- The Washington Times
Saturday, September 4, 2021


Florida’s Republican-led legislature and the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, just announced that any businesses, schools or government entities that require proof of coronavirus vaccine as a condition of entry will be fined $5,000, beginning Sept. 16.

The fine is based on law — unlike, it’s crucial to note, all the leftist-led crackdowns, complete with punitive fines and fees, that have been swirling through America in the guise of Coronavirus Safety. Or a Health Emergency. Or COVID-19 Mitigation.

Let’s remember: Nearly every one of the coronavirus-fueled shutterings of business; closings of churches; shut-downs of schools; forced face-masking of students and subsequent forced vaccinations of students; mandated social distancing, stay-at-home, stay-out-of-restaurants, stay-out-of-gyms, stay-out-of-hair-salons, stay off the streets and stay away from even friends and family during holidays — nearly every one has come by way of an order.

Governors have gone mad with executive orders. Federal health bureaucrats have gone nuts with advisements that have turned into orders. State and local medical agencies have gone crazy with recommendations that have led to orders.

All along the way, from fear, from the pressure to go along to get along, from misplaced care about neighbor, from the prideful desire to virtue signal, from and a for a variety of reasons, enough American citizens have complied with these orders, and more than that, demanded others comply with these orders. It’s gotten to the point that whole thing about law and order and constitutionally passed law versus unconstitutionally issued order have become moot topics. There are lives to be saved, after all. Somebody might get sick, after all.

The peril in these coronavirus times is two-fold. Not only have those who ought to know better abandoned the sacred responsibility of protecting the freedoms of America, but those who are in the growing, learning, maturing years are busily being conditioned that the freedoms of America are conditioned on the whim of government.

The country’s been rapidly turning from one of individualists, with rights bestowed by God, to one of collectivists, where the government picks and chooses who gets, who does not, and who should just shut the freak up and stay home. The tone has been chilling, to say the least.

Now comes Florida with its duly passed SB 2006 banning businesses, schools and government agencies from mandating those who wish to enter first show proof of coronavirus vaccine. Now comes the governor’s thumbs-up to his state’s Department of Health to fine up to $5,000 per infraction, and more than that, per violator.

“Each violation will result in a $5,000 fine per individual and separate violations against the business, governmental entity or school,” U.S. News & World Report wrote.

A year-and-a-half ago, this law, passed in May by the legislature and quickly signed by the governor, wouldn’t have caused a blink, save for maybe a few far-leftists who would have muttered in the background at their dashed plans for control and power. Times are different now. These leftists’ times have come — or so they believe.

In many instances, in many states, they’ve been proven correct on that belief.

But not in Florida.

“Florida, we’re a free state,” DeSantis said in a recent press conference. “People are going to be free to choose to make their own decisions about themselves, about their families, about their kids’ education and about putting food on the table.”

Imagine that. Free choice. Individual choice. The individual choice to, say, go to work and earn money, or go to school — or inject a chemical with unknown long-term consequences into one’s own body. Florida is what all of America should be, coronavirus or no coronavirus.

Shame on those in America who see Florida as the radical one, and the liberty-killing states as sane.

But that right there is biblical. From Proverbs 28: “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,” and “Evil men do not understand justice.”

So go DeSantis’ detractors. So go Florida’s naysayers and critics and wildly vociferous attackers. But Florida’s fight for individualism must be won because Florida’s win on individualism will be the light for all of America, shining the way from coronavirus darkness.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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