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Protests over Vaccine Mandates

You wouldn't know it by looking at mainstream media, but millions of people around the world are protesting vaccine mandates, courageously facing water cannons, rubber bullets and beatings. In some countries, vaccine passports are required to go to your workplace; elsewhere, citizens have to send the government a selfie within minutes to show where they are. Proof of prior infection isn't accepted. Unvaccinated Australians are going to face steep fines simply for being unvaccinated. Link to video here

The reporters in the video pose the question, Why aren't more Americans protesting in the streets? Part of the answer is cultural, but mostly, the answer is practical. Protests here don't accomplish anything--unless it's your union picketing and shutting down business. Several years ago, a movement called Occupy Wall Street camped out for months in cities around the country--they even camped out through the winter in Civic Center Park in Denver. They accomplished nada. 

Last year, as BLM protests turned into riots, businesses put up "don't hurt me" signs and sent out press releases and emails telling everyone how anti-racist they were. Some uber-liberal metros defunded their police departments. But away from those areas, police officers and civilians marched together and danced the Cupid Shuffle. Various police reforms ended up passing, but they mostly affected the small minority of people who have run-ins with the police. A year on, the defunded police officers are now serving in places like South Dakota and Florida where there are brand-new anti-rioting laws, while Portland is trying to hire more police but finding out there are no refunds after defunds. Meanwhile, businesses and local governments have enacted vaccine requirements that disproportionately harm minorities--a harm that suddenly doesn't bother liberals anymore. So much for all the anti-racist rhetoric inspired by last year's protests.

Rather than appealing to the government by protesting, Americans are more inclined to take matters into our own hands. Here in flyover country, people are largely ignoring mask mandates. Last year, police officers across the country refused to enforce emergency orders they believed were unconstitutional. Police and civilians alike have moved to cities and states that better suit them. They've changed employers or called in sick en masse when faced with vaccine mandates. No--nurses aren't suddenly quitting because of stress and Southwest Airlines didn't cancel 1,000 flights last week because of the weather. 

Even government has fought back against government power. Legislatures in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida limited emergency powers; voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania did the same. Several states banned government entities from requiring proof of vaccination and now governors and state attorneys general are ready to sue if an OSHA vaccine mandate goes through. 

I think it's a combination of culture and government structure that's helped put a damper on vaccine mandates in the US. I don't know why they've gone so far elsewhere. I'm proud of the people in Europe, Israel and especially Australia who are facing down the police--but why are their police using water cannons on them? Just taking orders? Perverse incentives? Cultural differences? We have some bad cops in the US, but for all the rhetoric about what a violent country we have, most of them would join the march


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