Limited government does not mean no government.
Back in 2001, Obama infamously noted that the United States Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties” that details “what the states can’t do to you, what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.”
On this point, he is essentially right. The Constitution is designed to limit the degree to which the federal (and to a lesser degree, state) government can meddle in our lives. The Bill of Rights is a key example of this, detailing what the government cannot do—what it is not at liberty to do—to the American people.
This is right and just. The government should not be meddling in our God-given rights to freedom of speech and assembly, to keep and bear arms, to freely exercise our religion, and etc.
Obama was also correct in noting that the Constitution does not state what the government “must do on your behalf” beyond that detailed in the Constitution concerning the role and purview of each branch of government. He, of course, sees this as a flaw, but it’s a feature.
Indeed, it is arguably the single factor that makes our Constitution the best ever written in terms of establishing the government of a free people. By limiting the role of government, our Founders established that we, the people, are intended to have historically unprecedented freedom to make our decisions and to be able to live our lives free of endless and ever-growing government interference.
So what is the role of the states in all of this? What if the federal government tramples the rights of a free people by requiring a WuFlu vaccination that some people have determined they neither want nor need? Where is the recourse when the federal government itself steps beyond its Constitutional scope to force a private business to do its bidding?
It is through this lens that I consider the decision of Republican governors and legislatures to ban mask and/or vaccination mandates by companies in their states. Joe “I am the Democratic Party” Biden announced a WuFlu vaccine mandate on businesses with 100 or more employees. While this mandate has thus far not actually manifested (though the rule is expected to drop . . . at some point), the mandate on private businesses is an overreach. It falls into the category of Obama’s “what the government must do on your behalf” and, as such, is anathema to Constitutional conservatives.
The federal government, under the false premise of protecting public health, is forcing companies to force Americans to choose between their jobs and their God-given right to self-determination. At this point, these companies are not acting as private entities but as government agents acting not as they wish but as extensions of the federal government.
The federal government cannot mandate that every American get vaccinated, so this is the next best thing: an end-run around the Constitution.
Large parts of the RW commentariat are mentally incapable of grasping that when the Federal government orders private companies to act in certain ways, without there being a law passed or so much as a single regulation promulgated, this isn’t “voluntary private corporate action”. https://t.co/M3ARKb4Iyz
— Daddy Warpig (@DaddyWarpig) October 14, 2021
The Houston Chronicle editorial board published a sophomoric and moronic piece claiming that governors banning federal mandates are themselves guilty of mandates. In this twisted view, Texas governor Greg Abbott’s move to protect the American people from livelihood-destroying government overreach is itself government overreach (archive link).
The governor’s order conflicts with a soon-to-be-enacted federal regulation that will require businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure they’re either vaccinated or tested weekly. Butting up against President Joe Biden is precisely the point.
“In yet another instance of federal overreach, the Biden administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” Abbott wrote in the order.
Abbott’s anti-mandate mandate also conflicts with the classic conservative tradition in this state and elsewhere of the primacy of local control. Since Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton have ruled the Capitol roost, such rank hypocrisy is par for the course. Still, it’s one thing when the governor ignores local control over the use of plastic bags, cutting down trees or restricting fracking within the city limits; it’s another when thousands of lives are at stake in a global pandemic.
Well, no, there is no conflict “with the classic conservative tradition in this state and elsewhere of the primacy of local control.” Not only is the Constitution silent on the issue of “local control” of a person’s God-given rights, but the Constitution gives all authority not specifically assigned to the federal government to the states and to the people.
Abbott, as the duly-elected governor of Texas, is the exact Constitutionally-appointed person intended to step in to protect the rights of his state’s citizens. If the people choose to be vaccinated, that’s their choice. A federal government ultimatum—get this series of shots with untold numbers of “boosters” for the foreseeable future or lose your job—is the exact time that a governor not only can but must step in to stop the tyranny.
Furthermore, even companies and businesses that are imposing these vaccine mandates on their own, not under threat of the full force and power of the federal government, are depriving Americans of their liberty to make their own decisions and should therefore be constrained from doing so by the state government.
Doing so is in the very spirit of the Constitution, as a “charter of negative liberties.” No, the federal government should not be able to coerce or force you to take a vaccine you may not need upon threat of unemployment, and no, a private business should not be able to coerce or force you to do so, either. The very idea is anti-Constitutional conservative.
Constitutional conservatives—unlike, say, libertarians—are very much pro-government, as long as it’s the republic established in our Constitution. We recognize that there are some things that the government must do to protect the nation and her people.
That is why, as an example, Constitutional conservatives are perfectly fine with government bans on private companies engaging in the coerced or forced hysterectomies of its female employees. That is why we support minimal regulations such as those that ensure abortion mills are not literally selling baby parts for profit. Limited government, in other words, does not mean no government.
The state government should absolutely intervene to protect the liberty of we, the people. If a tobacco company mandated that all employees become addicted to cigarette smoking, this would be unacceptable and a good place for government intervention. If any company mandated abortions for all female employees or that all employees submit to plastic surgery or foot-binding, we would be, justly, outraged and demand legislative action to stop it.
Companies cannot just do whatever they like, and they certainly should not be free to coerce or force their employees to take one of or a mix of the WuFlu vaccine buffet items. Not only are the various vaccines available problematic and concerning for most age groups without high risk factors, but scientific research and findings are being deliberately ignored and/or suppressed (regarding acquired immunity, for example).
Further, and this seems to get missed rather frequently, these Republican governors or not banning the vaccine; indeed, they are urging everyone to get it. They are merely saying that a vaccine mandate is one step too far, that threatening a person’s career and livelihood over “getting the jab” is unacceptable.
These governors are taking a stand and saying, no, the federal government cannot do this to you, nor can it compel private business to do it to you; indeed, businesses cannot ‘independently’ do this to you, they cannot strip away your rights to self-determination, they cannot bully you or coerce you to accept the injection of something you do not want (and probably don’t need) into your body in order to remain employed and able to support your family.
This Biden (and so far only pending) vaccine mandate on private businesses is a federal government one-size-fits-all “solution” to a coronavirus (reminder: the common cold is caused by a coronavirus) that is demonstrably not a one-size-affects-all virus.
As such, banning harmful and unnecessary business mandates is not only correct, but it is the responsibility and duty of elected public servants whose job it is to protect and defend our Constitution and our individual liberty.DONATE
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