Momentous events in the life of a nation do not arrive because a people are ready for them. By all accounts, Americans weren’t ready when the Cuban Missile Crisis began, when General Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo, or when Japanese planes first appeared over Pearl Harbor. Looking back on history, it is scarcely possible to grasp the confusion, uncertainty, and fear, if not outright terror, that previous generations of Americans experienced and suffered.

With the Fall of Corregidor, more than 11,000 of our troops were captured by the Japanese in a single day. Americans in every corner of the country heard the news and suffered under the threat of invasion and potential defeat at the hands of the Nazis and Japanese.

When facing such fears, Americans have at times forgotten that regard which they owe to their fellow man. Fear of a hated enemy has turned to fear of fellow Americans who resemble that enemy, or of those who appear to fall short in their dedication to an American victory. Laws have been passed making it a crime to teach the enemy’s language in school. Conscientious objectors have become objects of scorn and ridicule. Japanese-Americans and others have been fired from their jobs and marched off to internment camps by the hundreds of thousands, with the approval of the highest court in the land.

A friend recently remarked that COVID vaccination has already done more to divide Americans than any issue since the Civil War. Think about it. What other issue in America in the last 150 years has led doctors to abandon patients, employers to abandon workers, universities to abandon students, clergy to abandon parishioners, and left family members refusing even to speak with one another?

It has become the crisis of our generation.

Those in support of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations point back to a Supreme Court decision from more than a century ago to argue that mandatory vaccination is fully within the American tradition. That decision, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, upheld a $5 fine for refusal to take a smallpox vaccine. It was later used by the Supreme Court in the case Buck v. Bell to justify involuntary sterilization, which led to the government sterilizing 60,000 American women:

“The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”

Buck v. Bell (1927)

Yes, this once reflected the position of the highest court in the land. 

No, returning to the thinking of that time will not aid the United States in securing “the Blessings of Liberty” to future generations.

Years from now, we will look back on the course that Americans chose in 2021. There are some national sins of long ago whose victims are no longer with us. This will not be like that. Many of those we cast aside today will be with us for decades, and will bear the scars of their abandonment, as will we. 

I recently received a message from a soldier I served with in Afghanistan:

“Sir, I realize there is only so much you can do … but I would be remiss if I didn’t pass on the concerns of myself as well as those of all of our brothers who find ourselves in this particular position. I and many of our Countrymen are in desperate need. We are about to lose our jobs for refusing the COVID vaccine. I am a DoD civilian employee, and we were given the warning today to get the shot or be reprimanded and terminated. I am currently recovering from COVID-19, so I have naturally acquired immunity. This coupled with the fact that serious side effects are more prevalent among those with prior infection makes me even less willing to get the vaccine. We served together, I freely gave 20 years of my life in service to our nation with the Army and have continued my service as a DoD civilian. My reward for over 30 years of service: get a vaccination for a disease I have already had (that may hurt me) or lose my job. I am at a loss, If I stand my ground I lose my job, and if the mandate holds, no one will hire me. Then what? I am a man. I want to support and protect my family – that’s my job. I can’t do either if I take an experimental vaccine and die. It should be an individual choice. There are countless people like us in Alaska and all over the nation. I have emailed every elected official I can. Sir you have the platform to make our voices heard, you can help. Please take our message to the government and stop this before it’s too late.”

Years from now, how will we talk about those whose jobs were taken? When they cross our path, will we acknowledge the tragedy that we, in our time of great fear, allowed to be visited upon them? Or will we pass them in silence and pretend we didn’t see? 

What will we say to the man who, gripped in fear, would rather die than take a vaccine, and — being unable to transcend that fear — was forced to forfeit his career and his livelihood? What will we say to his children?

What will we say to the ethics professor who was fired for concluding that her university’s mandatory vaccination policy was unethical and that she could not, in good conscience, consent to it?

What will we say to the nurse who, after helping treat COVID patients, was cast aside when her commitment against coercion and bullying would not allow her to be coerced into taking a vaccine?

What will we say to the freshman student who was forced to forfeit a $200,000 scholarship when the risk of paralysis prevented her from taking a vaccine?

