America has always been at its best when it comes together to overcome insurmountable obstacles. World War II, the Space Race, post-9/11. Our country became a superpower not by everyone pursuing their own self-interest regardless of the consequences; but by working together and, at times, sacrificing our own comfort for the larger good. In coming together and putting America first, we don’t just ensure our own unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – we ensure them for others.
COVID-19 has presented us all with some difficult decisions. Should we stay at home to limit the spread of this virus? Should we bring the economy to a halt to protect lives? There are pros and cons to these, and it is understandable to be concerned about deteriorating liberties and freedoms. However, when someone’s actions can inhibit another’s unalienable rights, this must be weighed heavily. Someone who is asked to stay at home still has more life and liberty than someone who is dead.
Interestingly, those who protest and oppose stay-at-home orders may be giving the government just the ammo they need to crack down further. Self-governance and democracy carries great responsibility. If we don’t exercise our rights responsibly, we risk losing them. None of us live in a vacuum free from the consequences of our own actions.
Defending American ideals
All this is to say that sheltering-in-place is the more patriotic choice to make right now. It sacrifices our immediate comfort for long-term American health and prosperity. It ensures more Americans get to keep and exercise their own unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s less glamorous and less fulfilling, but more effective.
And if we use this time wisely to advocate for robust social programs, workers rights, and renewed focus on science and facts, America will come out much stronger than it went in. This virus has laid bare glaring issues with our government, economy, and society. There’s no better time to push for change than now – when it has become clear how important the working class is for American prosperity.