Punishment Equals Controlled Behavior

Image by Israeli Police

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Remember getting punished as a child?  Whether it was sitting in your room, having your television of phone privileges taken away or, in the case of those of us over 60, getting a good spanking – the goal was to direct your behavior towards another outcome.

As kids, punishment was something we all had to endure, because we were unable to make wise choices and often acted in ways that were worthy of correction.  Yet, most of us knew that it was coming from someone who loved and cared for us, so somehow we accepted it.

It’s hard to imagine, though, that, as adults, we would still have to be confronted with punishment for not acting as we are told; except this time, the infliction of penalties is coming from those who neither love us nor care about us.

What began with assurances that no one would lose freedoms, be forced to vaccinate, get fired from their job or have life made intolerable for them, has morphed into just that.

In Israel, the imposition of severe restrictions has been threatened on numerous occasions.  In December, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett suggested that more restrictions should be placed upon the unvaccinated amidst swirling rumors that the Covid vaccines are ineffective when it comes to the Omicron variant. It didn’t matter that the number of seriously ill individuals had significantly dropped to under 100 in the entire country, punishment had to prevail.

This all came on the heels of the Austrian government having chosen to initiate a full lockdown for their own unvaccinated citizens, only permitting them to leave their home for essential reasons. 

Swift to follow was France’s president, Emmanuel Macron who made his vulgar pronouncement of wanting to “piss off the unvaccinated.”  In strategizing just how he could make life more intolerable for them, he shut down all access to nearly every venue imaginable for those whose behavior outcome was not the one he wanted.  The punishment also included the inability to travel long-distances by train or planes. By excluding them from all social aspects of life, he was probably sure he could get them to come around just like children who could no longer endure one more moment of being banished to their room.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t sufficient that 90% of France’s eligible population was already vaccinated.  Everyone had to comply with unwavering obedience and duty.

Perhaps, Canadian Prime Minister’s Justin Trudeau was the most onerous in his decision to impose a significant tax on the unvaccinated in the province of Quebec.  Now Ottawa is being threatened with the same penalty since the scare tactic has deemed to be an effective tool to break the spirit of the holdouts who stood to be ruined financially if they refused to comply.

Each of these cases where governments are trying to assume the role of parents, albeit ones who display no affection for their underlings, is a shameful attempt to punish free-thinking citizens who were, up until now, under the impression that they had the right to make their own medical decisions but have come to understand that their freedom has an expiration date.

It’s truly sad to observe how governments have tried to compete with one another to see which of them can impose the cruelest and most inhumane punishments upon their holdout citizens whose behavior they have been unable to control.

As a citizen of Israel, I am daily confronted with the news of vaccinated friends and family who have contracted the “dreaded” Omicron, only to hear that they are over their symptoms in short order.  For them, it amounted to a few uncomfortable days in bed but nothing worse than their annual cold or flu.  Added to this has been the pronouncement by Israeli news outlets that being vaccinated no longer seems to give an advantage to its recipients since Omicron has spread like wildfire throughout the country.  In fact, a montage of these evening Hebrew news bytes was turned into a video clip which made the rounds to many of us here.  Just within the last few days, a large contingent of our own Knesset members have tested positive for Covid, including our foreign minister, finance minister, a member of the Coronavirus task force,  Chairman of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee and a number of others who have either tested positive or are in quarantine – all of whom were vaccinated.

Finally, we are hearing that the continuation of booster after booster is not a feasible or recommended course of attack in ridding us of this cursed pandemic.  To the contrary, we are now being told that multiple vaccines are exhausting and weakening the body’s natural immune system, actually making the vaccinated more vulnerable to illness. 

So with those findings, the question begs to be asked, “Why would any government continue to seek punishment upon its citizens at a time when vital information is being disseminated which contradicts the efficacy or wisdom of taking a vaccine which has no benefit in protection against the present variant?  And why try to outdo other governments in causing unwarranted and unjustified suffering to its citizens? 

It’s certainly not as a result of concern and love towards those who have made the choice not to take a vaccination which comes with risk, because, as LA Times Pulitzer Prize columnist, Michael Hiltzik put it,  “Mocking deaths of anti-vaxxers is necessary to create teachable moments.”  Shockingly, his ugly and loathsome sentiments are, undoubtedly, shared by those who believe that, short of allowing the unvaccinated to purchase food and medical supplies, increased sanctions is the only way to wear them down if they ever hope to participate, once again, in the land of the living. 

But Hiltzik may, yet, be in a position to have his wish of “teachable moments” realized all the more, because if the loss of your job is the punishment, the purchase of food and medical supplies is no longer an option.  So maybe death is the ultimate goal – not of the obedient citizens who make their government parents proud, but of those who have become an embarrassment to their leaders by exercising their G-d given right of making their choices as grown adults who can think for themselves.

At some point, government has to realize that they are not the parents, and citizens are not obligated to blindly walk into an abyss of tyranny where controlled behavior is the end game!

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