What will we say to doctors and students forced out of medical school because conscience would not allow them to take a vaccine that had been developed using the cells of an aborted child? (Note: All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. relied upon the use of one or more aborted fetal cell lines during product development and/or testing.)

And what of the student who relents in order to graduate from medical school, or the employee who relents in order to feed her family, but is then tormented for having betrayed her conscience?

What will we say to the daughter whose healthy, 37-year old mother initially refused to take the vaccine, but was told that she had to in order to volunteer in her daughter’s preschool class, and who died a week after taking the vaccine? Words fail us.

What will we say to the doctors who treated those patients, and were later punished for attempting to speak out? 

What will we say to the survivors of those who were denied medical treatment or organ transplants as punishment for not taking the vaccine? It was to protect extremely vulnerable patients like these that many Americans initially agreed to become vaccinated in the first place.

What will we say to those Americans unwilling to take the vaccine after watching a friend or loved one take it and become gravely injured or not survive

What will we say to the doctors who treated those patients, and were later punished for attempting to speak out? 

At the outbreak of World War II, Americans were asked not only to buy war bonds, but also to abandon thousands of their friends and neighbors of Japanese ancestry to the internment camps. They were told that it was necessary for the war effort. Despite some protests, they did.

Under government order, Americans watched as more than 130,000 people were forced from their jobs and confined in camps. Ten months after the war ended, the president issued an executive order that allowed them to return to their homes, many of which had already been sold for “failure to pay taxes“. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the president and a critic of the internments, would later say, “These people were not convicted of any crime, but emotions ran too high…” It was a chapter in American history in which our fear was allowed to drive a wedge between us. 

Fred Korematsu was the American who refused to consent to losing his job and being sent to an internment camp at the outbreak of the war. The Supreme Court case that sanctioned Japanese-American internment, Korematsu v. U.S., bears his name. Writing to the Supreme Court in 2005, he cautioned: “…history teaches that we tend to sacrifice civil liberties too quickly based on claims of military necessity and national security, only to discover later that those claims were overstated from the start.”


My first introduction to Martin Niemöller’s famous recitation “First They Came” was in junior high. It begins: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist…” In different audiences and at different times the author adjusted the words of the various verses, but the final verse always remained the same: “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

As a teen, I took the author to be initially apathetic about the plight of the socialists and the others he mentioned, including the Jews. I utterly failed to grasp the fear behind his words. To speak out on behalf of someone targeted by the state was to make yourself a target of the state; to be treated no better than the Jews, or any of the various groups being targeted by the German government. In the 1930’s, one did not make the decision to speak out lightly. There would be a cost. For many, it would be a death sentence.

Though he did eventually speak out, and was sent to a concentration camp himself, he was too late. Niemöller went on to articulate for many the regret of having abandoned Jews he knew in the early years of the war. In meeting them later in life, he would say to each, “Dear Friend, I stand in front of you, but we cannot get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people has sinned against thy people and against thyself.” Where I first heard self-pity in Niemöller’s closing “there was no one left to speak for me.” I now hear the profound regret of a man who abandoned friends out of fear; friends who were no longer present to speak up for him when the time came.

In 1943, at the height of German occupation, the people of Norway did a courageous thing in refusing to abandon one of their own. Lieutenant Jan Baalsrud, an injured Norwegian soldier marked for execution, was the target of an extensive and prolonged German manhunt. For more than two months, Baalsrud was passed from house to house and cave to cave by the people of Norway, each of whom risked death for helping him. The story was recently memorialized in the movie The 12th ManIn an especially poignant scene, one of Baalsrud’s saviors is asked why she is about to risk death for a man dying of gangrene? She responds: “This is how we prove who we are and what we believe in.” Baalsrud’s survival, after narrowly escaping capture and death many times, will forever serve as a testament to the people of Norway, who refused to abandon a critically-injured soldier when the stakes were at their highest.

