I write this in response to Brandon Wald’s recent letter concerning the Libertarian’s position on vaccines. As a Libertarian, I believe Mr. Wald is misunderstanding the Libertarian’s position at a fundamental level and judging by his selection of “Libertarian philosopher” that he quotes, it’s likely that Wald doesn’t understand Libertarianism altogether.

Mikhail Bakunin, whom Wald labels as a Libertarian philosopher, was a communist and an anarchist – I have never met a Libertarian that would espouse his philosophy and it certainly isn’t congruent with the mainstream Libertarian philosophy today. But more to the point, the current Libertarian position on vaccines is not “don’t get vaccinated” and this never has been our position. The Libertarian resistance to the recent COVID vaccines, aside from the valid concerns shared by many across the political spectrum regarding its efficacy and necessity, is the fact that the government and corporate-America are cozying-up to the sentiment of mandatory vaccinations.

For this reason, the Libertarian finds cause for concern. Many have chosen not to get vaccinated according to their own personal convictions; not just Libertarians. But it’s the Libertarian’s position to protect this freedom to choose and not permit the state the authority to mandate what sort of medical treatments the individual must undergo. If the individual concedes his bodily autonomy to the state, the entire conception of a free society is undermined.

To quote Ron Paul, an actual Libertarian, "When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies."

Tanner Cook is a resident of Fargo, N.D.

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