It’s human nature that when we are oppressed enough, the slightest easing of totalitarianism will feel like a huge relief. When you’re under a government thumb for long enough, you can start to get used to it.

But I have to be honest: Even though Gov. Murphy announced that mask school mask mandates would be lifted come March here in New Jersey, it’s simply not enough. Not nearly enough.

Photo provided by Patti Nowalski
Photo provided by Patti Nowalski
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Gov. Murphy sounded like a hero when he announced that school masks mandates would be lifted. But the part of the story you don’t hear is that he reinstated the “emergency” for another 30 days, which gives him pretty much unilateral control for yet ANOTHER 30 days and can pretty much do with that whatever he wants with that power.

We’ve become so used to it that no one even noticed. Not only that, but just because the mandate was lifted, schools can still decide to keep the mask mandate within their own districts, as Newark public schools has already announced that it will. That’s why a group of protesters descended on Trenton yesterday. To remind the governor and our Legislature that no one should really be doing a victory dance.

After all, there will still be plenty of schools that still require masks and plenty that require vaccinations for teachers. As long as that is still going on, Gov. Murphy will be challenged by many parents, teachers and freedom-loving New Jerseyans.

Photo provided by Patti Nowalski
Photo provided by Patti Nowalski
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The group of them in Trenton yesterday were adamant, at a “Stop the Mandate” protest, armed with signs and motivational speakers, there just to remind our legislators that it’s not over. That this one measure, probably designed to pacify many of us, is not enough. That all mandates need to end.

They were joined by our newest senator, Ed Durr, who happily stood with protesters taking pictures and joined in. According to rally participants, Durr was quoted as saying “It’s WE. Not I or THEM.”

And that’s exactly why we elected Sen. Durr.

It’s way too early to celebrate, kids, which is why it’s important to make our voices heard until New Jersey is restored to a place that lives up to the motto on our state flag. Liberty and Prosperity. And mandates are anathema to both.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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