After almost 250 years, America remains an experiment, a concept, an idea. And the idea is this…that a society can manage itself in an orderly manner with direction from the many, pursuing the greatest good for the greatest number, while ensuring the freedom of individuals. The pandemic and the new ‘Delta Variant’ present challenges to the core of our organizing principles. Does a society of 330 million people have the authority to protect itself from a deadly illness? Of course it does. It must. Contrarily, do individuals have the right to refuse treatment even though this decision may lead to their own death or the death of those around them? Again, perhaps only in America, yes.
We could pass a law and mandate that everyone must become vaccinated. But what do we do with the noncompliant. Lock them up in already overcrowded prisons?
The way forward is clear. The federal government and like-minded state governments must compel citizens to become vaccinated through voluntary means. In our organized society this can be accomplished through institutions whose members and recipients willingly join or comply. Federal employees. Airline providers and travelers. School systems, through actions of the teachers unions. Medical providers. The Military and National Guard. Sporting franchises. Privately owned businesses who choose to respond in this way.
Some convenient proof of vaccination would be necessary but we can do this.
Individuals who remain non-compliant certainly retain the right to do so. But their decision will entail consequences that may remove them from the mainstream of American society. This is not punishment. This is a consequence of their free choice in the face of America’s rightful and necessary measures to protect the greatest number and ensure the greatest good.