Category Archives: Freedom

Leveraging Sexual Anxieties

 

We must always remember that the principal values of democracy are freedom and equality. Those are robust values. They are worth defending and fighting for. Many people in the US, among many other places, seem uninterested in defending those values. Freedom does not include the right to exploit others, because that negates their freedom. You can’t have such freedom. Many forget this. One of the “freedoms” some claim is the “freedom” to impose your view of sexuality on others. Again, that negates their freedom so such an attitude should be off limits for a proponent of freedom.

As Jason Stanley the philosopher of Fascism, said when interviewed on PBS’s Amanpour & Co.,

“Among the freedoms were enjoy in democracy are the freedom to identify with whom we want, to have the adult partners we want. And this freedom is under attack. And this attack on LGBT citizens is very eastern European in character. It comes in the wake of an attack on so-called critical race theory, but the attack is not really on critical race theory, it’s an attack on the teaching of our history, the teaching of our anti-democratic racist history and now we have an attack on LGBT rights. This puts us into the world-wide autocratic context.  If you look at autocrats and would be autocrats around the world, from Russia’s gay propaganda law of 2013, that prohibits teaching minors about non-standard life-styles and had a terrible effect on LGBT communities in Russia. If we look at Viktor Orban’s Hungary the recent election was dominated by attacks on LGBT. If we look at Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil who won election with attacks on LGBT communities. We see American right now embracing this world-wide far right autocratic attack on freedom. This is just putting us in line with the fascist right world-wide”.

 

American conservatives like Tucker Carlson strongly support Orban in the name of freedom, but as I have said imposing your approved sexuality on others is not freedom. It is anti-freedom. Pedophiles also don’t believe in freedom, because they want the right to impose their lusts on other—the most vulnerable in society.

Many Conservatives in the US seem to think that all liberals are pedophiles.

Recently, the Republicans in the US Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, showed by their absurd questions that they believed, or at least wanted others to believe, that she was a pedophile supporter (if not a pedophile).  US. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene said that the 3 Republicans who voted for her must be pedophiles too. Of course, much of this comes from QAnon and Greene is one of the most famous QAnon supporters among the many in the Republican Party. QAnon claims that the Democratic Party is infested with pedophiles. QAnon used to be considered a fringe group, but increasingly it is mainstream Republican.

Of course, all of this might just be a deflection from the fact that the Republican Party no longer has any policies other than missiles in the Kulture wars. The American right has an uncanny ability to latch onto primal American fears. It used to be communists. Now it is pedophiles, or other “sexual deviants” as they refer to others with different sexual orientations. Many Americans fear nothing more than an attack on innocent children by pedophiles. And that fear has generated a plethora of crazy conspiracy theories.

Nancy McLean, a professor at Duke University, says the Republicans have been seizing on parental anxieties about children being attacked or groomed for attack by pedophiles in order to gain support for their causes. They have been focusing on this, she says, not out of genuine concern for children who are vulnerable, but for personal gain. They are doing it to get anxious parents to vote against Democrats. Does anyone really think that Ted Cruz actually thinks Ketanji Brown Jackson is a pedophile? Of course not. He just thinks the Republican base will love his spirited attack on a strong, intelligent,  black American woman. That’s all his nasty insinuations are about. McLean said Cruz is “despicable, and dishonourable but the Republican base eats this stuff up.” That is how you leverage sexual anxieties for political gain. And Cruz is good at it. That is how American and Russian fascism work.

It is not about freedom. It is about imposing your will and your views on others. Again, that is the philosophy of the bully. Pick a vulnerable person or group and impose your will on them.

 

Personal Choice

 

We have been hearing a lot about personal choice lately. People say they want the personal choice to decide for themselves whether or not they take the vaccine.  To some extent that makes sense, but not much.

Rob Davidson is a country doctor from western Michigan and he had a different point of view. In his hospital in a small town the health care professionals saw many patients dying from Covid-19. It was heart breaking to see he said, particularly because most of those deaths were from people who refused to get vaccinated.  They would have had a good chance to avoid that just by taking the vaccine since he said, the hospitalizations  and deaths were overwhelmingly from the unvaccinated. He said some nurses cried every day on their trip back to their homes.  As well, they are frustrated by the attitude of people who just refuse the vaccines saying it is a matter of personal choice. This was Dr. Davidson’s response to that:

“With every shift, I see the strain people sick with Covid-19 put on my hospital. Their choice to not get vaccinated is not personal. It forces patients with ruptured appendixes and broken bones to wait for hours in my emergency department; it postpones surgeries for countless other people and burns out doctors and nurses…Personal choice cannot be an acceptable reason to endanger other people.”

