Houston, we have a problem.

Rather than acknowledge the massive protests against vaccine passports in France, Italy, and the UK; rather than acknowledge what our college football games tell us about COVID; our government pretends that we're still in the thick of it and that their unprecedented overreach is necessary for the common good, that we're not free. Not just yet.

Our present situation reminds me of being a school kid stuck on the playground in late May, circa 1979.

Remember?

Our teachers huddled in the far corner. They drank Tab and wondered how long they could leave us out there. How many play periods were too many?

Our teachers knew we'd figured out that the jig was up. We knew their teaching materials ran out six days ago, but the state said we had to stay for seven more.

We knew then.

We know now.

Our bureaucrats know that it is lights out, though they prefer to keep up the charade.

COVID is not a charade. It is serious.

Of that, there is no doubt.

That's not the issue.

Instead, it's what's gone on since.

C.S. Lewis said, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their conscience.”

Our leaders know that we know.

They don't care.

In classic bureaucratic fashion, they've doubled down on repressive mandates to ensure "our safety."

The argument that “we care about you so much that we don't want you to get sick, so we're mandating an experimental vaccine for the common good” doesn't wash. Their overreach is not about our safety. If it were, they would allow alternative treatments.

Ironically, their idea of safety is so critical that our leaders won't do what they demand of us.

In 1979, we called that cruel hypocrisy.

To that end, I have a few questions.

I understand why the President can’t mandate vaccine requirements for Congress (the legislative branch does not fall under Executive Branch orders), federal court workers (who fall under the judicial branch) and postal workers (who are represented by a collective bargaining agreement). But why should we be forced to take an experimental vaccine if those folks aren't?

To that end, why can't we sue the vaccine manufacturers if their product injures us?

Why have airline workers, truckers, nurses, and doctors, among others, been fired for honoring their consciences, their natural immunity, or perhaps, both?

Why have our moral busybodies created an atmosphere of fear, coerced and stoked its fires with their beloved phrase, it's for your safety, then silenced dissent?

Why are these omnipotent busybodies doing this?

Because they can, because they are free to do what they want.

While we, the kids on the playground, can't.

That's called tyranny.

And that is not virtuous.

Or faithful.

Or free.

Why have these last 19 months become unbearable?

Because we know the truth, that freedom is written on our hearts.

We know instinctively that impeding our freedom is unjust.

We know that coercing us to do what our conscience prohibits then dismissing us when we follow our dictates is immoral.

When our government regularly employs shame and blame, you can ensure that keeping us in COVID-land is not about freedom.

It's the opposite.

And yet, that's what has passed for government leadership.

This virus, and her handlers, are about one thing - Training the willing to obey. Training followers to sit down and shut up and sit here and stand there. Oh, and put on that face diaper!

It is time for that ship to sail.

In 2009, the inimitable Chuck Colson gave a talk about our original Republican virtue, which was at its core, civic duty.

We handled life for ourselves. We freely cared for each other.

We understood a Biblical purpose for government - to preserve order, do justice, and restrain evil.

We will combat tyranny with freedom.

We will speak up because that is our right. We will not be shamed into silence.

We refuse to be shunned.

Former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said it best when he said, “The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.”

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer, and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]