In response to President Biden’s mandate that all businesses employing more than 100 people to require COVID-19 vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing, Republican Governors are planning to sue the administration “to protect Americans and their liberties.” These are some of the same Governors that order mandatory evacuations of your home and business during a hurricane, order children to get vaccinated to attend schools, order women to undergo invasive medical exams for reproductive services, prohibit people from getting food and water while waiting in line to vote, passing laws making voting more difficult for minority populations, prohibit the teaching of historical facts in public schools, oppose marriage equality, and so many more policies that do not “protect Americsns and their liberties.” The Republican approach to protecting Americans and their liberties is very selective and solely based on their ideological biases.
Whether Republicans want to believe it or not, we are in the midst of an all-out war. The enemy is not a nation state or even a terrorist organization, but a stealth virus that has invaded our homeland and has established beachheads in every state. The front lines of this war are not some place overseas far from the civilian population, but here in every community. The force fighting this enemy is not a military power, but everyone of us, and we are all the potential casualties of this war. In fact, to date the enemy has killed 650,000 Americans, including 1,439 New Hampshire residents, and “wounded” 40 million Americans including 111,000 New Hampshire residents in less than two years. No war in our history has inflicted as many casualties as has the war with COVID-19. Yet Republicans are more worried about “protecting Americans and their liberties” than fighting the enemy?
When America is in an all-out war such as WW II, the government instituted very strict controls and limitations on its population’s liberties in order to protect the nation and save American lives. During WW II there was rationing of many goods, blackouts, curfews, mandatory conscription, taking over of businesses, price controls, and many more limits on our traditional freedoms. Unlike many Americans today who defy voluntary vaccination and mask wearing because it violates their liberties, during WW II the “greatest generation” accepted the limits put on their freedoms because they realized it was for the greater good, and that protection of the nation and the people during a deadly conflict was more important than their individual rights. The Governors did not complain about America becoming a “nanny state” or sue the government to “protect Americans and their liberties.” Of course not, they were patriots and realized what was at stake by failing to act boldly with courage and determination.
As a people we have fallen a long way down from the “greatest generation,” a generation who understood sacrifice and enduring personal hardship and loss of some individual rights, because they knew what was necessary to secure a better future for their children and their children’s children. They realized that personal freedom came with individual responsibility to the nation and to one another. If they were told by the President to get a vaccination and to wear a mask they would do so without hesitation, because they understood they were all part of a community and a nation, not 300 million individuals simply occupying the same land with no commitment or responsibility to one another. That is not a nation, that is a mob.
Rich DiPentima, LTC, USAF, Ret.
To gain political advantage, Republicans poisoned public discourse with their “every man for himself” ideology. We see the results all around us.