There’s nothing patriotic about calling elected officials “fascists.” Phil Murphy used today’s 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe to criticize anti-lockdown protesters in New Jersey and
across the nation who have done precisely that.
He said “some misguided people” have been labeling democratically-elected officials “fascists” and “Nazis” while demonstrating against stay-at-home and other pandemic-related regulations.
While some of these individuals claim to be patriotic Americans, the governor said it is “ignorant” and “repugnant” to casually toss around such incendiary terms.
Anyone who attended the April 28 protest in Trenton can relate to the governor’s point. Signs and some chants lableled Murphy as both a fascist and a Nazi.
Many demonstrators also waved American flags, a point not lost on the governor. At the time of the protest, he said the issue at hand is “saving lives,” not a test of one’s patriotism. He said he has four
American flags on his property and that he doesn’t take a back seat to anyone when it comes to patriotism. The governor lives in Monmouth County.
The issue came up again at today’s briefing when Murphy was commemorating the anniversary of V-E Day. He saluted the “greatest generation” for defeating those who truly were “fascists” and “Nazis” and saving democracy.
As for the current “war,” Murphy was confident, albeit somewhat, that Jersey beaches will be open on Memorial Day, which is three weeks from Monday.
But he cautioned that the “curve” must continue to flatten and that social distancing rules will make for an unorthodox beach experience. Data released today was encouraging. There were 1,985 new COVID-19
cases and 162 additional deaths. Not too long ago, the state was averaging around 3,000 new cases and more than 200 deaths a day. The governor occasionally veers off topic at these briefings, as he did Thursday regarding the court’s Bridgegate opinion.
But there are limits. He was asked today about sexual harassment allegations against Joe Biden and whether he thinks any fallout will help Donald Trump.
Murphy essentially ignored the question.