Before winter, I will make a long trip through the South, including some of the current hotbeds of Delta-variant infection. I’m told I’m not eligible for a booster shot until eight months after my second vaccination, or I would get one before I go.

With my humanities overview of science, I can grasp that the vaccine jump-starts an immune response through a cellular trick, rather than through introduction of a live virus. Like everyone, I also know that this particular vaccine was hurried through the customary approval process, and that anything new always carries a risk of adverse consequences that might take years to develop. Those offering unequivocal assurances that the vaccines are “proven safe,” as five Carroll County legislators did in this paper on Friday, might be more persuasive if they stuck to the strict truth that the vaccines have been proven “remarkably safe so far.”

Given my age, and how hard I was hit by a super flu in 2019, I concluded that any risk was too low to forego the potential reward. No one forced me to get the new vaccine, and if anyone had tried, it would only have gotten my back up.

Unfortunately, force is increasingly the tactic of choice for American politicians, and especially Democrats. In Friday’s paper, that gang of five Democrats chastised the county commissioners for daring to resist the Biden regime’s nationwide nursing-home vaccine diktat, the dubious constitutionality of which has not been tested. They suggested that individual rights, such as the freedom to decline vaccination, deserve no respect “when they impinge upon the health and safety of our children, parents, grandparents, and neighbors.”

That emotionalized appeal for forced vaccination implies, falsely, that vaccines prevent further transmission. As the CDC itself warns, “fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others,” and those five disciples of science should know that—especially the two who are doctors, and maybe even the one who is married to a doctor. Nursing home staff rejecting a vaccine certainly put themselves at risk, but if the vaccinated and unvaccinated can both transmit the virus, those Democrats’ primary excuse for coercion is groundless.

In tribute to the weakness of that argument, the Democratic quintet also tried scaring county taxpayers with the potential loss of $6.7 million in Medicaid and Medicare funding, which Joe Biden threatens to withhold from noncompliant nursing homes. His autocratic decree may not survive a Supreme Court challenge, but even if it did, such a lament over lost federal funds by those Democrats rings with particular hypocrisy for anyone who follows the shenanigans of our legislature.

Not one of those five uttered a peep last year, when the Democrat-dominated State House education committee refused $46 million in federal grants for charter schools. One of the five, a retired teacher and a member of the education committee, voted to reject the grant himself. You see, aid to charter schools threatens the Democrats’ reliable bloc of unionized teachers with the specter of actual competition. Not until Republicans resumed control of the Legislature was that money accepted, offering hope of alternative educational choices for parents dissatisfied with ever-more monolithic and ineffective traditional public schools.

It seems equally hypocritical for Democrats who have so long argued the right of women to control what happens within their own bodies to suddenly dictate what will go into everyone’s body. They feel that glaring inconsistency, too. That’s why they resorted to the fiction of limiting their abrogation of personal rights to those instances “when they impinge upon the health and safety of our children,” etc. As long as you can convince yourself that a fetus is not a human being—even at perfectly viable stages — it’s much easier to pretend that abortion doesn’t “impinge upon the health and safety” of anyone.

Isn’t it remarkable that such ideological inconsistency is repeatedly rewarded at the polls? Yet, what is the alternative? Republican fantasies of stolen elections and vaccine conspiracies have so besmirched the only organized opposition that GOP messages of liberty and personal responsibility have suffered by the association. Only an even crazier delusion can make dishonest Democratic Doublespeak seem reasonable.

William Marvel lives in South Conway.

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(1) comment


Bill, we are indeed living in strange times. Democrats are going to ruin us but I'm afraid the current Republican leaders are just a different kind of crazy.

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