© 2022 Tootie Smith for Oregon. All Rights Reserved.

The Freedom of Mobility

The thought of having to have a vaccine passport to conduct commerce and engage in voluntary transactions with other free individuals is understandably offensive to myself and countless people throughout this country and the world. This is largely because many of us recognize this for what it truly is—another attempt by power hungry elitists to control everything that everybody else does. And we’re pushing back accordingly.

We’ve always taken for granted the fact that we, as Americans, are essentially free to come and go as we please. That ability is based on the many rights included in this nation’s founding documents. And it’s a fairly easy concept to comprehend—where I travel, as a law-abiding private citizen, is none of anybody’s business, and especially not that of the government.

However, there has been a massive push to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to institute the kinds of heavy-handed measures that Americans would otherwise reject outright.

There’s a popular misconception out there that the rights we’re granted as Americans are somehow derived from the government. It’s simply not true. Because if our rights come from the government, a sudden change in policy could then mean that those rights no longer exist or can be taken away.

Our rights are inherent, meaning that they are an automatic given. Each and every one of us is born free. The purpose of the United States government, as spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, is to uphold, protect and defend those rights.

Those rights exist, even in times of the most dire of emergencies. They can’t be suspended. They can’t be transferred from one group of citizens to another. Most importantly, they can’t be ignored in favor of mandates that have never had the full and legitimate force of law to back them up or justify them.

This pandemic has been going on for over a year and a half now. The average person has spent this whole time trying to keep themselves and their families safe while trying to continue making a livelihood and keeping the bills paid.

The vast majority of Americans and people anywhere on Earth have not had COVID. Of the ones that have had it, the vast majority got sick for a while, but managed to recover and survive.

From the very beginning of all of this, we’ve been introduced to ideas like contact tracing, in the name of preserving public health and combating the virus. The general public even briefly tolerated the temporary closures of many industries and sectors of the economy because we were told we needed to flatten the curve.

But it’s now impossible to ignore the fact that there are larger forces and agendas at work here. Lines have been crossed, and people have grown increasingly, and understandably, weary of these mandates and orders coming in from on high.

I will continue to fiercely oppose even the suggestion that vaccine passports be implemented as a condition of allowing people to live, exist, work, engage in trade and move about as they see fit. Because even though our rights are a given and should be thought of that way, politicians can decide, on a whim, to stop recognizing them. And once that happens, it becomes very difficult to get them back.

The Tide is Turning

At the beginning of the year, things were admittedly looking bleak. The coronavirus pandemic raged on with no end in sight, prompting many in authority to impose open-ended restrictions and mandates on the rest of us. There was violence and unrest in the streets, especially in Portland, where rioters were allowed to destroy the downtown area for literally months on end without consequence.

It was obvious to some of us that these series of crises were going to be used as an excuse for some to make unprecedented power grabs. Anyone who dared to speak up against any of it was destined to be made an example of.

That ended up including me. I stated publicly that I wanted to have family members over for Thanksgiving. This resulted in me receiving multiple threats from strangers accusing me of wanting to kill people.

However, recent developments are proving what I’ve maintained all along—our systems can work as they are intended and people who stand up for their rights can ultimately win, if they’re willing to keep on fighting.  

The recent Virginia governor’s race saw Terry McAuliffe defeated. A key contributing factor was a statement he made during a debate that what state schools teach peoples’ children is none of their business. Outraged suburban soccer moms flocked to the polls to bounce McAuliffe’s party from office. It suffered multiple other losses that night, including the lieutenant governor’s and attorney general’s offices, as well as its majority in the House of Delegates.

Voters sent a very clear message that a line had been crossed. Their elected leaders overreached and paid dearly through being voted out of office across the board. A sleeping giant was awakened. The people took their power back.

McAuliffe isn’t the only unpopular governor these days. After a year and a half of top-down rule, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the entire United States. Fortunately for her, she’s term limited and cannot run for her position again. Because all indications are that she would lose if she did.

Similarly, President Biden’s approval rating is also in freefall, less than a year after he took office. His vaccine mandates on private employers have been legally challenged, and their constitutionality will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As 2021 draws to a close, just know that you are not alone. But also be aware that the people who spent the last year trying to strip you of your rights and freedoms are not going to stop any time soon, or ever. You are not without recourse, though, and it is possible to fight back and win.