Consider these excerpts from a recent piece by Jeffrey Tucker at the Brownstone Institute with the understated title “The Purges Have Begin”. Would someone who took these extreme, apocalyptic arguments to heart oppose efforts by a faction of ethno-nationalist Republicans to steal an election or entrench themselves in power?
The policies have been bad enough but the political polarization has been the real poison. In history, we’ve seen where this leads. New and random mandates from political leaders become loyalty tests. Compliant people are viewed as enlightened and obedient. The noncompliant are regarded as stupid and probably politically threatening. They are purgeable. . . .
Regardless, the effects of the mandates are real and devastating for millions of people. People are losing their jobs because they are unwilling to go along. . . .
There are many reasons to refuse these mandates. The people with previous infections know that they have better immunities than they could get with a vaccine, and they want that to count even as the CDC refuses. This is particularly true of health care workers.
Others prefer the risk of Covid to the risks (and they exist) of the vaccine side effects. Others simply resist the demand that they pump their bodies with a medicine developed with tax dollars for which the private companies bear no liability at all. It feels like an invasion of the body that should never be tolerated by a free people. Some people still imagine themselves to be free to choose. . . .
It is not lost on the Biden administration – this tactic seems to have been hatched in the summer – that this is harming their political enemies, not exclusively but predominantly. Apparently, no one really cares. . . .
The party in power wants to remain in power forever, which is a story as old as time. The virus is the excuse of the day. The trouble is that they have been wrong in so many ways with so many victims that the whole scenario is unspeakable. We’ve been here before and the ultimate solution comes down to a choice between two paths for the ruling regime: admit the wrongdoing or purge those who believe things they should not.
It would appear that the latter position is the prevailing one. The vaccine mandate has become the tool of choice. Submit or see your job melt away. This is where we are today. . . .
The symbolic act of medicinal compliance easily becomes a physical sign of political compliance: the ID card. That then becomes the basis of the reductio ad absurdum, the political purge – an intensification of the mask mandate to become a needle mandate as a means of ferreting out dissidents.
Reductio ad absurdum is correct. Mandatory vaccination has coexisted peacefully with American democracy for as long as we have had democracy. We can argue about mandates – and the need for mandates would be reduced if people like Tucker weren’t encouraging vaccine hesitancy. But loyalty tests, purges, ultimate solutions, ferreting out dissidents? Libertarians need to ask if they are prepared to live with the consequences of this inflammatory rhetoric. Where do they think this will lead?