It remains to be seen if the coronavirus pandemic will build character in the American people, who are dealing with sickness and death and the loss of jobs related to shutdown orders from coast to coast.
But the crisis certainly has revealed character and — unfortunately — a lack of the same in some circles.
While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, were initially praised for their leadership in the midst of the outbreak, both have come under increasing criticism of late for seemingly not following the lead of the hapless mayor in “Jaws.”
Shark? What shark? Nothing to see here. Hit the beaches, folks!
No one disputes that keeping Ohio’s homes and businesses shuttered is not a long-term solution to the pandemic.
At some point, we have to begin living our lives again. That means working, building and making things, going places and doing things.
In fact, DeWine has already implemented the early phases of opening the state after a lengthy lockdown of non-essential businesses.
But it’s not fast enough to satisfy some critics, including some in DeWine’s own party. But instead of directing their vitirol at the governor, people like Ohio Sen. Andrew Brenner and Ohio Rep. Nino Vitale — both Republican lawmakers — let loose on Acton.
Brenner and his wife likened some of Ohio’s COVID-19 policies to those enacted in Nazi Germany.
Acton, of course, is Jewish, which makes the Brenners’ comparison even worse.
Vitale referred to Acton as a “globalist.” which has become code for some anti-semites. He said Acton was “running a medical dictatorship.”
If you don’t believe that sort of rhetoric has consequences, you’re kidding yourself.
Two dozen “protestors” — perhaps motivated by Brenner, Vitale and other morons — gathered outside Acton’s home Saturday in the Columbus suburb of Bexley.
The group is opposed to the Ohio’s shutdown and the stay-at-home orders that have been in place for weeks.
But as DeWine confirmed Monday, their anger is misplaced.
“I set the policy,” DeWine said. “The buck stops with me.”
Taking these protests to Acton’’s doorstep was crossing the line. That sort of attempt at intimidation should not be allowed to continue.
DeWine was critical of Brenner and Vitale. Their colleagues in the Ohio Statehouse ought to do the same. Both men should be censured for their ill-advised rhetoric.
And the people they represent should consider whether these men are the sort of characters they should send to Columbus.
They’re characters, all right. But they don’t seem to possess character.