Local Democrats Speak Out
2024 Election Issues That Beg Our Attention
The Sleep Agenda
Medina, Texas resident and column contributor to the Bandera Bulletin
While Republicans rail against “wokeness” as one of their frantic appeals to attract voters, they fail to see the hypocrisy and outright danger in what they push forward in policy priorities and actions – a “sleep’ agenda.
Let’s consider one example recently passed in the Republican led Texas legislature – the ban on employers being able to require Covid 19 vaccinations by their employees (Senate Bill 7). An employer that violates this law can be subject to a $50,000 fine.
Then let’s consider that the numbers are (and have been) in- those who are vaccinated and stay current with boosters are not only less likely to get serious disease but, as a result, the vaccinated are less likely to transmit the disease. Although we are in a period of reduced Covid 19 infections, new variations of the disease continue to evolve. To take off the table any chance for broad-based countermeasures is foolhardy at best.
I, for one, appreciated precautions taken by some local service providers at the height of the epidemic. Plumbers and electricians, I needed during that period wore masks as simple as their usual practice of covering their footwear. With this new law, employers could potentially require masks, protective gear, or make employees work remotely, but the law is vague about this. But, will businesses risk infringing on their employees “individual rights” (as touted by the Ledge) and force employees to be cautious? Most will not want to face litigation exposure or risk a hefty fine that costs not just money but time and aggravation.
The law even applies to medical operations (hospitals, clinics, Doctor offices) which can expose people in an extremely vulnerable state of health to a perilous environment. That should surely give us pause when we need medical attention during an uptick in the disease.
This foolish effort started in 2021 and received negative response from at least 2 business related organizations -the National Federation of Independent Business and the Texas Association of Business.
This action goes against the “small government” political position touted in Texas of being business friendly and a low regulation state. As we know, Republicans have long held that they are the leaders in advocating for less government intrusion into business and individual freedom.
We now have a Republican party that is comfortable with intruding into health decisions through this law on yet again another level.
When we consider that Texas Republicans intrude in financial investment decisions such as prohibiting Texas public fund investments to consider environment, social, and governance criteria, we continue to see a widening agenda of government intrusion by Republicans. What are we to make of their “small government “banter?
Should we go along and consider actions like taking over the Houston ISD to be such a good idea that we would be OK with that in Bandera or Medina ISD? Do we like Abbott’s push to use our tax funds in a voucher program that will reduce local funding into our rural schools? Those actions sure doesn’t sound small government to me.
Perhaps “sleep agenda” is the wrong label for this kind of “small government” hypocrisy. However, when you consider that political considerations that intrude into health matters can result in many people ending up asleep – permanently - perhaps the label fits.