To tell the story of overreaching, I love aphorisms – like a bridge too far. That bridge existed. It was one bridge too far for General Eisenhower and a daring plan to end WWII.  

The operation failed at Remagen’s bridge across the Rhine. Many, many paratroopers died. Eisenhower had tried too much, too soon.

Sometimes society does the same thing in much less obvious but every bit as dramatic ways. Sometimes so many people are involved that we don’t even realize what’s happening.

Like, here we are in the midst of an epidemic of epic proportions with a significant portion of the population eyeing the vaccine as a societal and proverbial bridge, as government overreach, and claiming a right to refuse.  

A right to refuse? Maybe. For the moment.

Think back ... not too long ago but before our lifetimes, about the time our ancestors began to exert their rights (by forming a more perfect union). Almost simultaneously, though, they began giving up those rights of individual choice. One by one they disappeared, absorbed by society, legislated by government.  

The dairyman, for example, gave up his rights to let his cows stand in manure or reuse the same dirty bucket for milking or sell milk before it’d been pasteurized. By the same token, children stopped dying (in vast numbers) from contaminated milk.  

Almost all food handlers lost rights in the same way while the rest of us gained rights, like the right to pour our cereal of choice into a bowl knowing for a near certainty that we won’t find rat dung among the kernels.  

Between the various levels of government and regulations and regulators with their untold numbers of laws and rules, their “thou can’t,” “nots” and “you have tos,” society has become safer, life expectancy has gone up, human capital is seen as valuable capital and is mostly treated as such. The result, though, is that while we gained rights that keep us healthy and relatively secure, we’ve lost the right to act as we wish on many, many, many levels.

We are a regulated people. We are the next best thing to socialists and our system to socialism. Step by step, rule by rule, we’ve lost, we’ve gained, we’ve ... .

Really! You can’t not stop at a stop sign. You can’t burn your trash. You can’t use your backyard as a firing range. You can’t let your dog run free. You ... .

You get the point. But, what can you do?  

Enter a bunch of politicians and a cause. The bridge is right there, they say. Biden has overreached.  

The Democrats want, they say, to take away yet another right– this time your right to choose to get sick and get other people sick and count on society and its medical facilities to save you. Maybe. Or, maybe, to die. As soldiers did on the bridge at Remagen.  

That vaccine. It’s just one bridge too far – one threatened right too many. Isn’t it.

Or is it?

(2) comments

John Potter

I'm not sure of your point, other than a seeming wish not to offend any readers, but your history is a little rusty. Remagen bridge was captured by ground troops (not paratroopers) who happened to run into a more-or-less intact bridge and jumped at the chance to establish a bridgehead across the Rhine. Eisenhower may have been disappointed at the failure to take the bridge at Arnhem, in The Netherlands, but he neither failed at a Remagen, nor planned it in the first place.

Schelly Jordan

I agree whole-heartedly with Pat Stuart. I also get what you are trying to say. Former Soviet leader Nakita Khrushchev said in 1959 in conversation with then Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, which he (Benson) later recounted;

"He told me that my grandchildren would live under Communism (today's socialism, SJ). You Americans are so gullible. No, you won't accept Communism outright but we'll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you'll finally wake up and find you already have Communism". End quote.

So, you don't have to posses a vivid imagination to see the "small doses administered since January. Subsidies to increase peoples dependence on the government, has resulted in fewer incentives to work, pay rent, fear mongering by "Dr. Fauci" and his lying government minions, all of the above reduces us to the sheep depicted in Orwell's "Animal Farm" or "1984". Oh yes and then there are those spending bills that Schumer and Pelosi push that soon will cripple us with unsustainable debt. Anyway, Mr. Putin, the new Khrushchev, is watching our descent into socialism and rubbing his hands, saying, "excellent..."

BTW, both Pat and John are both pretty close on their WW2 history but have the wrong place, wrong time. The line "a bridge too far" refers to the bridge over the Rhine River at Arnhem (Arnheim, DE). This bridge was the last target in Operation Market Garden in Sept. 1944. The bridge at Remagen was the scene of the battle for the Remagen Bridge, (AKA Ludendorff Bridge) in March, 1945. It was Lt, General SIr Fredrick Browning, fearing that they were overextended, said to Major General Urquhart, "I think we might be going a bridge too far" in reference to the Arnhem Bridge. The rest, as they say, is history...as well as a great book and movie based on Lt. Gen. Browning's quote. Oh yes, there also was a movie based on the battle at Remagen as well.

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