During the COVID-19 Pandemic and still today people face the threat of mandatory vaccination for the COVID-19 Vaccine. There are various reasons people choose not to take the vaccine be it religious, medical, or philosophical/conscientious and for some they just want to take a wait and see approach. We are not going to attempt to rehash every argument for or against the vaccine and why one should or should not take it, the fact of the matter is we live in a free society (or so we think) and should have the right to make this medical decision for ourselves.
Representative Savannah Maddox - R; Grant County, has sponsored HB 28, which is an attempt to curtail the mandates both in the public and private sector. There have unfortunately been some changes, and while we hope it still passes it doesn't accomplish everything pro-liberty people were wanting. We think Rep. Maddox explains what has happened best so please see her explanation below for the details.
As you can see the most troubling aspect is that businesses will still be able to require vaccination for their employees and customers. Many on The Left like to hijack a pro-liberty argument that businesses owners have the right to run their business as they see fit. However, in the past they have conveniently not been for this principle when it comes to say a Christian Baker being forced to make a Gay Wedding Cake or face be labeled a racist and either have the business shut down or forced to close because they would not violate their conscience. What many on The Left don't realize is that you can disagree with someone but not hate the person. People have the right not to be forced into the service of others and they have the right not to have their conscience violated. No one's rights were violated by not being able to force another human being to bake them a cake they are morally opposed to doing.
Many on The Left will also trot out the argument that we all give up certain rights in order to obtain employment or to do business with people and that this would be no different. However, they fail to realize is that those rights are given up only in the course of the employment, the forcing of someone to take a vaccine they are opposed to taking for whatever reason goes beyond employment and is permanent, it cannot be undone.
Another argument that The Left will make is that those not wanting to take a vaccine can find employment elsewhere, but the thing is that is a very big ask. People take jobs based on their skill sets, talents, education, and training, and it would be especially difficult to change jobs and fields. Especially difficult for those who are in fields as a whole that will require it no matter the employer like healthcare. Granted you don't have a right to work for someone, but at the same time many jobs come contractually, even at-will employment, and so to up and change something like this is quite a shift that could be a contract violation for many businesses.
We would also like to note that many of these businesses set these mandates in place due to the perceived requirement by the Biden mandate before it was overturned and the government economic incentives (COVID Relief) they were afraid of losing if they did not implement these policies. Many of these businesses are still operating this way out of fear that this is not over.
Finally, we will counter with an argument we don't think many people are making. Most businesses are incorporated through legal filings with the government. Many businesses would not exist as they are without the government allowing it. They are afforded privileges and protection in exchange for regulation and taxation that actual citizens do not have to comply with, as we have natural rights. Now we are not saying businesses don't have rights, but they don't have greater rights than the individual, and therefore are not allowed to violate the rights of the individual.
Conveniently during the pandemic (as it has ended here in Kentucky on March 7th) The Left certainly didn't like businesses that stayed open having the right to do what they wanted to. The argument that it was an emergency doesn't cut it either, remember the emergency just ended, you can't argue they are allowed to do what they want during an emergency on one hand and then can't on the other when it fits your preference. The businesses that wanted to stay open were not forcing anything on anyone, they were having mandates forced upon them. The Left were well within their right to "stay home and stay safe" while everyone else went about their business in the real world.
Sadly, many Republicans don't see it this way as they have no clue that being pro-business doesn't mean doing what the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says. Especially when there is Woke Capitalism where it pays to cancel your competition and Republicans think doing anything businesses want is a good thing. Bottom line is legislators are there to represent people first and protect their rights not just what the Chamber of Commerce lobbies them to do and as you can see per Rep. Maddox's post, even when they acquiesce, the Chamber is still not happy.
HB 28 passed out of committee with a committee substitute as detailed by Rep. Maddox above. It should come up for a vote today, March 10th, then we will see what happens with it in the Senate. Like Rep. Maddox we still want this bill to pass, it's a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
Remember whoever is exerting force over another is the one in the wrong.