The longer the COVID-19 pandemic persists — and the more freedom-suppressing measures governors like Oregon’s Kate Brown impose because of it — the more obvious it becomes that power and political expedience, not principle, are what actually motivates their actions.
A year ago, for example, when first responders and other essential workers braved the virus to stay on the job and teachers stayed out of the classroom at the insistence of their union leaders, Brown hailed both as heroes — not because they were or weren’t heroic, but because what they did (or didn’t do) aligned with her chosen narrative.
But flash ahead to now, and Brown is willing to fire thousands en masse if they defy her executive order requiring anyone working in a healthcare, first responder, or school setting to be vaccinated for the virus by Oct. 18.
Suddenly their wishes don’t mean squat compared to hers.
And as vaccine mandate deadlines draw near across states and professions, more people are finding their voice and saying, “enough is enough.”
Consequently, the Freedom Foundation on Sept. 28 asked Eugene-based U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken for a restraining order to prevent anyone from being terminated until a lawsuit filed by the organization on Sept. 9 can be heard.
The problem is, that temporary restraining order won’t even get a hearing until the day before the mandate goes into effect and people start getting canned.
The essence of the suit is that lead plaintiff Joshua Williams, a local Fire Chief, and his six co-plaintiffs don’t require vaccination because they have already contracted and recovered from the virus, equipping their blood with antibodies that provide arguably more effective and longer-lasting protection from COVID than the mandated vaccine.
“Kate Brown’s edict not only ignores the science of natural immunity, but it needlessly terminates thousands of qualified and experienced public employees from our critical services,” said Jason Dudash, the Freedom Foundation’s Oregon director. “The only logical explanation is that there’s something more important to her than the well-being of the Oregonians she took an oath to protect.”
In a word, power. And we’re seeing it everywhere. Almost from the moment the COVID-19 virus was first identified, despots like Brown, Washington’s Jay Inslee, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have used it to justify their assumption of “emergency powers” far exceeding what the constitution of their respective state allows. Never mind that such provisions were only intended to last until the Legislature could convene and decide what course to take.
The government overreach doesn’t stop until we make it stop.
“This so-called ‘emergency’ only exists in the mind of Kate Brown because she doesn’t want to go back to being just a governor,” Dudash said. “As long as she sees herself as a savior, too, there’s virtually no limit to what she can and will impose on us for our own good.”
In fact, the Freedom Foundation lawsuit points out, the constitution prevents Brown from ordering individuals to vaccinate whether they have natural immunity or not.
“The state requires the plaintiffs, as a condition of continued employment, to accept a vaccine injected into their body without their consent,” the complaint states. “These rules deprive (the) plaintiffs of their ability to refuse unwanted medical care in violation of their constitutional right to privacy, bodily autonomy and personal liberty.”
“Thousands of Oregon school employees and healthcare workers face losing their jobs because they have the courage to exercise their own set of values rather than Kate Brown’s,” Dudash said.
“When you play ball with her, you’re a hero,” he concluded. “When you don’t, you’re punished. That’s the definition of a tyrant.”