The coronavirus and subsequent government response to the pandemic has been a disaster for most Americans' economic, mental, and physical well-being.
But the coronavirus has been wonderful for a certain handful of people: The would-be tyrants who derive their meaning in life from controlling people.
This is because they have wielded the pandemic to their own advantage and to grow government power. In doing so, these public "servants" have inched America towards the kind of communism as seen in China.
Even though most lockdowns utterly failed on any reasonable cost-benefit analysis, that class of bureaucrats, government unions, and HR apparatchiks imposed them anyway.
Because these mandates fed the illusion that authorities had things under control. It indulged their sense that they were "pro-science." In truth, these tyrants had no other ideas about how to stop the spread. They were simply terrified of doing nothing at all.
But an overlooked reason driving these unthinkable power grabs was that our leaders now take cues from authoritarian China.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) originally quarantined Wuhan for months on end. Suspected cases were sometimes physically shut inside their homes with welding.
Since the CCP claimed to have crushed the virus, American leaders were eager to use the same strategies, no matter how noxious they were towards the Constitution or common sense.
Now, the lockdown era is ending, but the petty authoritarians are planning a new tactic to extend their domination: Coronavirus vaccine "passports."
Such passports, supporters argue, should be mandated to travel, attend events, or even attend school.
The case for coronavirus passports is incredibly flimsy.
While vaccine recipients are protected from serious illness, they can still contract the virus and possibly spread it. But even if they do, panicking over the virus spreading has become nonsensical.
The United States is distributing more than three million vaccines a day. Mortality is plunging as immunity spreads. The vaccine has already been offered to everyone at serious risk of dying if they contract the disease.
To anyone under 60 who is healthy enough to be traveling and attending events in the first place, the danger of coronavirus is minimal to non-existent.
Quite simply, the virus is not nearly dangerous enough to justify coercive measures and stripping freedoms.
But tyrants want them anyway.
In many cases, safety appears irrelevant compared to the sheer glee of forcing the recalcitrant to submit or lose basic rights now recast as privileges.
Just like lockdowns and the coronavirus itself, vaccine passports are another toxic import from China.
Thse passports draw clear inspiration from the CCP’s sinister social credit system.
In China, communist party leaders decide which social behaviors are desired, and which are discouraged. The CCP uses vast computer databases to track compliance rates by the country’s citizens and businesses.
Individuals can lose points for committing small crimes or not paying fines, or they can lose them for "anti-social" behaviors which range from rudeness to buying too many video games to protesting against the government.
Those deemed "untrustworthy" by Beijing lose the right to stay in hotels, buy plane tickets, or conduct business normally. Associating with those who have a bad score can itself cost points, providing an easy way for authorities to ostracize supposedly troublesome individuals and businesses.
Now, vaccine passports have become the backdoor means to bring a similar social credit system to America.
New York is rolling out its own vaccine passport regulations.
So is California.
Want to attend your daughter’s wedding, or simply exercise your 14th Amendment right to travel freely from state to state?
Better produce your papers.
To its credit, the Biden administration has rejected the idea of a central, federal vaccine passport.
But that is small comfort:
The current administration has welcomed the prospect of private actors collaborating to create a passport regime.
As with free speech, where a few tech monopolists are strong enough to censor a sitting U.S. president, the left is happy to let corporate allies take the lead in imposing controls that otherwise would be unconstitutional.
Once government and its corporate allies have tasted the fruit of controlling the public’s freedom of movement, they will never relinquish it.
Leaders who crave power will understand that all they need to do to get more is insist it is necessary for the public’s "safety."
But naturally, they will always be able to concoct new threats that require more power for them and more subservience from you.
Today, the requirement to be free is a single vaccine. But how long before they realize that health doesn’t need to be a factor at all?
With state encouragement, AirBNB and hotel chains could deny rooms to political "extremists," citing the need to stop incidents like the Capitol riot. Religious dissidents could be punished for opposing abortion or transgenderism.
Perhaps one could even lose social credit for "spreading fake news."
The right has a duty to resist these passports utterly. For any Republican seeking office in 2022 or 2024, opposing COVID passports right now is a basic litmus test.
It’s a test that Florida’s Ron DeSantis has passed with flying colors. He issued an executive order banning all vaccine passports late last month.
Conservatives must monitor their own state and local leaders to make sure they do the same thing. Otherwise, we'll soon move beyond passports for vaccines, and into passports to monitor other areas of society that the left deems unsafe.
The only thing that will protect America’s remaining freedoms from CCP wannabes who put America Last is perpetual vigilance, and legal action, from America First allies.
Catharine O'Neill served at the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development from the first day to the last day of President Donald J. Trump's administration. The issues that she focused on included religious freedom, immigration, UN reform, and protecting life. Read Catharine O'Neill's Reports - More Here.
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