If both vaccinated and unvaccinated refuse to be classified, any system designed to produce disparate treatment becomes unworkable…


The mistreatment of Americans who have not taken a COVID-19 vaccine is now a matter of official government policy, sanctioned by the White House. Perhaps that mistreatment will eventually be sanctioned by the Supreme Court years from now, as it was in Fred Korematsu’s case. But a future Supreme Court decision, even one that acknowledges and condemns that mistreatment, will do little to remove the national disgrace that is ours if we abandon the unvaccinated today. As a free society, we are not at liberty to simply defer to whatever policy or mandate comes out of the White House, or even the Supreme Court Building. Further, it is unwise to rely on judges, even those at the Supreme Court, to alone bear the brunt of ending unjust national policies that enjoy the support or acquiescence of the other two branches of government.

Yes, mistreatment of the unvaccinated should be protested. But protests alone were not enough to save Japanese-Americans from internment camps, and they will likely not be enough to avert the tragedy now before us. In 1943, scores of Norwegians declared by their actions that they were willing to risk the same death sentence that had already been passed on their injured soldier. If we are to avert this national disgrace, as Americans, we must be willing to risk suffering alongside the unvaccinated in order that this injustice may be brought to an end. There are times when we “are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself.” The current crisis hardly offers any alternative.

To speak out on behalf of the unvaccinated will mean a willingness to risk the same treatment that our unvaccinated neighbors are currently experiencing, with the knowledge that such treatment may grow worse still. Speaking out need not be an invitation to abuse or acceptance of such abuse, but rather born of a conviction that if abuse does come, my unvaccinated neighbor should not be left to bear the weight of that abuse alone.

It is precisely the move to separate Americans into classifications; those who will receive protection under the law, and those for whom that same protection will be denied, that enables the systematic abuses that follow after. If both vaccinated and unvaccinated refuse to be classified, any system designed to produce disparate treatment becomes unworkable, as was seen in Moscow this past summer.

In June, Moscow prohibited the unvaccinated from entering restaurants, cafes, and other public places. Three weeks later, after the people of Moscow largely refused to be classified, the City of Moscow cancelled its vaccine passport program entirely. This is one reason why some who have been vaccinated refuse to show proof of it and also refuse to apply for an exemption. 

Though it will likely come at a cost today, many of us have not yet lost the opportunity to speak up for the unvaccinated, to seek justice for them, and to seek an end to the abuses that have already taken place. Let us take that opportunity, lest we come to personally know the guilt and profound regret of Martin Niemöller and so many of his generation who did not speak up when they could have done so.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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Rep. Eastman: Our treatment of the unvaxxed is a ‘national disgrace’

Rep. David Eastman
Rep. David Eastman is a Republican member of the Alaska House, representing District 10 in Wasilla. He has served since January 17, 2017.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Representative Eastman, this is an outstanding article but, you forget the democrats refuse to believe in the past. They are taking down statues all over our country. They want to erase all knowledge of the past and yell people that never happened. They refuse the TRUTH at every corner.

    Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not against my fellow democrats but I’ve lost family members that refuse to listen to “My Truth” and believe the fake news reported on tv now days.

    I say we the people need to stand up for our rights under the constitution and not bend! We need to stand up to the fake new and demand the other side of the garbage that is reported is told to the public. There’s always two sides to an argument but for covid we’ve only hear one side. When anyone speaks out against the democratic news they are chastised or threatened.

    As in the service you know a group is stronger than one!

  • Diana H. Graf says:

    Thank you so much for parsing this out and applying these historical facts as they directly relate to what is happening now. It helped me understand more than I have before what my true responsibility is to my neighbor. I so appreciate it as I do not want to be a part of the totalitarian process in any way. Thank you again. Diana

  • Opus says:

    “It is precisely the move to separate Americans into classifications; those who will receive protection under the law, and those for whom that same protection will be denied, that enables the systematic abuses that follow after. ”
    There is no protection “under the law.”

  • Greg in Homer says:

    This is a very well-thought-out article by Representative Eastman. It demonstrates wisdom and understanding of current events. He has an understanding of these things that I wish everyone in Juneau would grasp. I would love to see Representative Eastman on the ballot for Governor someday. Maybe we will.
    Well done sir!

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    It’s all about CONTROL with the left on these mandates

  • Cam says:

    Excellent article! Will be sharing with your neighbours here in Canada. I truly wish this article would be featured on CNN vrs instructions on judging and shaming from a professor of ethics…… Please continue demonstrating the true example of human ethics and principles.

