Readers comments: September 10, 2021
The Government Overreach Blues
After reading “Slippery slopes” (Letters, Sept. 3, 2021), I started to think about the concept of government overreach. When was any attempt to protect people, even if not perfect, deemed a bad thing? (Side Note: I’ll take airport TSA protocols and pat downs all day long if that means I’m not sitting next to a guy carrying a bomb.) So, is this the only thing Republicans have to run on these days? Is bashing scientists and medical professionals the new Whack-a-Mole game of choice? Given that the United States COVID death numbers are pushing 700,000, we should put down the bleach, the cattle de-wormer and any other internet-touted miracle cures and listen to those who know and are trying hard to study this killer virus that is mutating as we speak. Funny that big states like Florida and Texas have gone out of their way to prohibit mask mandates, despite growing hospitalizations. Funny, too, speaking of government overreach, that Texas has essentially banned abortion within its borders. But I don’t hear conservatives screaming “government overreach” on that one! Suddenly, “my body, my choice” applies only to vaccinations and masks, not to a woman’s right to control her own reproductive destiny. I guess it boils down to this: If I like something the government is doing, like FEMA bailing me out after a devastating hurricane or tornado, I remain silent. If I don’t like something, like abortion or mask wearing, I label it “government overreach” and compare it to communist China or North Korea. If people truly dislike “government overreach,” then they should condemn all states that, for example, enact voter suppression measures, try to infringe on women’s reproductive rights, etc. Anything short of that consistency is, frankly, hypocrisy writ large.
Response to “Slippery slopes”
Last week a letter writer objected to mask and vaccine mandates as an unwarranted intrusion into his freedoms. He is mistaken.
Helmet laws for motorcyclists and young bicyclists; seat belt, auto insurance, drunk driving, child seat, traffic laws; requirements that teachers be periodically tested for tuberculosis; and vaccine requirements for children to attend public schools all are intended to protect all of us from reckless behavior by some of us. Imperfect as these restraints are, they do reduce the risks for all of us.
The benefits of living in a community requires that all of us restrain our selfish impulses which may be hazardous to the rest of us. Wear a mask and get vaccinated so that the vulnerable among us can be safer.
Jim des Lauriers