The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccine mandate has sparked a flurry of lawsuits in recent days, setting up the likelihood of a projected court battle ahead of the January 4, 2022, compliance deadline.

One suit, filed on behalf of eleven states before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, called the order “unconstitutional, unlawful and unwise.”

Time will tell whether such an argument prevails in the courts – or whether the issue will make its way to the Supreme Court of the United States.

The pathway to this vaccine mandate has been uneven, to say the least. In fact, many of the very same people supporting the mandate now, actually opposed such a proposal in the early days of the vaccine rollout.

In other words, they were against it before they were for it.

The use of the word “mandate” dates back to France around the year 1500 A.D. It stems from the Latin word “mandatum,” meaning “a charge, order, command.” Interestingly enough, the political use of the word goes back to the late 1700s and was used to communicate “approval supposedly conferred by voters to the policies or slogans advocated by winners of an election.”

Maybe that’s because freedom-loving Americans don’t take kindly to being told what to do. The very best “mandate” isn’t conferred by politicians on the voters but instead by the voters on the politicians.

Mandating any medical treatment is deep waters and a slippery slope. Most Americans prefer being educated and given options rather than being compelled to a particular course of action. As one user on Twitter wryly observed earlier this week, “We’ve gone from 15 days to flatten the curve to three shots or you lose your job.”

If health officials are presumably constructing and attempting to implement this COVID-19 vaccine mandate to save lives, minimize suffering and lighten and preserve our strained healthcare and hospital systems, why only mandate the vaccine?

Why not mandate the immediate suspension of all junk food production and purchases? No more Twinkies, Ding Dongs or Ring Dings. Only baked potato and pita chips – low salt, of course.

No more fries or onion rings. Only cheese-less pizza and definitely no soda. Big Gulps are big trouble.

Let’s set up mandatory weigh-ins on Monday mornings. And sorry, no more high caffeinated beverages either to help jump start the week. But you won’t need that type of stimulation give a few other mandates:

Each American will be required to get a minimum of eight hours sleep each night and drink eight glasses of water throughout the day. Daily exercise will be required. Since studies show their effectiveness, maybe we should even mandate a 10-or 20-minute nap at some point during the day.

Since money is so often the source of tension, we might also mandate everyone live within their financial means. If you have a credit card, you’ll be mandated to pay it off in full every month – or forced to enroll in a Dave Ramsey seminar, where you’ll be forced to get rid of credit cards altogether.

But let’s turn from the somewhat silly to the serious.

Want to know what “mandate” would save lives?

Let’s mandate ultrasound screenings for abortion-minded pregnant women. Since more than half of abortion-minded women change their mind when they see their baby on a screen, that mandate alone will save upwards of a half-million lives each year.

It’s human nature to want to compel someone to action. Mandates aren’t all bad, but they’re tools that have historically been used very sparingly and for good reason. That’s because sometimes the very worst thing you can do is to mandate someone do something you want them to do since all too often such aggression leads them to do the exact opposite.

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