The self-destructive and societally endangering, elevation of “Trumpism,” above the existential importance of constructive reason, is notably highlighted by the acrimonious refusal of its loyal adherents to abide by governmental recommendations of vaccination and mask-wearing. The programs announced by the Federal Government are strictly based upon empirical science and have been proven to be prophylactically efficient, in avoiding infection and possible death from the Covid virus, inclusive of its mutational varieties. Notwithstanding a virtual plethora of empirical evidence demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of the recently developed vaccines and the practical wisdom of wearing a mask, the MAGA cult vociferously, and ignorantly, claims that such government initiatives infringe upon personal liberty. We will return to this bizarre claim, following some observations on background.
The 18th Century philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, employed the words, “Social Contract,” to describe the dynamics of human society. Finding it empirically preferable to the hazards of living alone in Nature, man chose to live in society with others. Pursuant to Rousseau’s “Social Compact” or “Social Contract,” mankind willingly forfeits some of its liberty and rights, in exchange for the numerous benefits of living in society. Society, in turn, renders to its members the shared advantages of living together, including safety and defense, food and water and interactive socialization. The benefits of living in society, pursuant to that contract, carried with it the personal sense of member responsibility.
Rancorous and stridently enunciated cries of outrage have been heard from Trump cult members, regarding the governmentally expressed advice, to wear a mask and be vaccinated; to the effect that they will resist such an “unreasonable limitation” on their rights. They selfishly brush aside, the reality that their falling ill will impose serious challenges and costs to the community, and far worse, implement the danger of communication of the virus to others. The advice inarguably is societally reasonable, indeed mandatory. The so-called interference with the protesters’ rights is in this instance, but a minor and mandated forfeit to society under their social contract.
One should think that equally “limiting their rights” are such matters as required stopping at red lights, observing the speed limit when driving, paying taxes, complying with health and safety regulations, mandatory childhood education, licensure for driving, motorcycling, food handling, barbershops, liquor sales and distribution, fishing, brokerage and the practice of the professions, food marketing, marriage, fairs, and public events. There is a limitation regarding expected behavior in the public square, and at theaters, opera houses, museums, movies, and schools. Every right that we enjoy, constitutional or otherwise has its own, relevant, limitation, usually for purposes of health and welfare.
It seems unfair, if not bizarre, that these anti-vax, anti-mask people are perfectly content to receive the many benefits of living in society, i.e., clean water, food and air regulations, fire, and police protection, traffic lights, schools and hospitals, ambulance services, libraries, theaters, heat, electricity and power, snow cleaning, garbage collection, postal services, street and highway repair and maintenance, public conveyances, parks, gardens and schoolyards, markets, and considerably more. Those who, laughably, claim that their personal freedom is abridged by the salubrious suggestion that they protect themselves and the community by getting vaccinated and wearing a disease-preventing mask, especially, for this more highly transmissible and more impactful “Delta Variant,” to energetically search out a relatively mild word, are delusionary.
It has been authoritatively reported that the currently circulating, “Delta Variant” of Covid-19, in fact, is more dangerous, and freely transmissible than the dreaded African disease, Ebola.
Analogous to Donald J. Trump’s prescriptive advice to drink bathroom cleanser to eliminate Covid-19, his sycophants’ adamant refusal to be vaccinated and wear a mask, is characteristically and individually ignorant and, from a societal perspective, morally irresponsible.