Link to Nov. 11, 2021 – Baker City Herald Op-Ed: As governor, Bud Pierce would correct Brown’s errors | | bakercityherald.com
As governor, Bud Pierce would correct Brown’s errors
By Daniel Crowe
Deadly diseases and human suffering are as old as time itself. America, that great shining city on a hill, has led the world for centuries in fighting deadly disease and human suffering worldwide. We can accomplish anything when united, which makes the current climate of division, hatred, and mutual hostility concerning the COVID vaccine so painful to my friend, Dr. Bud Pierce, and me.
Bud and I ran alongside one another in 2016 — him for Governor and me for Attorney General.
Bud isn’t just my friend; he’s more like a brother … but I don’t always agree with my brother.
Bud has taken the COVID vaccine. For reasons Bud knows and respects, I have chosen not to.
These days, you might think our disagreement means that Bud and I would be sniping at each other. But nothing could be further from the truth. To disagree for principled reasons has merely deepened the bonds of trust and respect between us.
In the face of our disagreement, Bud and I worked hard to find common ground. And we found it.
Dr. Bud Pierce and I agree: In the present circumstances, government has no right to compel you,or anyone else, to take the COVID vaccine. That’s why he has posted this OpEd on his website.
In Bud’s 44 years of fighting for people who are fighting against cancer, he has cared for more than 20,000 patients. He doesn’t coerce; he persuades. Like me, Bud finds shouting unpersuasive.
Like many of his generation, Bud was inspired to pursue medicine because of Dr. Jonas Salk’s discovery of the polio vaccine. As an expert in immunology, Bud is in regular contact with the actual experts at the national level. (Not the celebrities you see preening on TV.) The real experts, alongside whom Bud has worked for decades, care about using science to safeguard you and your loved ones. They love you as deeply as Bud and I do. Bud trusts their professionalism. I trust Bud.
COVID is not currently the greatest threat to your health and well-being. Rampant inflation, skyrocketing utility bills, high gas prices, chaos and anarchy in Portland, failing schools, empty store shelves, out-of-control homelessness, and an Oregon government seemingly incapable of solving any of these problems are going to kill more of us than COVID. Drug overdoses, suicides, untreated medical conditions, lack of education and opportunity, and hopelessness can kill you, too.
It is for this reason that Bud Pierce for Governor has gone on record declaring that you are perfectly capable of deciding for yourself whether the COVID vaccine is right for you and your family.
Every single person whom we have lost to COVID — including the 300-400 kids who have died — is a gut-wrenching tragedy. But, during the same time period, more than 30,000 children have died from other causes. Far too many have killed themselves because adults who should know better have told them that the world is ending.
Panic, incompetence, and fear-mongering are not examples of effective leadership. Dictators dictate; leaders govern by accurately and honestly measuring risk. Leaders lead by maturely, effectively, and respectfully bringing matters of public concern to the public’s attention; and then using the normal give-and-take of the law-making process to find solutions.
Bud understands that, in an actual emergency, sometimes a governor must act unilaterally. If, God forbid, the Cascadia Fault erupts on his watch, Bud will act swiftly and decisively within the full scope of his powers as our governor to save those who would otherwise be lost.
Some will be tempted to mistake Bud’s kindness for weakness. But if we are confronted by chaos and anarchy in the streets again, Bud will end it — decisively. However, only an idiot or a maniac would sic the Oregon National Guard on our own people. Our brave, heroic cops are perfectly capable of putting the perpetual adolescents of Antifa and the Proud Boys in time out … if only the career politicians would let them do their jobs.
We must not let the common good be hijacked by those for whom power is always going to be more important than you and your family. Coercion, mandates, and bribery are all examples of failed leadership. The idea of mandating something — including the COVID vaccine — is that mandates automatically lead to the desired outcome. However, that isn’t reality. Americans generally — and Oregonians specifically — prefer to control our own lives. Mandates invariably elicit resistance. For my people, mandates simply add a decisive minus to an already significant number of reasons not to take the vaccine.
Bud understands what every true leader understands: Coercive power should never be used if there is any less coercive path available. Because a huge part of any governor’s job is to never overuse the powers which have been given to them in trust. When political power is overused, free people react: first they resist and, in time, they rescind delegated power that they had previously granted.
Emergency power then becomes unavailable for real emergencies. The future is left unprotected.
My Dad taught me, “Any fool can learn from his own mistakes; I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.” In that sense, Governor Brown has taught us all something important: If you neglect and then bully the 47% of Oregonians (and the 80% of Oregon) that didn’t vote for you, you might have a tough time persuading them to trust you in an emergency. As Governor, Bud won’t make that mistake.
Let us show that we can learn from our own mistakes.
Daniel Crowe was the 2016 Republican nominee for Oregon attorney general.