How many nurses and other health care professionals have quit their jobs because they can’t take it anymore?

I wish people who worried about personal choice thought about the effects their choice have on other people. Is that not important too?

 

Wisdom from Curlers and Nonsense from Truckers

 

We have been hearing a lot of crap from truckers and their allies lately.  They want freedom. Don’t we all? They keep demanding the right to decide for themselves whether or not they will take vaccines for Covid-19.  Many of them drove in a “freedom convoy” all the way to Ottawa from all parts of the country to protest mandates, getting lavish praise along the way from all kinds of people including political leaders.  By mandates they mean all laws and health orders relating to Covid-19. Really they want to do whatever they want, saying it is a matter of “personal freedom”.

 

Yet they don’t demand the right to drive on whatever side of the road they choose. They don’t demand the right to drive without licensees. They don’t protest against the safety requirements to restrict the hours that they drive their trucks. They don’t drink and drive. The fact is that truckers, like each of us, are not allowed to do whatever we want. We all have to obey laws whether we like them or not. None of us can do whatever we want. That is not freedom. That is anarchy. Frankly they are full of nonsense.

 

Then there are curlers. Well at least there is one that impressed me greatly.  This was Jason Gunnlaugson the skip of one of Manitoba’s top curling  teams and a former provincial champion. He recently announced that he would not compete in the Manitoba championship this year that will be held next week in Selkirk.  That means he won’t have a chance to compete in the Canadian Briar either.

 

Gunnlaugson announced that several members of his family and others in his “immediate circle” had not been able to receive timely medical treatment during the pandemic as a result of a huge surge of hospitalizations in Manitoba as a result of Covid-19 cases.  This is what he said: “I personally cannot reconcile playing non-bubble and non-testing curling tournaments at this time.”

 

With that comment Gunnlaugson proved he was different from the truckers—he could think of someone other than himself! He believes in freedom for others, not just freedom for himself. After all, we all want freedom.

 

A Spectrum of Mandates

 

I have tried to establish that the majority in a democratic society are allowed to impose vaccines on others who do not want to take them. I have tried to establish that on the basis of Mill’s principle of liberty enunciated in his book On Liberty.  Many of us now call the right which we have not to have actions imposed on us the principle of autonomy. I think that is a very important principle, but it is not an unlimited right.

Harms can be imposed on us if that is necessary to prevent us causing harm to others. It is of course necessary to weigh the harm avoided against the harm imposed.  The harm imposed must be less than the harm avoided, otherwise we have created greater harm by our actions. Sometimes, the ends justify the means. I will have more to say on that later.

Therefore, the harm caused by the mandate must be less than the harm avoided.

I suggest that there is a range of harms involved in mandates that depend upon the type of mandate. For example, the mandate could involve manacling the citizen and forcibly inflicting a needle with the vaccine into the body of the resister. That would be the most serious harm. It could cause great harm on the resister.  It certainly would elicit widespread opposition. I have seen photos of such a procedure being imposed on women’s suffragettes in the United States. They went on a hunger strike in the early 20th century to influence the American government, led by Woodrow Wilson, to grant women the right to vote.  They were horrific images of a woman being held while a tube was inserted into her mouth  through which food flowed against her will into her stomach.. The images probably went a long way toward persuading the public that perhaps their position was too strong and they lost public support. The same thing might happen with vaccines.

Unlike, forcing women to take food, I have argued that we would be morally justified in forcing vaccine Resisters to take the vaccines. But perhaps, such images, and there surely would be images, would quickly circulate and could persuade citizens that the government was going too far. As a result, such measures might be counterproductive.  Perhaps even though vaccine mandates are permissible we would be wise to avoid at least the more serious harms in the spectrum of harms. The spectrum of mandates could be from the smart to the stupid. I prefer the smart, though that is not always easy to determine.

