MICHAEL R. STRAIN Tribune Content
When it comes to COVID-19, too many prominent Republicans are acting as if theirs isn’t the party of limited government and personal responsibility.
Some Republican elected officials are trying to thwart measures taken by local governments and private companies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For example, it is illegal in Texas from Governor Greg Abbott for companies to require customers to provide proof of vaccination – a law Austin restaurants learned the hard way when they almost saw it. their liquor license revoked. Florida has a similar law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, although a judge recently allowed a cruise line to ignore it.
Or consider the position of Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who recently said, “No one should force anyone to get vaccinated, including the federal government or an employer. Cruz pleads for the need for “protections of the civil rights of employees against their employers, to put an end to discrimination based on vaccination status”.
And then there’s the handful of Republican-led states trying to ban local school districts from imposing mask mandates on schools. Last week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed such a ban, requiring parents to be able to opt out of any locally imposed mask warrant.
I am a Conservative, in part because of the importance I place on limited government and the value of personal responsibility. The Republican Party has long been a strong but flawed vehicle for these priorities – but in recent years the bond has weakened. It is contrary to the traditional commitments of the party.