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Hung Up on Individual Rights

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Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Editor:

Defending Pres. Biden’s vaccine mandates, Dr. Curtis Krock carps that “As a nation, we are hung up on individual rights rather than our responsibilities to our fellow citizens” (Letters [2], Dec. 16).

Well.

I, for one, am eternally grateful that Thomas Jefferson and the 55 other signers of the Declaration of Independence were so “hung up on individual rights” that, to defend these rights, they risked their lives and sacred honor. I’m grateful also that the philosophy of classical liberalism – which birthed the American nation – warned that tyranny often gains admission with sweet promises to better ensure that citizens meet their responsibilities to each other.

Finally, as we approach the end of the second year of arbitrary Covid diktats, I’m grateful to the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal for consistently giving voice to those who are both “hung up on individual rights” and wisely fearful of the authoritarianism lurking in arbitrary exercises of power.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030