TRENTON – The signs were ubiquitous.
“Moms against Murphy.”
“Freedom over fear.”
There were also many “Jack” signs scattered around the grounds outside the Statehouse Annex this morning, but this was not a rally for Republican Jack Ciattarelli.
It was officially a rally against mandates for masks, vaccines and testing, or as the organizers would say, for freedom.
Ciattarelli stayed away, although a message said to be from him was read to a crowd of about 600.
It pledged that when he’s governor, he will not insult and demonize people who disagree with him, nor will he ever call people derogatory names like “knuckleheads.”
Other politicians did speak, including Republicans Bill Prempeh and Rik Mehta, who are seeking congressional seats next year from CD-9 and CD-7 respectively. The incumbents are Bill Pascrell Jr. and Tom Malinowski.
They and others concentrated on a central theme, essentially that most everything the state has done in regard to COVID serves only to limit personal freedom. That, of course, is what it’s all about – control.
The idea that the state had to take strong action to combat a pandemic that hasn’t been seen for 100 years was dismissed out of hand.
The protesters were against vaccine mandates; that was a given. In fact, the COVID “vaccine” was spoken of as an experimental substance being jabbed into people’s arms.
Masks in school were excoriated as well.
But speakers condemned testing, which in some quarters is a way to get around vaccine mandates. Some public employees, for instance, can avoid the vaccine requirement through regular testing.
That’s still bad.
A number of speakers said the testing requirement itself is an assault on freedom and discriminatory.
A loud rally is no place for a discussion on the constitution, but the discrimination argument seems spurious at best.
Think of the many classes of people who have been discriminated against over the years – blacks, Jews and earlier in the Twentieth Century, Irish and Italians.
They faced discrimination simply because of who they were, and there was no way they could have changed that.
In contrast, today’s unvaccinated can change their status immediately by getting a shot. Quite candidly, not getting vaccinated is a personal choice and those who make that choice must accept the consequences.
A chant of “No more Murphy” arose from the crowd near the end of the rally.
The election is 15 days away, but this really wasn’t a Jack Ciattarelli crowd.
It was mentioned that many on hand had supported Phil Rizzo in last June’s primary. Rizzo was in attendance, but didn’t speak.
For the record, Rizzo got 87,000 votes and finished a distant second to Ciattarelli.
This raises an interesting point.
New Jersey Republicans need a wide tent if they’re going to have any chance of winning statewide elections. One speaker said “RINOS” were as much an enemy as the Dems.
That type of thinking is a great way for Republicans to lose elections.
Ciattarelli was probably wise to stay away.