We’re a few days away from Christmas and it’s difficult to see signs of hope.
We’re heading into another covid winter as infections and deaths again rise. More than 800,000 Americans have already died from the covid virus. Vaccines are widely available and medical evidence indicates that the unvaccinated are the ones dying now. But too many people claim they have a Constitutional right to their “freedom” to refuse the vaccination.
This argument distorts the Constitution. Constitutional freedoms extend only to the point where one person’s rights infringe on the freedoms of others. By claiming a right to reject the vaccine, anti-vaxxers increase the risk of infecting others, thus infringing on the Constitutional rights of others to live virus-free. Anti-vaxxers also increase the likelihood that we will never reach herd immunity and that the virus will mutate into a form that is vaccine resistant.
Unfortunately, the political and social disputes about covid and the vaccine are just the latest symptom of the twin diseases of political intolerance and violence. Our country has a violent history. Therefore, it is disturbing to learn from recent surveys that around a quarter of Republican Party supporters believe it is acceptable to use violence to win political disagreements. Meanwhile, the leftist fringe infecting the Democratic Party screams a message of tolerance through an intolerant program of “wokeness”. Significantly, these pampered pooches haven’t agreed to give up one iota of their privileged, coastal-elite existence to bring their utopia to fruition.
Since no one is listening to each other and the few voices of reason have been drowned out by a sea of intolerance, there is a mad scramble to impose intolerance through the capture of the political process. Too many states are passing “secure voting” laws that are designed solely to suppress the votes of people who are deemed politically and socially undesirable and inferior. Virtually all the states are racing to create gerrymandered districts that will distort the outcome of elections over the next ten years. Our Constitution stands in grave danger of becoming more useful as toilet paper.
So where do we find hope in this time of despair? History teaches us that intolerance eventually burns itself out due to its own excesses. The Inquisition eventually ran out of victims to torture and murder in the name of God. The American Civil War ended when the “secesh” states ran out of people to fight and die on the battlefield. The covid pandemic will end when the virus runs out of people to kill.
My hope is that our country will reject intolerance sooner rather than later. My despair is that we value our lives and the lives of others so cheaply that we are willing to watch so many people die before our intolerance finally burns out.
About Norma Shirk
My company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, helps small businesses create human resources policies and risk mitigation programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to help small companies grow by creating the necessary back office administrative structure while avoiding the dead weight of a bureaucracy. To read my musings on the wacky world of human resources, see the HR Compliance Jungle (www.hrcompliancejungle.com) which alternates on Wednesday mornings with my history blog, History By Norma, (available at http://www.normashirk.com). To read my musings on a variety of topics, see my posts on Her Savvy (www.hersavvy.com).
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