Hero to Zero: Leftist Hate for their Heroes of Yesteryear

October 28, 2021

You've got to hand it to Joe Biden; he enacts policies no administration has ever considered before. Firing nurses in a pandemic, firing cops in a crime wave, firing truckers during a supply chain crisis, firing employees amid a labor shortage -- how does he keep coming up with this stuff? Maybe next, he'll try firing politicians amid tyrannical edicts.

What's particularly shocking is that, as recently as last year, the media, Democrats, and pretty much the whole country were praising the workers that Joe Biden now wants fired. Essential workers were America's heroes of the pandemic, went the narrative, bravely going to work and risking infection by an unknown virus while others got to stay home. Now we discover Democrats never believed the rhetoric. Perhaps they adopted it to assuage their guilt for the unprecedented, absurd lockdowns that protected rich, well-educated elites with cushy desk jobs while healthcare workers and the blue-collar laborers, on whose toil the economy actually runs, didn't have that luxury.

Now, the crime for which thousands of essential workers have lost their jobs -- and continue to lose them -- is no crime at all. There has been no gross malpractice or untoward behavior committed. Instead, they stand to lose their jobs because they are resisting a mandate to get a vaccine. Three months ago, there was no mandate. A year ago, there was no vaccine. A year ago, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were undermining confidence in the vaccine. Eighteen months ago, Joe Biden promised there would never be a mandate. In the intervening two years, many contracted COVID and recovered, giving them immunity better than the vaccine could provide. Now, they could lose their careers for something "the federal government has no reason to mandate," said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

Blackburn insisted this is simply "an overreach," and an attempt "to have the federal government take control of your health care." Of course, most frontline workers who lose their jobs have lost them because of vaccine mandates from state and local governments or private employers. But these local or private requirements have the explicit or implicit backing of the federal government. The Biden administration is working on its third vaccine mandate for different types of employees. Last week President Biden was asked, "Should police officers, first responders be mandated to get vaccines? And if not, should they be mandated to stay at home, or let go?" He responded, "yes and yes." But President Biden would prefer others to take the heat for his policies firing frontline workers; he already has enough problems.

To Blackburn, the way Biden has abandoned frontline workers is unconscionable. So she has introduced the "Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act," which would exempt from all vaccine mandates any employee whom any "relevant State, Indian Tribe, or territory deemed essential during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic." Even before the bill has received a number, it has been endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Border Patrol Council, the National Sheriffs Association, and the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, and the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. Unions lining up to endorse a Republican bill -- when does that happen? Only when critical workplace freedoms are at stake.