The Two Americas: Collectivists vs. Individualists

by | Aug 4, 2021


CNN just ran an opinion piece with the headline, “Can you do something about stubborn unvaccinated people? Yes, you can.” The New York Times ran a similarly themed opinion piece a few weeks earlier with this headline, “Meet the Four Kinds of People Holding Us Back.” So did The Washington Post — only harsher in tone: “I’m tired of being nice to vaccine refusers,” the writer complained just a few days ago.

The message is clear: The unvaccinated are to blame. The oft-unstated message, though, is just as clear, at least for those paying attention: America’s pesky penchant for individualism is to blame.

After all, a country steeped in collectivism wouldn’t have this problem — wouldn’t have to deal with naysayers, with doubting Thomases, with critical thinkers and questioning pains in the you-know-what, with rebels both with and without causes. A country that takes its marching orders from government, filled with citizens who are trained from Day One to rely on, even pine for, dictates from their political overlords — a country like that filled with citizens like this simply obeys. They take the COVID-19 shot. They take the shot and move on, and nary a complaint is heard. Perhaps they’re afraid of disappearing into the good night; perhaps they’re afraid of being arrested or shot; but in the end, no matter the reason, nary a complaint is heard.

The good for the country is achieved.

The good for the collective is done. It is finished. Yay, Team Government.

America is not like that. And the vaccinated are tearing at their hair roots wondering why, how and when America went so far off the rails that individuals would dare to exercise their own wills on vaccines — because, after all, it’s for the good of the country, for all of the country, for vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. That is their line.

And this is The Line.

If there were a line that could be drawn to show the precise crossing into America’s complete demise, then the mental figurings that form the accusatory and hostile arguments against those who are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine would be it. It’s the crossing from individualism into collectivism.

It’s the cultural shift of the majority’s consciousness from inherent belief in individual choice to one that defaults by nature into regard for the collective. For the good of society, according to government’s standards. For the greater good — of the state.

It’s not just the vaccine.

It’s first the vaccine, then another vaccine, then more Big Pharma-tied health and safety mandates, then a universal basic income, then a loss of parental rights, then the loss of privacy and free assembly, then the loss of speech, then the loss of the Second Amendment — then whatever else may come. After all, if vaccine mandates are good for the health of you and me, all the more so the good riddance of guns. Right? If private businesses can regulate who gets to work and shop versus who cannot, using “good for the public” standards of health and safety, well then, the sky’s the limit. Yes? The danger here is not the vaccine, per se.

The danger here is the loss of choice over the vaccine.

The permanent demise to America comes when more people than not think, believe and angrily assert that the loss of choice is the patriotic, proper way it should be.

That’s when the collectivists know they’ve won the soul. Think about it. While you still can.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Washington Times.


  • Cheryl K. Chumley

    Cheryl Chumley is online opinion editor for The Washington Times, the author of “The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country From the Beast in Washington” and of "Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality," and a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Fund for American Studies.