John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Tear Down This Fence. End the Lockdowns.

Posted on March 3, 2021

Feehery: Tear down this fence and end the lockdowns

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So, I guess we aren’t all in this together.

A nation that is all together doesn’t have its nation’s Capitol building surrounded by sharp barbed wire and a phalanx of idle National Guard troops who are wondering if they will get a chance to billet at the Trump Hotel.

Springtime in DC is usually bustling with tourists, school groups and ordinary folks who want to petition their government, as protected by the First Amendment.

But the party that has actively attempted to squash the Second Amendment for decades is now in control of the Capitol building, and it turns out they care little for the First Amendment either.

Two members of the Democratic Party actually urged the de-platforming of cable outlets that produce content that they find disagreeable last week.

My old boss Bob Michel used to strive to disagree without being disagreeable. The new Democratic Party now strives to silence those with whom they disagree.

This is taking cancel culture to a whole new level.

You can’t escape the ubiquitous marketing from the state. “We are all in this together.”

The longer the COVID crisis (real and imagined) drones on, the longer this marketing campaign takes on the dark aspects of the darkest dystopian novel.

The House Speaker hinted at how much she respects her Republican colleagues when she sought to stack the deck of a commission she wants to create to investigate the events of Jan. 6.

As they used to say with the X-Files, the truth is out there, but it won’t likely be found with a partisan investigation.

These days, the truth is not nearly as important as the spin.

One thing you can’t spin is the frustration that a large chunk of the country feels towards the continued COVID lockdowns. This manifests itself most acutely with the many schools that continue to pretend that virtual education works just as well as in-person instruction.

It might work for some kids, but for the vast majority, it has been a disaster.

The frustration goes well beyond our nation’s schools.

For small business owners — of restaurants and bars, of hair salons and gyms, small boutiques, and thousands of others — their dreams and their life savings have been destroyed by the dictates of an out-of-control bureaucracy, by the political class and by elements of law enforcement who are just following orders.

Those who stormed the Capitol, the violent insurrectionists as the Democrats like to call them, were mostly peaceful folks from the heartland whose collective hearts were broken by the COVID lockdowns. After-action analyses showed that a healthy percentage of the protestors were either on-the-edge financially or bankrupted by the lockdowns.

The fence, with its sharp barbed wire, that encircles the People’s House (and the Senate) is a stark reminder that the political class is isolated from the people.

This is not a good look for our democracy and portends a rocky road ahead for our republic.

Who is this fence really protecting? The nation’s Capitol building is not surrounded by a moat, filled with snapping alligators. Most of the politicians don’t sleep there (although some of them do). They don’t shop there. They don’t eat there. They don’t live there.

And these days, a large percentage of them don’t even work there, thanks to the wonders of proxy voting and virtual hearings.


The Capitol is not a castle protecting a king. It’s a symbol of our democracy and it needs to be open to the people if it is to continue to serve its purpose.

So, why does the Democratic leadership keep this ugly eye-sore of a fence up?

I don’t want to speak for them, but I can tell what it means.

It means the Democrats have lost faith in our democracy, lost faith in our Constitution and lost faith in their fellow citizens.

Kirsten Soltis Anderson, a pollster, asked Democrats and Republicans what their biggest concern was. For Republicans, it was an array of policy issues. For Democrats, their biggest concern was, well, Republicans.

So in other words, this dark and ugly fence, which runs the government a couple million dollars a day to rent, is meant to guard the Capitol against Republicans.

This is not sustainable. Nor are the COVID lockdowns.

Tear down this fence and end the lockdowns, Madam Speaker and Mr. Senate Majority Leader. Show the people you respect our democracy and our republic.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).