It’s always interesting where a conversation goes when a subject comes up. Yesterday, some readers were very passionate about vaccine mandates in the wake of the news that Pfizer has had some successful tests of children between the ages of five and eleven. We obviously aren’t there yet, but hopefully we will have a vaccine for all school aged children before the end of the year.
This of course begged the question: why aren’t all elementary schools and daycare centers mandating that every adult in the building take the vaccine? You have a captive audience of young people that cannot be protected against the virus. Forcing everyone else around them to be fully vaccinated just seems to make the most sense.
That conversation morphed into a conversation as to why we aren’t mandating every abled body adult get the vaccine period. The FDA has give full approval to at least one vaccine. We have plenty of it to go around and the vaccine has been free for quite some time.
The Democratic party and the Republican party approach politics very differently. One seems to have a conscience and the other does not. Republicans in recent years have governed for a clear minority of the population. Their policies are favored by a minority and yet they implement them with reckless abandon. They don’t seem to care that most people don’t want them to do these things. It’s almost breathtaking to see.
The Democratic party should be working from a position of strength, but they can’t seem to get out of their own way. Heavy majorities want vaccine mandates. They want a higher minimum wage. They want stiffer environmental protections. They want voting rights protected and expanded. We know all of this. Yet, little seems to happen because some within the party are worried about the fallout.
See, we know a loud minority will protest any of these things. We know this because we’ve seen it before. When President Obama was negotiating the Affordable Care Act, he took very popular planks like a public option off the table. There was no way the Republicans could support it. Except, they didn’t support any of it. They’ve been spending the past ten years trying to get rid of all of it. So, why are worried about what planks Republicans find objectionable? They find everything objectionable.
Conservatives are up in arms about mandates. It’s antithetical to freedom they say. Except it’s the exact same thing we’ve been doing with other vaccines for decades. In order to attend public school you have to have certain vaccinations or documentation from a doctor of why you cannot comply. There’s none of this “I don’t know what’s in it” or “it’s a way for them to track you.” Sure, there are those that have always believed that, but they had to suffer the consequences of their decision.
The end result this time around is that one of the wealthiest countries in the world has one of the lowest vaccine rate in the developed world. Sure, developing countries lag behind, but they also have institutional barriers to consider. A country without those barriers can’t seem to get to 70 percent in full vaccinations. Sadly, giving people to freedom to choose means too many make the wrong choice.
Whether you mandate it or not, the Tucker Carlson’s and Sean Hannity’s of the world will spew their garbage comparing a government to fascism when doing something we’ve done dozens of times before. You can tiptoe around it or you can simply shove it down their throat. If people are going to complain let’s give them something to complain about. In the meantime, maybe then we can properly protect our children and anyone else that is vulnerable instead of hoping only the idiots weed themselves out of the population.