Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Some Thoughts on Mandates

   A significant segment of American citizenry has gone ballistic against state mask mandates and President Biden’s recent federal vaccination mandate. Protesters say these measures compromise personal freedom.

   If that’s true, there are many rules that could also be said to compromise freedom. Consider our highway laws alone, for example. We’re not allowed to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We can’t cruise the Interstates at 100 mph. We must comply with stop signs and stop lights and lane markings. We must stop for school buses. Cars must have air bags and seat belts, which we must wear.

   But it’s not the duly legislated laws that are the problem, the protesters cry. It’s these cursed mandates.

   Mandates have long been a routine and accepted part of our legal structure. A cursory search of the Congressional Budget Office site reveals at least 75 intergovernmental laws and 135 private sector laws that include various mandates we’ve been living under right along, affecting everything from preserving veterans’ rights, to protecting children from abuse, to the required reporting of environmental hazards by companies.

   All 50 states have had school entry vaccine mandates in place over the past five decades against once-vicious contagious diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps, hepatitis, whooping cough, and polio. It’s a sure bet that nearly all the current protesters who are so vehemently opposed to the rigorously tested and approved Covid vaccines and the current mandates have themselves been vaccinated as children, which is one good reason they’ve survived disease-free into adulthood to be able to protest.

   As for mask mandates, a study by the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research (among others) found mask wearing and social distancing can cut virus deaths by two thirds.

   The current mandates, like many others over the decades, have been imposed not to crush freedom, but simply to save American lives, yours and mine and the lives of those we love.

   Three quarters of a million Americans have died and millions more have become seriously ill, many needlessly because they refused masking and vaccination.

   Our current enemy is not to be found among the many different segments of our society. It cares nothing for politics or gender or age or philosophical convictions.

   It is a deadly virus that came out of the shadows to sicken and kill as many of us as it can.

   If we pull together instead of letting it fracture us, we can beat it. And if it takes mandates to help us achieve that goal, then so be it.



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