Once upon a time, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins could be viewed as a local leader who respected his constituents, cared about his community and followed the law. He helped guide Dallas County during one of its more frightening times–when Ebola not only showed up in our area but looked as if it could become a true pandemic. Over time, that’s changed. During the first round of Covid-19 lockdowns, etc., he used his “concern” over public health to close down businesses, lock down nursing homes, keep our kids out of schools and destroy countless lives–and he made no secret of his disdain for Gov. Gregg Abbott and his more cautious approach to economically killing the state. Fast-forward to today and now Jenkins shows once again he believes he is above the law, vowing to continue his new mask mandate even though the state supreme court struck down the temporary restraining order that allowed him to ignore the governor’s orders about no mask mandates. What an example he sets for our youth with this blatant–even proud–refusal to follow the law.
Oh, Jenkins is playing it smart. At least in a way. He’s not revoking his mandate. He’s just removing any financial penalty–for the moment. That way, when someone else takes him to court, he can argue it was only a strong suggestion. But let’s be real here. He found power during Ebola and started liking it. He learned to love it during the first round of Covid-19 lockdowns and mandates. He has been on the we must mask and mask and mask some more bandwagon from the beginning.
Hell’s bells, he had a county commissioner removed from a meeting just a week or so ago because the commissioner refused to wear a mask. It didn’t matter that they were sitting socially distanced. It didn’t matter they had barriers between their desks to prevent spread of germs. The commissioner didn’t have a mask on and, by damn, Jenkins wasn’t going to have any of it.
This post isn’t an argument against masks. I can see why someone might want to wear one. I’ll even admit that I urge my 90-year-old mother to wear one when we’re out. I know the mask isn’t a perfect prevention for Covid. I also know Mom’s had both shots. But, it does offer a bit of added protection and, more importantly, it makes her feel better. But that is her choice–and mine. I shouldn’t–and won’t–try to force anyone to comply simply because of my own preferences.
But right now Jenkins is reminding me of Fauci and his comment about how all the lockdowns, all the censorship we’re seeing through social media, just to name a few isn’t about our “civil liberties” but is about “public health”. I’m sorry, when do we draw the line? What is that magic cut-off point when our government starts taking away rights and liberties we’re guaranteed by the founding documents and by law? It was so easy to do this time. Guess what, it will be even easier the next time something happens. That slippery slope I’ve written about before has gotten even more slippery and a hell of a lot steeper.
But back to Jenkins. His actions in basically ignoring the state supreme court’s ruling is tantamount to telling our youth to ignore anything an authority figure tells you that you don’t like. Way to go, “Judge” Jenkins. I wonder how you’ll like it when the communities and organizations you hold authority over start using your own tactics against you.
I guess we should be relieved Jenkins hasn’t decided to follow Bill de Blasio’s example. We don’t have to show proof of vaccination to go into a restaurant or bar or gym. But for how long? Power can be intoxicating and Clay Jenkins shows every symptom of being addicted to it. Thank goodness I live in a neighboring county and can limit my excursions into Dallas until sanity returns to the county.