Embracing the mantra of never letting a good crisis go to waste, politicians have been using COVID-19 as a vehicle to expand their power since the beginning. First it was lockdowns, then it was mask mandates, and now it is mandatory vaccines.
Mercifully, lockdowns and mask mandates are ending in most regions of the United States, but let’s not forget that other countries have overcome COVID without these compulsory measures. Apparently all the lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccination have failed to defeat this pandemic in the United States. Our COVID casualty rates exceed that of most other, poorer countries, which chose not to take a totalitarian approach.
Despite the hoopla, the U.S. military is not requiring vaccination of servicemen. Meanwhile, Delta Airlines announced that it is requiring vaccination of new hires, but not current employees. Even many employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decline to take the vaccine themselves. More than 30% of Americans remain skeptical of the Covid vaccines, and many plan not to receive it. Ohio has turned to using its lottery to induce more to be vaccinated, while Walmart is offering cash payments to employees.
At the end of the day, COVID is no reason for conservatives to throw out the governing principles we have always embraced. Personal liberty should be our highest value. Whether it’s lockdowns, masks, or vaccines, we need to trust that each American citizen will make the right choice for their own family. Of course, with this liberty comes a great deal of responsibility. Everyone should do the research to make an informed decision. However, the last thing America needs is overreaching politicians and bureaucrats trying to force their preferred choice down the throats of everyone else. All too often, that kind of tyranny only steels the American people against whatever it is the government is trying to force.
COVID may be something that this generation has never encountered before, but the principles of liberty are made for all seasons. Instead of throwing them out when the going gets rough, Americans should cling to them all the more tightly.