In recent days, the president has announced his intention to use the Ministry of Labor to force companies with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations against Covid or prove a negative weekly test for Covid. This type of action is the rule by decree, or the rule in a style of governance allowing rapid and unchallenged promulgation of the law primarily used by dictators. This type of action did not go through the appropriate channels of creating laws, it did not go through Congress and the Senate for debate. It violates the very founding principles of our country. Rand Paul puts it best: “The Constitution was not written to restrict citizen behavior, it was written to restrict government behavior.
As Mayor of the Town of Duncan, I wholeheartedly oppose the President’s action. This is an attack on Americans’ constitutional rights and their freedoms. These same freedoms that I and other elected officials swore to protect when we were sworn in, and I will do everything in my power to continue upholding those freedoms. The freedom to choose what’s best for you and your family. But make this choice by being informed, by consulting your doctor, by educating yourself. If you want to get the shot, there are several places where you can get the shot. If you feel like you don’t want to be vaccinated, I agree as well. It is not our job as leaders to tell citizens what we think is best for them.
Freedom is indivisible, there are no “s” at the end. You can erode freedom, diminish it, but you cannot divide it and choose to keep “some freedoms” while giving up others. Look at Australia. The poster child for gun control, based on fear following a mass shooting. Now in Australia, the government wants to force citizens to use facial recognition and an app to prove they are staying at home and restricting their movement. And now, what recourse do these citizens have to resist this type of tyranny. Australia, now the poster child for the consequences of the erosion of freedoms. And out of the freedoms and rights of the American people to choose their own destiny, was born the greatest country and the greatest economy the world has ever known. Which in turn created the MOST CHARITATIVE people in the history of the planet. That includes our community, which raised over $ 85,000 at the Food for Kids auction last month, setting a record for the state of Oklahoma! These are the reasons why we cherish our freedoms.
Last week was the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Do you remember what our country looked like on 12/9? No one cared what political party you were affiliated with, your religion, your perspective on vaccines. We were all Americans and we supported each other, we loved each other, we took care of each other, and we stood up for each other. In our present day, this seems to be America’s forgotten beauty, the Crucible. And it starts right here in our community, the key word being unity. I’m sure many of you are like me, tired of seeing division, mockery, and disrespect for others who don’t share the same opinions. It has no place in our Duncan community. We’re better than that, we’re taking the Oklahoma standard to new heights. In the wake of tragedies, we come together to love our neighbors. We don’t like them after checking their political affiliation, religious preferences, or vaccination status. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh wrote a poem that said in part, “So live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Don’t bother anyone about their religion: respect others in their opinion and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
I still have the vision of Duncan continuing to grow and evolve to be a place where our children want to live and raise their families. A place that cherishes and protects freedom, respects the opinions of others, and where we live in service to one another, and I hope you will join me in stepping into that Duncan’s future.