Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
I disagree with every unsubstantiated assertion touched on by Cecelia Levatino in her sarcastic listing of Biden’s “successes.” (Dispatch, Sept. 23)
I will respond to what the writer views as Biden’s most significant “success.” The other six are, by her reckoning, less significant. The writer says, “Biden has destroyed (or is working to destroy) individual liberty in America by mandating the vaccine.”
Today, individual liberty in America depends on the people of America — the entire group of us — defeating a pandemic. In 1859 John Stewart Mill wrote the following basic principle on individual liberty in his Essay On Liberty:
“ ... that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”
As elective surgeries are postponed and care is rationed, we can see how those who assert “individual liberty” to avoid vaccination are filling our hospitals and draining our medical capacity and thereby causing harm to others. We can also see that new COVID variants are developing and extending the life of a pandemic that could by now have been controlled through universal vaccination.
President Biden’s mandate is a use of government power rightly exercised to prevent harm to the general society. Biden’s strong leadership in the fight against COVID will be successful only if all eligible Americans join the fight by getting vaccinated. The more harm done to a society that supports individual liberty, the more likely it is that individual liberty itself will be destroyed.