Your Fear Does Not Trump My Loss of Liberty

Some fool calling himself a “Patriot” wrote this on my Facebook thread:

Our freedom and Bill of Rights will do us no good if we’re dead. How do you suggest we stop the spread of this invisible killer. I’m a patriot but I’d like for my wife and myself to watch our grandkids grow up. We have a friend who didn’t survive the covid -19. He was infected by someone who felt his freedom was more important than the safety of his family and friends.

My reply:

The numbers for car accident related deaths are higher, as of now. We don’t say, “I want to drive my car. But I want to live too. So how do you suggest we eliminate car accidents before we allow people to drive cars again?” The same for the flu. The same for lots of other things that kill more people than this virus ever will. You’re arguing from emotion. Instead of justifying our present state of totalitarian dictatorship — caused by a hysterical, paralyzing fear among millions — you’re implying that one has to first come up with a cure — not just for this virus, but presumably any and all yet to develop. You’re holding the liberty and survival of billions hostage because your friend died of this flu. If a loved one of mine died of it, I would be heartbroken. But I would not expect the entire world to shut down because I am heartbroken. Grow the hell up! Also, you’re implying that freedom is to blame for your friend’s death. It’s not. My desire to be free, to still trade and earn a living, does not cause someone else to die. Under freedom, you are FREE to stay inside and never leave the house. Nobody is trying to deny anybody that. You are free to be so terrified of any and all germs that you never work again. But you don’t have a right to force others to indefinitely bend to your will. Don’t tell me you’re a “patriot”. Patriotic about WHAT? I don’t know what you even mean by that. But it certainly has nothing to do with individual rights. Nor the rationality that’s required to uphold rights. Stop evading and using passive-aggressive, emotionally manipulative tactics to spread the intellectual virus that will kill millions more than just your friend, if we go into a mega-depression over this. These tactics will never work on me.

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