We already have imposed some lesser measures that still go by the name of mandates. For example, we now require some employees in some situations, to be vaccinated, in order to work.  The loss of employment is obviously a serious harm imposed on the resisters.

We have also imposed restrictions on the unvaccinated to refrain from entering restaurants or certain stores or certain facilities such as hospitals or personal care homes for the purpose of visiting loved ones. Again these are serious harms but less draconian than the manacles.

Even though mandates are justified in my opinion we must be smart in choosing those that are the most effective and least counter productive.

We need smart mandates.

Vaccine Mandates are Morally Permitted

Vaccine Mandates are Morally Permitted

 

Mill’s principle says that the only reasonable limit on freedom is the prevention of harms to others. What is the harm in refusing to take vaccines?

The way I see it there are a number of  harms that are avoided by compelling others to take vaccines they do not want to take. One of them is that refusal to take vaccines gives the deadly virus that causes Covid-19 an increased opportunity to spread that it should not have. The longer the virus is allowed to circulate the more people can get infected, and seriously ill, or even die. The more people get vaccinated the better the chance is that the virus will be stopped in its tracks. Scientists have persuaded me that widespread vaccination is our best chance at stopping the virus. People who resist the vaccines are helping the virus to spread and infect others. This is a serious harm to others.

There is significant evidence that the virus can be spread by the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated. If it were equally possible for either group to spread the virus there would be no reason for us to impose vaccines on others, on that  basis since it would not make a difference to others.  The chance of others  catching Covid-19 would then be no higher or lower than   Then a vaccine mandate would not justified on this basis at least.  So far as I have learned the spread is greater by the unvaccinated so I think the case is still strong that imposing a vaccine on others against their will is permissible to avoid the greater harm to others.

As well, the longer the virus is allowed to circulate unchecked the greater the chances that the virus will evolve and develop new variants that are even more dangerous than the ones we have now. This can endanger not just us in the vicinity but actually people around the world. We are seeing this right now around the world with the spread of the new virus Omicron. We also saw it earlier with the evolution of the Delta variant. New variants might be available to evade the vaccines again putting other people at great risk of harm.

These are serious harms that people who refused to get vaccinated without a sound medical exemption are inflicting on others, so, in my opinion, the majority has the right to compel people to take the vaccine. I think the case for vaccine mandates is a strong one.

Limits on Freedom

 

John Stuart Mill pointed out, more than 150 years ago, that much of what makes life good is dependent upon controlling or limiting interference by other people. This is really the basis of liberalism. This limitation is critical to the enjoyment of life. Some limits are absolutely necessary, while others are not.  His book On Liberty tries to define those limits. It is worth reading. I recently re-read it after many years.

In essence the problem, as Mill defined it, is that even in a democracy we must be able to resist the imposition of duties by the majority in some cases, though not all. For example, no one would argue that it is wrong to prohibit murder or assaults. Would the imposition of a vaccination mandate by the majority as represented by its elected  government fit into the category of permitted or non-permitted infringements of freedom? That is the question I am trying to answer in a meandering fashion. Mill sought a principle that would assist people in determining into which category an example or proposed example of government interference would fit.  I think that is a worthy goal.

This is the principle that Mill proposed:

“That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forebear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him,  but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amendable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

 

That is the reasonable limit on a person’s freedom.

Mill also reminds that this does not mean one can do whatever one chooses to do no matter what the consequences.  Famously, others have said, ‘your freedom to swing your hand stops at my nose’. They really mean at anyone else’s nose. Mill put it more elegantly this way: “The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our good in our way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.”

 Mill accepts only 1 important qualification, that this principle is only for the benefit of “human beings in the maturity of their faculties.” Children cannot claim the benefits of this principle, in Mill’s view, and must abide by instructions imposed on them by their parents, and to some extent even others.

With some qualifications that I won’t get into here, I accept this principle. How does this principle apply to the question at hand? How does it apply to the case of whether or not it is permitted for society to say we demand everyone to be vaccinated unless there is a good  reason for not doing so?

