What’s more American than apple pie? Civil disobedience.
In the US, it would be easy to believe the vast majority of people are in lockstep with the government’s pandemic policies. Networks are aflush with headlines claiming their polls show a majority of Americans support policies like masks and vaccine mandates, and detractors are painted as fringe.
Every good politico knows that, with the right framing, you can get a poll to say anything you want it to. But aside from the unreliable nature of the polls and headlines dominating our airwaves, there is another problem with the media’s reporting: they never seem to elevate stories that tell a counter narrative.
One doesn’t have to look far to find examples of Americans who have simply had enough of the anti-scientific and unconstitutional COVID mandates. We know, and have known for over a year, that the majority of masks in use provide little benefit in warding off the coronavirus. Additionally, studies have shown that mask mandates failed to reduce COVID deaths, hospitalizations, or even cases. And on top of all of that, we consistently see the same leaders who push these unscientific mandates on the rest of us flout the rules whenever it suits their fancy—like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Met Gala or San Francisco Mayor London Breed partying at a local jazz club.
Vaccine mandates present similar problems. Besides being flagrantly unconstitutional and a violation of bodily autonomy, these mandates ignore the natural immunity that millions of people have built up.
The rules only get sillier and more nonsensical from there. Former New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, forced restaurants and bars to close at 10 pm earlier this year—as though he thought the coronavirus only came out at night. An athletic association in Ohio allowedstudents to wrestle—but not shake hands before or after matches. And some hot yoga studios require students to wear a mask from the door to the studio…before sweating out every drop of water in their body for the next 60 minutes.
It’s easy to see why many people are fed up. And in true American fashion, individuals are taking matters into their own hands and carrying out acts of civil disobedience in response.
Here are four big examples of ways that people are fighting back and standing up for our founding principle of individual liberty in the process.
1. Mayor Tells POTUS His County “Will Not Comply” with Vax Mandates
Knoxville, Tennessee, Mayor Glenn Jacobs, previously known as the professional wrestler “Kane,” wrote a letter to President Biden to tell him that Knox County “would not comply” with his new executive orders on vaccines.
In August, the president unrolled sweeping new orders that directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested once a week.
This is yet another example of a silly pandemic policy as it also ignores the possibility of natural immunity. Furthermore, it is quite obviously unconstitutional for the federal government to mandate the ways private businesses and local governments operate. Jacobs, who is known to be a constitutional stalwart, was having none of it.
In his letter, Jacobs wrote:
“As the chief executive of an organization that employs 2,700 individuals, your action adds financial, legal, and regulatory burdens that will ultimately impact Knox County taxpayers. In addition, it potentially hinders our ability to attract quality employees since many folks in our community will not work somewhere that unjustly imposes vaccine mandates.”
“As a fellow elected official who has sworn an oath to uphold the US Constitution just as you have, I am alarmed by the alacrity with which you issued this order, contradicting both Article I, Section 1 — which vests legislative power in the Congress — and the Tenth Amendment — which recognizes the sovereignty of the states or the people over matters the Constitution does not delegate to the federal government.”
Now that’s leadership.
2. Bus Drivers Quit Over Vax Mandates as School Begins
The Chicago Public School system issued a vaccine mandate that requires all employees to be vaccinated by October 15. In response to the new policy, 73 of the system’s public school bus drivers quit the day before the Fall 2021 semester began. This left 2,100 kids without a ride to school and the district scrambling to make new arrangements.
Ultimately, they ended up having to pay parents a $1,000 stipend to use public buses or ride-sharing services to transport their children to school. That is only expected to cover the first two weeks of school though, meaning taxpayers will be left with a hefty bill when all is said and done.
And while Chicago’s incident got the most attention, they are by no means the only district scrambling to find staff that will comply with their mandates.
“A new survey about the bus driver shortage shows just how severe the problem is across the country,” Business Insider reported. “The survey found that 78 percent of respondents said the shortage ‘is getting much worse’ or ‘a little worse’ per the press release. Over half of respondents described their shortage as ‘severe’ or ‘desperate.’”
3. 125 Healthcare Workers Quit Largest Hospital System Over Vax Mandates
Indiana’s largest hospital system also attempted to implement a vaccine mandate and was met with swift backlash. A whopping 125 of their staff and personnel decided to leave their system rather than comply with the policy.
This comes at a time when hospitals across our country are already facing severe staffing shortages that show no sign of turning around anytime soon.
In New York, which is requiring all healthcare workers to get the first dose of the vaccine by September 27, dozens of staff members walked out of one local hospital. That facility is now so short-staffed it recently announced it will no longer be able to deliver babies.
Bloomberg reports one in eight nursing professionals do not intend to get the shot, which spells trouble for our entire healthcare system if these mandates persist.
4. School Children Defy Mask Mandate
A popular video on TikTok shows a group of teens peacefully defying their school’s masking policy in Michigan earlier this year. The video took place at Manchester Junior & Senior High School in Washtenaw County, Michigan, whose county health department issued a masking order shortly before the event.
In the video, parents can be heard encouraging their kids to enter the building saying, “they cannot touch you” and “be kind and respectful.” The kids chant “let us in” and tell the school official guarding the door that the policy is a mandate, not a law. Eventually the official moves out of the way and allows them to enter the building.
The famous American philosopher Henry David Thoreau often spoke on the virtues of civil disobedience remarking, “I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.”
Other giants in our history, such as Martin Luther King Jr., utilized civil disobedience to effect great change. From Vietnam draft resisters, to our modern day examples, civil disobedience is a great American tradition that advances civil liberties and individual rights.
These are just a few examples of the ways Americans are refusing to allow government bureaucrats to run their lives or make decisions for their bodies. In the famous novel Atlas Shrugged, the world’s entrepreneurs and creators tire of unjust government edicts and withdraw from participating in a corrupt system. It would seem many Americans are experiencing an “Atlas Shrugged” moment, and choosing to walk away when pushed to the breaking point by invasive government policies. Good for them.
These cases should serve as a hopeful reminder of the power of the individual, and our ability to fight back against government when it oversteps its bounds.
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.