The president of the United States is an authoritarian.
This would explain quite a bit of late. It would especially explain the announcement this week by the Biden administration that American businesses with more than 100 employees would be forced to either mandate vaccines for their workers or impose regular testing – if Joe Biden had his druthers, that is.
Of course, such legislation requires support from Congress, approval from the general public (including the 100 million American workers in question) and acquiescence from state governments.
Who wants the hassle?
Not Joe Biden: “What more do you need to see?” he asked this week. “We’ve made vaccinations free, safe and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us. So please do the right thing.”
Spoken like a man well-versed in the mission and history of the country he heads up: The expectation of personal freedom is grating in a time like this. How dare you!
If Americans choose not to take advantage of a resource that our Democratic political and media class have irreparably politicized, then they’re blindly ignorant (they are, after all, trying to mandate the same vaccine Kamala Harris said she wouldn’t take if Trump backed it). If they question the integrity of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is subject like all federal agencies to Biden administration bullying and media pressure, then they’re being unreasonable. If they fail to recognize that the Biden administration is running short on patience, then Americans are asking for it.
By all available evidence, the vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. They have few side effects, most of which, as tends to be the case with vaccines relative to prescription medications, show up within the first few weeks if at all. The more vulnerable you are, the more worthwhile the tradeoff becomes between the risk of statistical anomalies and the likelihood of suffering serious illness from the virus.
All of this is true. None of it means free citizens should be forced to take the vaccine in order to go to work, where most people find some meaning in their life as much as they find income.
The trick of the best authoritarians is to maintain the illusion of freedom while subverting individual liberty and bending reality to their will. It sounds like this: You don’t have to get the vaccine if you don’t want to. You just don’t get to [insert necessity of life] then.
With the barest of majorities in Congress, plummeting approval ratings, and a host of governors actively planning ways to protect their residents from federal government overreach, it isn’t obvious where the Biden administration thinks it has found the constitutional, electoral or moral authority to execute such a crackdown.
It might think that deflection from a miserable and coldhearted Afghanistan pullout with Action™ on the pandemic front is a good idea. But a monumental government imposition, executed by a federal regulatory agency stocked with unelected bureaucrats, on an issue which Biden and Democrats are hugely responsible for politicizing is asinine.
The vaccines are a medical miracle. The Democratic communications strategy and Joe Biden’s interpersonal skills, on the other hand, are wretched. (As everyone knows, the most effective way to get people to do something is to tell them “do it or else.”)
Doubtful Americans will have it. The backlash – political and cultural – is brewing. In the meantime, state governments must protect the right of Americans to make the right decision for themselves. While that right decision may well be to get vaccinated, those in Washington who think the choice doesn’t belong to the individual have no place in politics.
This choice whether to get vaccinated, as both Republicans and Democrats are noting, should be relatively straightforward. But it happens not to be. That is the fault of our establishment media and the incompetents they drag across the finish line each election cycle. Americans shouldn’t have to pay for that mistake with their God-given freedom.
Kevin Catapano graduated from the University of Connecticut in May 2021 with a B.A. in political science. While studying, he wrote a weekly column for the student newspaper and served as a staff writer for the UConn Undergraduate Political Review. He is currently a contributor to The Western Journal.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Heroes Media Group