Clearly, on the basis of these principles, we should be allowed to take the vaccine or not, as we choose, so long as we do not harm others by our choice. I agree with that. Does refraining from taking the vaccine harm others? On its face, the vaccine is designed to protect ourselves from the most harmful effects of Covid-19. But this does not resolve the matter. Our choice can affect others. In other words, if the evidence establishes that my refusal to take the vaccine affects others that is significant, and if the harm caused is great enough could warrant an imposition that compels me to take the vaccine to some extent at least.

Tyranny of the Majority

 

John Stuart Mill also recognized that just because society made  decisions (such as to impose vaccine sanctions or not) in a democratic manner would not give the decision the right to override the essential liberties. There should be limits on the power of society through the ruler, even if a democratic ruler, over members of society—i.e. individuals. That is exactly what liberty means. Certain immunities or “political liberties or rights” would be so important that it would be regarded as a breach of the duty in the ruler” if he infringed them, even if that rule consisted of a democratic ruler, such as Parliament. As Mill said, “The limitation, therefore, of the power of government over individuals loses none of its importance when the holders of power are regularly accountable to the community.” Even democratic governments must abide by these limitations.

 

Mill recognized that the people, or a majority of the people, in some cases might want to oppress an individual or a part of a group.  Just like liberty is not absolute, so the power of the ruler/authority must therefore be limited or constrained as well and cannot be absolute. Some people forget this important aspect of Mill’s thought. Some people think that provided a decision is made by the majority they can do whatever they want. Mill denies this.  There must be limits even on the power of the majority.  In fact, Mill had a powerful expression for this—i.e. “the tyranny of the majority.” Mill said, “ ‘the tyranny of the majority’ is now generally included among the evils against which society requires to be on its guard.” So, just because the majority of the people think they should impose the obligation on an individual to get vaccinated does not of itself make that decision just.

Mill waxed eloquent on this subject:

“Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling…There is limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism.”

 

Really what Mill is arguing in favour of is what we now call a liberal or constitutional democracy. That means a democracy that is subject to the human rights of the individuals. A democratic society cannot do anything it wants to do. There must be reasonable limits on that power and Mill helps us to understand what those limits are.

John Stuart Mill on Liberty

 

I think we can gain a better understanding of the issue of mandates by looking at what English philosopher John Stuart Mill said in the 19th century. In my opinion he has helped to shed light on many important social issues by his careful analysis of liberty.

John Stuart Mill set out well the rationale for allowing individuals to be free (autonomous) to decide for themselves what medical treatments to take or not take.

He asked a preliminary question to set out the issue clearly.  He asked,

“What, then, is the rightful limit to the sovereignty of the individual over himself? Where does the authority of society begin?  How much of human life should be assigned to individuality, and now much to society?”

 

That is precisely the question raised by the mandate issue. Should the individual be allowed to decide for himself or herself whether or not to take the vaccines or can society legitimately make the decision instead? Note that unlike many modern people who deny that the state has the right to impose virtually any restrictions on them, let alone vaccines, Mill recognized that there were restrictions on freedom and he wanted to understand what those limits were.

Mill said, in trying to answer this question, the following:

“Each will receive its proper share, if each has that which more particularly concerns it. To individuality should belong that part of life in which it is chiefly the individual that is interested; to society, the part which chiefly interests society.”

 

If society is of greater interest in the answer to the question then the individual, then it ought to be allowed to make the decision. If the individual is more interested in the question  then he or she should be permitted to decide.

Mill did not say society had no right to get involved in the personal affairs of individuals. For example, Mill said “Human beings owe to each other help to distinguish the better from the worse, and encouragement to choose the former and avoid the latter.” As a pertinent example, in society there is no objection to trying to persuade individuals to take a vaccine if society has evidence that this course of action would be good for the individual and society. Society has the right to do that.  But does it have the right to go further and impose an obligation to take one of the vaccines?  According to Mill,

“But neither one person nor any number of persons, is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years, that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it. He is the person most interested in his own well-being; the interest which any other person, except cases of strong personal attachment , can have in it, is trifling, compared with that which he himself has; the interest which society has in him individually (except as to his conduct to others) is fractional, and all together indirect; while with respect to his own feelings and circumstances , the most ordinary man or woman has means of knowledge immeasurably surpassing those that can be possessed by any one else. (emphasis added)”

 

Please note the vitally important qualification which I have highlighted.  Therefore, Mill concludes, with regard to what concerns only himself, society has no right to override the individual’s decisions. Mill said,

“in this department, therefore, of human affairs, Individuality has its proper  field of action…Considerations to aid his judgment, exhortations to strengthen his will, may be offered to him, even obtruded on him, by others: but he himself is the final judge.  All errors which he is likely to commit against advice and warning are outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to what they deem his good.”

