Make a Choice, Face the Consequences

Man wearing face mask. Photo by Engin Akyurt on unsplash
Face masks are now required across much of the U.S. Photo by Engin Akyurt on unsplash

I am amused to note that at about the same time President Biden was announcing his new vaccine mandates, the number of cases as tracked by the New York Times had started to fall. Hospitalizations are also flat. By the time OSHA gets around to writing their emergency regulation, this COVID-19 wave may be behind us. Ironic, isn’t it?

Freedom of Choice

Someone said to me today, “People without the vaccine are 11 times more likely to die.”

My answer was to shrug and say: “It’s their choice.”

They looked at me funny, so I continued: “I’ve always been in favor of a limited government. I object to forced vaccination for the same reason I object to laws requiring you to wear a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet. That’s not the government’s role. Why is it that people in favor or choice for abortion are not in favor of choice for the vaccine?”

The Mandates are a Symptom

Mask and vaccine mandates are not the problem; they are a visible symptom of the underlying problem: the government is over stepping its traditional boundaries and exceeding its constitutional limits. For example, we all know that eating too much sugar and corn syrup is bad for us, but we do not allow the government to tell us what to eat or not eat. When it realized that smoking was a huge contributing factor to lung and other cancers, the government didn’t tell companies they could not hire smokers. And how can OSHA claim COVID-19 is a “grave danger” in the workplace, the standard required to implement this rule, if employees are working remotely?

Decades ago, government forcibly sterilized people considered “feeble minded” or otherwise disabled. It was supposedly for “their own good.” Today, we consider this a dark period of our history. I see more than a few parallels here, and I worry whenever a government entity tells us to do something “for our own good.”

Treatments Ignored

There are reportedly effective treatments available for COVID-19 that are discouraged by the government in lieu of vaccines. This seems to have parallels to the Tuskegee Study of African Americans with Syphilis in Macon, Georgia, that prevented hundreds from getting penicillin to treat their disease and resulted in the death of 128 black Americans. The experiment lasted some 40 years before a whistle blower story in the New York Times in 1972 halted the study and led to plenty of outrage. The NAACP sued the government, which settled.

How long will it be before we see the outrage in this case? How many people have died and may yet die because the CDC and many hospitals refuse to consider medications that are already on the market and proven safe?

It’s quite possible that in five years COVID will treated like strep throat: You go to the clinic, they run a quick test and give you a prescription. You get it filled and start feeling better in just a few days. I expect these will be the same drugs that most of the medical establishment refuse to even consider today.

I can’t wait to see the lawsuit that comes out of this debacle.

Limited Government

People in the government need to remember that the government does not exist to protect us from ourselves. The government does not exist to stop people from making what society might consider stupid decisions. There are natural consequences to stupid decisions, and as politically incorrect as it may sound, we need to let nature take its course.

The founding fathers didn’t write the Declaration of Independence and fight a war to stop people from making stupid decisions. In fact, you could argue the opposite: that your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness allows you to make whatever decisions you want, stupid or otherwise.

When you strip down all the laws and regulations we’ve saddled ourselves with, at its core the federal government exists to protect us from foreign invaders, to adjudicate disputes between citizens, and to provide an environment in which we can exercise our freedoms. In fact, the preamble states:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It goes on to include a complete list of powers granted to the congress, the executive branch, and the judiciary, leaving the rest to the people or the states.

Nowhere does it allow the government to force you to take a vaccine, wear a seatbelt, or a motorcycle helmet. Nowhere does it say we should protect individuals from themselves.

Use the Courts or the Legislature

If the president is not willing to let the states handle vaccination requirements, then he should work with the congress to pass a law regarding the vaccine. If people object to the law, they can sue to stop it.

Likewise, if you think a co-worker gave you COVID-19, then sue them for damages.

If you think eating at a restaurant is dangerous, then don’t eat at a restaurant. There is no need to force all restaurants to close.

If your job makes you feel uncomfortable, then change jobs, or quit, or complain and threaten to sue them.

You have the absolute right to feel safe and to do whatever you can to avoid getting COVID-19 until you start to tread on my rights. Your right to feel safe by taking the vaccine is not more important than my right to decline it. If my presence threatens you because I wear a gun, then leave the area. If my presence threatens you because I am not wearing a mask, the answer is the same: leave the area.

The same goes for the government: Your desire to stop the spread of COVID-19 may give you the right to quarantine sick people, but it does not give government the right to tell those who are uninfected how they must behave. The government can publicize the vaccine, encourage and reward its use, but they should not have the power to force its use.