Texas governor Greg Abbott has announced that he will lead a crusade against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates for many categories of workers. Biden’s purpose is to tamp down on the resurgence of COVID-19, particularly the Delta Variant, but Abbott and other Republicans claim these mandates restrict Americans’ freedoms.
If Abbott really is interested in preserving Texans’ liberty (as he proclaimed only after he signed the draconian SB 8 Abortion Bounty Bill), he should protect their rights on the open highway, which symbolically has been one of the bastions of freedom in modern America. Here are some specific freedom-stifling measures he should repeal:
Seat belt mandates. Seat belts literally restrict vehicle drivers’ and passengers’ freedom of movement. And nothing is more important for Texans than personal freedom for non-pregnant citizens.
Air bags. When they go off, sure, they save lives, but they also can have disturbing side effects, including abrasions, contusions, burns, and even sprains and broken bones. Abbott should allow Texans to do their own research and decide for themselves whether to endure the possibility of suffering such troubling side effects or just take their chances on car wrecks without such encumbrances.
Requiring children to be harnessed in car seats. Why should the government impose child safety measures? Parents know best how to keep their own children safe, right?
Coercive state laws requiring motorists to stop at red lights and stop sign laws, observe speed limits, and avoid Driving While Intoxicated (DWIs). Why limit citizen’s freedoms just because they may impact the health and safety of others?
A key factor may be that the state of Texas earns hundreds of millions of dollars annually from traffic fines – and not just from tickets issued by state police; the state also gets a hefty cut of the fines meted out by local police departments and traffic courts.
But if freedom and liberty really are the two most important values for Texans, as Abbott sometimes likes to proclaim (when he is not restricting voting and abortion rights) shouldn’t he empower the good citizens of Texas with the autonomy to make sensible decisions themselves for their own health and safety and that of their families out on the roads and highways?
Surely, Texans don’t need the government telling them what to do or have it deploy police in a strong-armed tactic to stop them from exercising their God-given freedoms. Abbott, no doubt, will fight against such tyranny that unleashes the mighty power of the state against its own citizens, and instead he’ll just try to persuade Texas citizens to do the right thing to save lives on the roads and highways.