Letter: The opposite of ‘common good’

Published: 06-25-2024 1:54 PM

L. Phillips Runyon’s Viewpoint (“Personal freedom and the common good,” May 16) contradicts his position that “common good” trumps individualism. He favors “my body, my choice” when it comes to abortion, yet villainizes those taking the identical ideological stand against an untested vaccine.

Runyon supports the widespread use of experimental COVID vaccines, which is ill-informed because the anti-vaxxers had the same incomplete, inconsistent facts. Stating that we “barely survived” the pandemic and that “many of their fellow citizens” were killed due to the irresponsibility of individualism is hyperbole. The Centers for Disease Control reported fewer than 245,000 people in the United States died from COVID as either primary or contributing cause (2021-2022), a 99%-plus survival rate.

Runyon’s description reminds me of the “Seinfeld” episode where George competes against an Andrea Doria shipwreck survivor for an apartment. Credibility is lost when it is known that it took 10 hours to sink and less than 3% of the passengers perished.

Vaccine challengers suffered bullying, discrimination and job loss for exercising their Constitutional rights. There were societal, developmental and educational setbacks. Whether the “common good” was achieved or destroyed by the United States’ COVID response will be debated for years.

Runyon promotes selfishness when it comes to abortion access. To persist, nations need a birth rate of at least 2.1 children per woman; thus, abortion for convenience is counter to his definition of “common good.” Social Security relies on current employees to support the retirees. In 1940, it was 42-1; in 2024, it is 3-1. The program will be unsupportable when the ratio drops to 2-1.

Instead of debating the impact of medical advancements, the baby’s prenatal rights and paternal rights and obligations, Runyon labels those who disagree with his viewpoint as “supremacists” and “misogynistic.”

Cole Mills

Keene 

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