 

On this basis, individuals would be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to take a Covid-19 vaccine, provided his actions do not affect others.  That then becomes the central question: do they affect others and to what extent?

Back in 1859 when Mill wrote On Liberty, he realized that It would be “a vital question of the future,” what the nature and limits of the power  which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.” On that point he was indubitably right as the current debate over the propriety of a vaccine mandate makes clear.

 

 

Absolute or Conditional Freedoms

 

When I attended the recent Steinbach rally against health restrictions and vaccine mandates, there was a lot of talk about freedom. Many of the protesters made it obvious that they think that in a free society they should be allowed to choose whether or not to wear mask or get vaccinated and risk the lives or freedoms of others as they see fit.

I am a freedom loving person. I would hate living in a country like Afghanistan where freedom is now largely absent. I cherish freedom.

I also cherish the right to dissent from authority. We should have the right to choose for ourselves and oppose decisions of the authorities or majorities in a peaceful manner. We should not be slaves to authority. We are free and have the right to be free.

However, dissent to be worthy of the name must be rational. We need to weigh the alternatives, and the evidence in favour of any proposition, and base our conclusions on our own powerful instruments of critical thinking. Irrational dissent (not based on valid reasoning or evidence) amounts to paranoia which can cripple us as much as tyranny can.

The people at the rally in Steinbach claimed to cherish freedom absolutely. Here I disagree. No rights are absolute. Freedom does not mean we have the right to do anything we want to do. Freedoms are always conditional.

Here are a few examples of what I mean.  All of us must abide by speed limits on public roads whether we like them or not. If we don’t, we can justifiably be punished, even in a free and democratic society.  We are not allowed to build a factory or hog barn in a residential district of a small city like Steinbach. We must abide by zoning laws. We are not free to enter into someone else’s home without their consent, except in unusual circumstances. We are not free to do that because they are free to keep us out.  We are not free to dump our garbage into the street, because that violates the right of others to enjoy community life free from garbage of others. We have to pay taxes whether we like it or not, even if the government spends some of our money on goals with which we don’t agree. We are not (at least in Canada) allowed to promulgate hate speech against other groups even if we hate them. We can hate them, but we are not allowed to encourage hatred or violence against them by others. We are not free to shout fire in a crowded dark theatre when there is no fire present, because that might lead to a stampede of panicking patrons that could cause serious injury to others. A person with a communicable illness like HIV/AIDs is not free to have sex with other individuals without warning them of the danger and if we do we can be charged with an assault. We are not free to hit other people just because we don’t like them. We are not allowed to build dangerous structures on which the public have access, because that would endanger their lives. We must always remember and take into consideration the rights of others. Their rights are not absolute either. Sometimes our rights must bend to allow rights of others to work out.

These are all reasonable restrictions on freedoms which we all must accept if we want to live in a free and democratic society with others.

Similarly, and for similar reasons, when Health authorities demand that we wear a mask to protect others, or get vaccinated if we perform certain functions or want to attend certain public events, we must abide by those requirements, because we are not allowed to endanger the lives of others even though such restrictions do in fact restrict our rights to some extent. In a free and democratic society restrictions can be placed on our freedoms for the protection of others. The restrictions must be effective, tailored to the remedy the harm to be avoided, and as limited as possible in the circumstances so that the freedom of others is curtailed as little as necessary to avoid the harm and no more.

Freedom is great, but it is not absolute. We should be happy that it is not absolute. That would be anarchy. None of us would like it.

It Sucks to be a Conservative

 

In Canada and in the United States many people, but nowhere near a majority of the people, are objecting to actions by the government that they see as “over reaching” or imposing duties on them that are not justified in a free and democratic society. Some have gone as far as to call the health restrictions imposed by governments as “authoritarian” or “fascist.” Protesters in Manitoba, particularly in southern Manitoba, a region deeply committed to conservatism, have been making very similar remarks.

