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Hillsdale should take a stand against vaccine man­dates. Courtesy | Wiki­media Commons

Become ungovernable. 

Hillsdale College, just like the Founding Fathers she so rightly reveres, should fight back against tyranny. Pres­ident Joe Biden’s uncon­sti­tu­tional vac­ci­nation mandate rep­re­sents just the latest over­reach by a gov­ernment at war with its own people. The college should not comply with these man­dates. It should loudly pro­claim out­right resis­tance to the “emer­gency” order on both legal and natural rights grounds. 

The college should openly defy the mandate autho­rized by the Occu­pa­tional Safety and Health Admin­is­tration, refuse to pay any fines, or engage in Jesuitical legal “rea­soning” to find a cop-out. Getting sued by the federal gov­ernment is the best pos­sible thing that could happen to the college. It would be a fundraising bonanza. 

In our time, there is an inverse cor­re­lation between cre­den­tials and spirit­edness. The more edu­cated or insti­tu­tion­alized a person becomes, the more likely they are to roll over before the tyranny of elitist opinion. Hillsdale has an oppor­tunity to buck that trend, com­bining both intel­lectual excel­lence and fero­cious defense of its rights. 

When the college rejected federal funding over the civil rights sur­veil­lance regime, Hillsdale went from being a small school in middle-of-nowhere Michigan to one of the premier liberal arts insti­tu­tions in the country. With the vaccine mandate, Hillsdale once again has a chance to gain even greater prominence.

There has never been a better time to resist the Biden admin­is­tration. The president’s approval rating is in freefall, the nation’s supply chain is in shambles, and voters are fed up with the rampant and obvious cor­ruption and ide­o­logical brow­beating ema­nating from Wash­ington, D.C. Hillsdale should not slink along quietly in the back­ground trying to avoid attention. It should, instead, stand in the gap, fighting for the prin­ciples it artic­u­lates so well.

Con­ser­v­a­tives tend to be extremely risk-averse by nature. It is, as Locke noted in his “Second Treatise on Gov­ernment,” much easier to go along with tyranny than to resist it. But the costs of resis­tance are not likely to be as high as lawyers and bureau­crats are inclined to think. 

Is the Biden admin­is­tration really going to send men with guns to force Hillsdale stu­dents to get the jab? In October, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Hillsdale to see the work on the Keefer House Hotel. She came in secret, cow­ering behind her mask. These are not pow­erful or strong-willed people. Our author­ities live in pro­found fear of the people they rule.

And rightly so. They have, after all, declared war on their sub­jects in the name of extin­guishing a virus with a sur­vival rate of more than 99%. The Biden White House is incom­petent: The botched evac­u­ation from Afghanistan, the Pete Buttigieg paternity leave scandal, and massive increases in crime and inflation are proof that these people have no idea what they are doing. 

Ordinary Amer­icans are waiting for cham­pions. The lead­ership of the con­ser­v­ative movement has instead turned mealy-mouthed in the face of the state’s absurd response to the virus. Our leaders don’t do much leading. It was parents in school board meetings, not con­ser­v­ative com­men­tators or politi­cians who fought back against critical race theory in schools. It was the anger of heartland Amer­icans against Oba­macare that birthed the tea party movement. 

Hillsdale can change things. It can provide des­per­ately needed moral encour­agement and fighting spirit. It would reward the faith of the parents and donors who see in the college hope for a brighter future. The college has deep pockets, pow­erful political allies, and the media skill to not only take on the federal gov­ernment but beat it. 

Machi­avelli writes in Book I Chapter 33 of the “Dis­courses” that a prince who attacks without req­uisite strength ends up aggran­dizing his enemies rather than destroying them. He thinks he is pushing his foes down when he is actually pulling them along. If he is not careful, he ends up watering the plant he intended to drown.

Should the Biden admin­is­tration crack down on Hillsdale, it will only make the college stronger and more prominent. The harder it pushes, the more resis­tance it will find and the more allies the college will gain. Manly strength not only rejoices in con­flict, but it also feeds off it. Should Hillsdale resist the vaccine mandate, it will gain every pos­sible benefit and lose nothing but the appro­bation of those not fit to give it.