that it’s just extending some of those allowances so we can just continue to address the situation at hand.
Although I would say the great thing about Tennessee and Tennessee politics is you have to stay vigilant and all of you do. Good on you for calling.
Leahy: Paul, what message would you have if you were to call the governor and he would answer the phone? What would you tell him?
Caller Paul: I would tell him no mandates. We’ve been through COVID for over a year. We’ve got it figured out. I think suspending inspections for health care facilities and telephone assessments are bad news. Those should be done. Assessments like that should be done by doctors.
Leahy: So you’re not a big fan of this. Paul, thanks so much for your call. Call in again. I want to jump to Carl in Nashville, who wants to weigh in on this. Karl, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.
Caller Karl: Good morning, guys.
Leahy: Is this my pal?
Caller Karl: Absolutely.
Leahy: By the way, thanks so much for going to lunch with me at Rafferty’s. It was a great lunch. You’re a great guy and we had a great conversation.
Leahy: We have about 60 seconds in this segment, Karl, but they’re all yours.
Caller Karl: That’s all I need. I was content with listening. But when your guest called and got off the rails. You have your liberties and your right to do what you want to do. You cannot wear a seat belt. It’s not going to hurt me.
You’re going to be the one that’s going to be crashing through the windshield. You can go rock climbing and not wear your helmet when you’re driving a bike. Your brains are going to be blown out when you hit the curve.
But the first thing that started our country with We the People. And sometimes you got to do something for the better. You’re going to hurt me if you don’t take the vaccine.
I guarantee you, you’ve never seen anybody with polio because they took the damn vaccine. Stop being stubborn. I’m going to do what I’m going to do. No, do it for the better we. Do it for the we. The big we. All of us.
Leahy: Karl, thanks so much. Come in studio sometime, and let’s have lunch again. Appreciate it.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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