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Barry Brownstein

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The Totalitarian Roots of Vaccine Mandates

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Over the course of the pandemic, principles of what a free society means are being redefined by collectivists.

Consider this essay, Don’t COVID Vaccine Mandates Actually Promote Freedom? Medical ethicists Kyle Ferguson and Arthur Caplan argue, “Those who oppose cracking down on the unvaccinated are getting it all wrong.” Ferguson and Caplan are sure their opponents have a “flawed view of freedom.” They argue “Passports and mandates are hardly ‘strong-arm tactics.’ These strategies are better seen as liberty inducers. They bring about freedom rather than deplete it.”

They add, “a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign will liberate us — as individuals and as a collective — from the callous grip of a pandemic that just won’t seem to end.” Orwell’s “Party” proclaimed in 1984 that “Freedom is slavery.” Ferguson and Caplan come close to arguing “Slavery is freedom.”
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Big Brother Depends on Little Brothers

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Thanks to the CDC, many children will be robbed again of a formative summer camp experience. According to 2021 CDC irrational Covid summer camp guidelines, “Everyone at the camp—including staff and every kid over the age of two—must wear masks at all times, unless they are eating or swimming.” 

The guidelines include continued social distancing, limited interaction, and bans on some sports. Reactions from health experts have been harsh. One called the guidance “cruel to our children.” Another added, “Irrational recommendations will do no good, could in this case do harm, and really discredit federal agencies.” 

Will the summer camp directors follow the CDC guidelines? We can empathize with camp directors; they are walking a tightrope. State health authorities may demand compliance with CDC guidelines. Their insurance carrier may demand compliance. Campers’ parents may have conflicting views. We can understand why camp directors are likely to avoid potential liability and follow CDC guidance. 

“Nobody gets fired for buying IBM” is an old adage in business. Play it safe and make the choice others are making. Or, rock the boat and suffer potential repercussions because you didn’t follow the herd. Will camp directors “buy IBM,” follow the CDC’s Big Brother guidance, and become little brothers? Big Brother has no power without many little brothers willing to follow.
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