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Op-Ed: Intimidation, Coercion, Nor Harassment is Effective Governing

An Op-ed penned by Rep. Donalds on the dangers of imposing vaccine mandates on the American people.

Intimidation, Coercion, Nor Harassment is Effective Governing
Congressman Byron Donalds
Featured exclusively in the News-Press

"Before the founding of our nation, the principles that serve as the bedrock of our constitutional republic: individual liberty, freedom of choice, and privacy from government were obscure and seen as implausible – but worth fighting for. Without the preservation of these principles, they will be lost and remembered solely in history books. The concept of individualized healthcare and the right to medical freedom should never be radical. Yet, medical intimidation and coercion has become the blueprint of today’s Democrat party.

The medical professionals that courageously served on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year are American heroes. Across the nation, thousands of nurses, doctors, and frontline workers stand in fear of losing their livelihoods for refusing to bend the knee to an authoritarian leader. Yesterday’s heroes have become enemies of the Left for simply making a healthcare decision that best suits them.

Throughout the entirety of this pandemic, my stance has never wavered: I am not anti-vaccine, I am anti-mandate.

In the Land of the Free, no American should be threatened, intimidated, or fear losing their financial stability for exercising their constitutional right of medical freedom. For a president who promised the people unity, Joe Biden has nonetheless served as an authoritarian dictator bullying and harassing those who refuse to comply with his unconstitutional mandates.

President Biden and bureaucrats within the federal government enforcing these unlawful and unwarranted mandates are targeting innocent Americans, in turn creating a two-tiered class system— thereby making the unvaccinated second-class citizens. The suggestion of a vaccine passport, outlawing and stripping the American liberty to freely participate in daily commerce, is a prime example of a tiered society under full government control.

This gross misuse of power is the action of a tyrant and I applaud Governor DeSantis for highlighting this governmental abuse, standing up to the president, and defending the individual freedoms of every Floridian. The nickname America’s Governor wasn’t on accident—throughout the entirety of this pandemic, Ron DeSantis has stood tall as the sole defender of individual liberty fighting against President Biden’s totalitarian mandates.

The true testament of a leader isn’t showcasing his scope of power, but rather his willpower to express restraint. A voice of reason, common sense, and reserve—I firmly stand with Governor DeSantis as he seeks to halt the grave overreach and abuse of constitutional power the federal government is expressing.

Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida is leading the nation in the fight against tyranny. The recent legislation signed into law by the Governor prohibits the implementation of vaccine mandates, protects American jobs, empowers parents, and takes a stand against the White House and their crusade to diminish the Constitution. While those currently in the White House seek to strip our constitutionally protected rights, in Florida we are fighting back. Our bold leaders understand the sanctity of individual liberty, limited government, and personal responsibility. This legislation prohibits private and public vaccine mandates, bans mask mandates in public schools, and empowers the People—not big government.

This legislation doesn’t undermine the viability of the COVID-19 vaccine, rather it seeks to protect those who privately wish to remain uninoculated. Restricting millions of Americans from exercising their fundamental right to work and the opportunity to be an engaged member of society—based solely upon the notion of unvaccinated superiority—sets forth an extremely dangerous precedent and creates a slippery slope towards the complete implementation of communism.

While Americans across the nation are experiencing severe financial constraints due to a stalled economy, a supply chain crisis, and a national labor shortage, this administration should prioritize protecting American jobs and the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Instead, this administration is committed to using our government created by the People and for the People to falsely target innocent Americans, force able-bodied workers to evacuate their jobs, and publicly shame its People for exercising their constitutional right.

Intimidation, coercion, and harassment is not effective governing, nor is it leadership. In a time where so many Americans are hopeless, desperately searching for guidance from their leaders, we must refrain from such divisive abuse of power and once again serve the People. Americans are not sheep to be controlled by any superior power or ‘tolerant’ mob. The noble ideals of independence, free-thinking, and peacefully challenging the status-quo represent the very best of America—it’s how we move this nation forward, it’s how we preserve our founding ideals and protect the American spirit." 


Rep. Donalds represents the 19th District of Florida and is a member of the Oversight and Reform Committee, Budget Committee, and Small Business Committee.