By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of President Joe Biden’s threats to take our ability to celebrate the 4th of July. The first mention of such was back in March, along with his announcement that vaccines should be available to every American by mid-April.
Of course, that supposedly good news was no reason, in Biden’s opinion, for any of us to stop wearing masks, forget about social distancing, or start gathering in large groups for parties and such. Biden told us that if we continued healthy COVID regulations, we just might be able to celebrate our nation’s independence like we used to, with backyard parties and plenty of family and friends.
And on Wednesday, in an announcement that confirmed vaccine availability to all adult Americans, Biden drug out this threat again.
He said, “To celebrate our independence from this virus on July 4th with family and friends in small groups, we still have more to do in the months of May and June. We all need to mask up until the number of cases goes down; until everyone has a chance to get their shot.”
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And he continued, “To Americans 16 years and older, it’s your turn now. Now. So go get your vaccine before the end of May. We can do this. And we’ll do this as long as we don’t let up.”
Now, I’m sure Biden’s words moved quite a few to do exactly as he asked, to “mask up” and keep social distancing, as well as schedule their vaccine at the earliest possible date.
However, I’m just as sure that his words also created a bit more animosity between him and those who call themselves true patriots.
For those of us in the latter group, we know full well that, as adults, we are fully capable of making health-conscious decisions on our own. I mean, most of us have been doing so, some better than others, for decades now.
Every year, we make decisions such as getting the flu shot, going to the hospital when we have an accident, calling the doctor when we don’t feel well, and even changing our habits and lifestyle to become healthier and possibly live a longer life.
And for most of us, no one has to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do. We know. Now, of course, sometimes we choose not to listen to that inner voice.
But that’s our choice. It’s what makes us free and independent. It’s what our forefathers fought for when they decided that they were tired of some autonomous ruler telling them what, when, and how they could live their lives.
And that makes Biden’s words, by, 1) assuming that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves, and 2) implying that we under his control, something we should all be a little bit more than concerned about.
No, I’m not implying that Biden or any of his staff will suddenly turn full tyrant and start wearing a crown or anything.
But the fact of the matter is, we just never know what rulers and leaders will do. History proves that those in command will eventually take advantage of those under them if given enough power.
The only way to keep that from happening is to make sure that those in power are kept in check by the people they were elected to govern in America’s case.
And that means we can’t even begin to allow anyone, president or not, to start filing our heads with fear and instructing us to live our lives in a particular manner.
Now, of course, that doesn’t mean we should just throw all caution about COVID-19 to wind. As science has proved, it is a real and potentially dangerous disease when in contact with those most “at-risk.” And there are precautions that we can take to possibly reduce that risk.
However, at the end of the day, it is a conscious decision everyone should be allowed to make for themselves. If we feel the need to wear a mask a public, so be it. But we should be just as free to not wear one if we so choose, just as we should be free to make our own decisions on getting any one of the vaccines available.
If we give up that right to choose for ourselves, we might as well also give up our independence.