This letter is to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune:
Do you not hear yourself? Are you deaf to the horrifying authoritarianism blaring from your call for Utah’s governor “to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere” (“Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic,” Jan. 15)?
Ponder your proposal’s inhumanity. Would you propose that the National Guard be deployed to subject to house arrest homosexuals or trans people or communists or the Japanese, or Jews, Muslims, or Mormons? Of course not. Yet each of these groups has been demonized and accused of poisoning the body politic. Fortunately today, members of these groups are protected both by civilized norms and formal laws from the kind of state-sponsored terrorism that you openly propose be unleashed on the unvaccinated.
You’ll insist that, unlike the groups mentioned above, the unvaccinated truly do poison the body politic. But pause, please. Consider it possible that you might be subject to the same sorts of irrational fears, biases, and hatreds that motivated those who in the past endorsed persecutions of people with different beliefs, appearances, or peaceful preferences. After all, those who in the past endorsed such persecutions were as sincerely convinced of the righteousness of their causes as you are convinced of the righteousness of yours.
Even if the evidence did not, as it does (and as admitted by the Director of the CDC), show that vaccination does little to prevent those who are vaccinated from spreading the virus – and even if the evidence did not, as it does, show that vaccinations work to protect the vaccinated from serious consequences even when infected with the virus – and even if the evidence did not, as it does, show that children are at virtually no risk from Covid and that the previously infected have substantial natural immunity – even if all this I must ask: How can you not be agonizingly ashamed of yourself for fueling such hatred against the unvaccinated and for calling for them to be summarily imprisoned under house arrest? How can you not see that future generations will regard your attitude with the same mix of disbelief and disgust that swell in us today when we encounter the history of witch trials and of mad pogroms against religious heretics?
How can you not see that the mass hysteria that you stoke cannot possibly end well?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
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