At what point in a free society do you use military force to bring about compliance with a law?
The National Guard has been used for civil disturbances, but now the editorial board of the Salt Lake Tribune has suggested another reason for deployment — COVID-19 vaccines.
In a recent editorial the Salt Lake Tribune wrote; “Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.”
So Utah is uncivilized because we aren’t ready to place a uniformed soldier, presumably armed, at either private or public doors to make sure people without proof of vaccination don’t go anywhere?
A call for a stronger response in the middle of a predicted surge in cases might be understandable, if accompanied with details and facts.
It appears the Tribune would allow choice, at the absolute expense of freedom.
Perhaps, we and many others, have missed the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board’s intentional hyperbole or sarcasm, but they haven’t said anything to indicate they didn’t mean exactly what they wrote.
And in that case, we feel Utahns are fortunate to live in the Tribune’s “uncivilized” world.
In August 2021, we wrote in an editorial that while we believe vaccines work, health decisions are personal.
The word “mandate” is, and probably ought to be, a scary word in a free society, although we live with mandates every day — smoking in public places is forbidden and we are required to stop for red lights and stop signs. Some people ignore these mandates, with consequences for themselves and others.
Decisions about health are personal decisions. And we respect that. People may choose not to vaccinate for a variety of personal, health, or religious reasons.
It’s a delicate balance, personal freedom and the greater good of society.
Maybe the COVID-19 vaccine needs a reboot, a rebrand, or just a new publicity person. If people were convinced that vaccines were the answer to this enduring pandemic, a mandate wouldn’t be needed — and there would be no need to even consider the National Guard checking papers of people moving about in a free society.