For people who live, or have lived, under authoritarian regimes, the idea of government agents knocking on doors is quite terrifying, but also somewhat commonplace. Thankfully, that kind of thing doesn’t happen in the United States of America – at least not yet. If Joe Biden gets his way, however, that could change.
Why then, in the U.S., would federal or local government agents be knocking on people’s doors? To take away their firearms, maybe? No, not that, because anyone with an ounce of sense knows that such an idea would not end well. Instead, this measure, proposed by Mr. Biden on July 6, is intended to boost the percentage of Americans who are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Having realized that the vaccination target he had set previously was entirely unrealistic, Mr. Biden appears to be scrambling to find ways to minimize the political damage. His goal now is to persuade, cajole, or coerce more Americans into sticking out their arms for vaccination against a virus that, statistically, is highly unlikely to kill them or leave them with any lasting adverse effects.
“Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oft times [sic], door to door – literally knocking on doors,” Biden said, “to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.” Presumably, the English translation of that last part is something like: “to help the remaining people get protected from the virus,” though, as with so much else Mr. Biden says, his actual meaning is still open to speculation.
The exact details of how this proposal is to be achieved were not revealed. The backlash was swift, however. “The government now wants to go door-to-door to convince you to get an ‘optional’ vaccine,” tweeted Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). “It’s NONE of the governments [sic] business knowing who has or hasn’t been vaccinated,” added Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), also on Twitter. Matt Whitlock, a Republican political operative, advised: “Whoever suggested that the best way to reach remaining vaccine skeptics was to talk about going door to door should be fired immediately.”
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) may have best summed up the argument against Biden’s proposal, tweeting: “How about don’t knock on my door. You’re not my parents. You’re the government. Make the vaccine available, and let people be free to choose.”
It is tempting to ask oneself the question: What was the supposed leader of the free world thinking when he made such a remark? He and the members of his party have a vastly overinflated view of the scope of government authority. Worse still, they believe it is the duty of government to tell people what is best for them and then regulate behavior accordingly.
Another Control Experiment?
As with the mask mandates, the social distancing requirements, and the stay-at-home orders, this would be yet another experiment designed to test how much control over American citizens the government can exercise. Ironically, it is the non-white community that will bear the brunt of this spectacular new overreach; the political left has insisted that blacks and Hispanics are the most at risk from the virus and that, for some reason, they are the ones who require the most assistance in getting vaccinated. After all, if they are incapable of obtaining photo IDs, as Democrats claim, then how on Earth can they be expected to arrange a vaccination?
Quite apart from delving into the potential dangers of the COVID-19 vaccinations and the fact that, except for a particularly vulnerable section of the population, the virus is not dangerous enough to warrant mass vaccination, there is an angle to Biden’s plan that simply cannot be ignored. For anyone in the administration to even publicly raise the idea of going door to door to persuade people or, perhaps, to intimidate them into getting vaccinated, somebody behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. must have asked the question: Could we even get away with this? There is a follow-on question that Americans must ask themselves: If the government, in the name of public health, can go door to door across America, are there any restraints left on its power?
Read more from Graham J. Noble.