Take the shot for your country — Opinion

August 6, 2021 6:00 am

Jennifer Simmons receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during Senior Weekend at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va., February 2, 2021. Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury.

Minnesota’s own GOP U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn and other caviling politicians have a strange idea of individual freedom. They claim our freedom gives them the right to ignore or refuse COVID-19 vaccination. It leaves me cold.

Says Hagedorn of his silence on COVID vaccination: “Here’s the deal, the American people have the right to individual freedoms.” 

These politicians appear oblivious that with our precious freedom comes responsibility. That is the only reason we have our freedom. 

When the nation is under attack, we expect all Americans to rise to its defense. The Constitution says ‘We the people’, not ‘I the people.’

Our nation is now under attack. COVID has killed more Americans than all but the Civil War, and it seems likely to eventually exceed that — particularly if too many of us obstinately refuse to join the defense. And the defense against that enemy is clear: vaccination. 

Those who fret about possible side-effects to excuse themselves from vaccination are missing the point, setting aside the fact that it’s proven to be one of the safest, most effective vaccines ever produced.

The point is not you, it is us. It is America and your responsibility to do your part.

Suppose all Americans had been cowards and draft dodgers in wartime because of the truly serious risk of injury and death. Where would our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness be? If you are unwilling to take the trivial risk of COVID vaccination, what an insult to the courage of all those who have truly risked and lost life and limb for their country. 

Time to roll up your sleeves with the millions of other loyal Americans who have already done so, and do your part.

Take your shot for your country.

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Walter McClure
Walter McClure

Walter McClure is a senior fellow and chairman of the Center for Policy Design, where his chief concern is large system architecture.