As Max Boot reported, in the Washington Post,

“Republicans explode with fury,” noted Fox “News” Channel. Republican governors threatened to file suit to stop what Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp called “this blatantly unlawful overreach.” Fox News accused Biden of being “an authoritarian” and declaring “war on millions of Americans.” Breitbart claims he went “full totalitarian” and the Federalist called it a “fascist move.”

 

Blinded by partisanship and populism, Republicans have lost all perspective. The crux of their argument — to the extent that they have one — is that the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has no right to tell companies with at least 100 employees that workers must either get tested weekly for COVID-19 or present proof of vaccination.

This is the same OSHA that has issued myriad regulations over the years governing such aspects of workplace safety as the placement of step bolts. (“The employer must ensure . . . step bolts are uniformly spaced at a vertical distance of not less than 12 inches (30 cm) and not more than 18 inches (46 cm) apart.”) I have no idea how many workers have been injured by misplaced step bolts — frankly, I’m not even sure what step bolts are — but I am guessing it is not many. I do know, however, how many Americans have been killed by COVID- 19: 655,000 and counting. If OSHA can protect against the menace of step bolts, I’m pretty sure it can protect against the deadliest pandemic in a century.

 

While I generally agree with these important points, I believe the last paragraph goes too far. This is not a perfect analogy. Placing bolts a certain distance apart does not impose a heavier burden on the citizen. Inserting a needle into an arm and injecting a substance that the individual believes will be harmful to him or her against his or her will, is a much more intrusive violation of the rights of the citizen and will require a higher burden of proof on the state to justify. Yet, I think it can be justified.

We know that conservatives in Canada and the US generally object to governments telling businesses what to do. At least they object when their political opponents impose their will. When their own party does it the objections are much less vociferous. For example in the United States, some governments such as the state of Florida have mandated (I use that word deliberately) that businesses are not permitted to demand vaccine passports from their customers. So far, at least 6 state governments led by Republicans, have passed laws prohibiting private businesses from doing exactly that. In Canada, and the United States, governments have in the past required students to demonstrate to school officials that they have taken a host of vaccinations for diseases such as polio, hepatitis, measles, mumps and rubella. They did that of course because those measures helped to prevent serious illnesses and these requirements were imposed without fuss or muss, because the issue of vaccinations at the time were not controversial. Nearly everyone saw the wisdom of such measures. The reason of course, is that vaccines were not political issues as they have become recently. President Trump played down the significance of the pandemic and told people it would just magically go away and they had nothing to fear. As Boot said, “His cult followers therefore felt compelled to echo his Panglossian outlook by falsely claiming that COVID-19 was no worse than the flu or promoting quack remedies such as hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as miracle cures.”

As a result of identity politics, where people refused to take the vaccine or do take the vaccine, not on the basis of science, or analysis, or data, but on the basis of which political group they identify. As a result, in the US Boot reported that

“According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 86 per cent of Democrats have gotten vaccinated but only 54 per cent of Republicans. That, in turn, translates into rising numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the red states. Over the past couple of weeks, the United States has been losing an average of 1,579 people a day to COVID-19. More than a third of those deaths (570 a day) are in just two red states: Florida and Texas.”

 

For similar reasons, Florida led by Republicans, where more than 3 times as many people per capita have been dying from Covid-19 than California which is led by Democrats. The rate of death in Florida is 10 times higher than New York which is led by Democrats. In fact, recently, where the US was suffering 1,579 deaths per day from Covid-19 and more than 1/3rd of them were in just two conservative led states, namely Texas and Florida. It sucks to be a conservative in the US!

As Boot said,

“Republican governors don’t seem to mind killing their constituents in the name of a twisted theory of “medical freedom,” but that doesn’t mean the president of the United States is helpless to protect the life and wellbeing of its citizens. In fact, as Washington Post contributing columnist Leana S. Wen argues, Biden still has not gone far enough — for example, he still needs to mandate proof of vaccination for airline and train passengers.

 But at least Biden has given up the hope that he could reason with COVID-deniers and anti-vaxxers. The Republican reaction to his sensible mandate shows that much of the right is beyond the reach of reason. It is now time to use federal power to protect the most basic of civil rights: the right to life.”

 

Although not every one will agree, I must say that I do agree.