I want to commend Connie Dunham for her articulate response to Rich Wandschneider’s letter to “Republican friends.”

It seems this month he wants to direct his attacks toward “libertarian friends,” claiming “they forget, of course … the staunchest libertarian puts a boundary at the point at which his or her liberty infringes on the liberties (or the well-being) of others.”

I would encourage Rich and anyone else reading this to carefully consider the weight of expressing opinions and ideology on behalf of others. It takes a humble mind to admit you don’t know enough about a topic to be critical of it, and his supposition that the libertarian’s concern for “other’s well-being” ought to compel diligent mask-wearing is based on a false belief that it is “other’s well-being” for whom libertarians draw their boundaries on personal freedom. While it is certainly noble to be concerned for the welfare of others, it is not integral to the libertarian worldview.

Additionally, Rich incorrectly places the burden of proof on libertarians who are allegedly harming others by refusing to mask. Only in corrupt, utterly evil places of the world do we accuse one of a crime without evidence. How can we hold someone accountable for harm caused when we have no proof they have, in fact, harmed another (supposedly by unknowingly spreading coronavirus)? If my liberty infringes on another’s, hold me accountable, but don’t assume that I am causing harm based on hypotheticals and ever-changing models. Doing so leads us down a dark path.

Rebecca Patton


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