  • Brandon says:

    Those implementing Tyranny by coercion are in the wrong. PERIOD.
    You don’t force truth on people, it reveals itself.. unless the media is involved.
    -United We Stand.

  • Jason Floyd says:

    David Eastman is a Statesman of the highest caliber. Liberty, the nation’s life-blood was borne from sacrifice and often blood. January 6th detainees will agree that while you may have all the rights in the world, they are worth nothing if your liberty is denied, especially when you are wrongly held in a jail cell, mistreated, and tortured in clear violation of established law, both natural and legislated. Those who would take the opportunity to disparage Mr. Eastman for his position in this article are no countrymen of mine. There is no compromise with despots. For those corporate, community and governmental leaders who are willing to acquiesce to the socialists in our communities out of convenience or fear, take note, “we are watching, and eventually you will be held to account for your crimes and your role in the destruction of liberty.” History is not kind to tyrants.

  • Gunter Thompson says:

    I wonder why Eastman was at the US capital one year ago?

    • Daniel Davis says:

      Gunter, why would you ask such a disparaging, prejudicial question? I believe that we have the right to go where we choose to go, owing explanations to no one. Are you going to ask, why every person goes to view our nations’ land marks? Where is the crime in travel? Are you now going to ask everyone who was there on January 20th why they supported one of our racist senators and is now responsible for approximately 2 million illegals being ushered into our country with zero accountability? That might be a better question for today.

      • Gunter Thompson says:

        He can go wherever he wants. Just wondering why he was there. Its interesting that you think my very neutral question was disparaging and prejudicial.

    • Lyndsey says:

      At Gunter Thompson – Probably the same reason 2 million others were – to hear from and see the President of these United States and unite with others in one voice to speak out against the jab and mask tyranny, Racism (CRT), sins against this Land’s Creator and God, the November 3rd steal, and to demonstrate their love of country PEACEFULLY!

  • DoneWithIt says:

    We have a giant of a man walking the halls in Juneau.
    The cornerstone of a Republic is the right of the individual versus the State, the majority, or society.
    Governments primary role, initially, was to safeguard our individual rights against the tyranny of the majority and Statebakike.
    Representative Eastman, please run for governor one day – you’ll garner my vote.
    Ak PureBlood.

  • Robert A Schenker says:

    Well reasoned and articulate article above, Thank you Mr, Eastman.
    If I could add to the thoughts expressed by David Eastman it might be that the damn jab doesn’t even WORK! It is insulting to my intelligence when I hear the claim that it is a Vaccine… I have taken vaccine’s in my life. One was for Polio, evidently it worked since neither I or anyone of my Baby Boom generation that I KNOW succumbed to the ravages of Polio. This m-RNA treatment called a vaccine has not kept it’s patients from catching Covid. It has been said by those who support the jab that it mitigates the symptoms. I wonder if we applied that same logic to the Polio Vaccine, would we be grateful for a shot that merely paralyzed only my right leg? Would that be deemed as a success? I think not.

  • Akisontheropes says:

    Good thoughts. So what are you doing to combat the issue here? Does Zink still have her job? Is there legislation pending blocking mandates in Ak? Has the State done what FL has done to prevent local cities and municipal leaders from violating our constitutional rights? Talk is great. What action are we seeing, or will we see to show its not just talk? Our Constitution is talk. The writers acted on what they said with agressive tenacity. Will we?

  • CS says:

    Thank you David for a well written and thoughtful article. It is very simple, let the American people live according to the freedoms granted the citizens of America in our constitution. You have pointed out very clearly the consequences of nulifying those freedoms, very quickly we will have no Constitution of the Unites States of America but we will have one wicked ruler over all, and then ALL the people will morn.

  • Muriel D Gillette says:

    I totally agree with Diana H Graf. Your article was very well presented, with historical truths all over the place.
    I saw you and Christopher Kurka last night at the listening session on Covid. so many people had so many ideas,
    yet how are we and they going to get them implemented? People should NOT have to give up their jobs to justify
    their consciences. Nor should they have to take an experimental gene therapy, that is only under EUA without
    adequate years of of proper experimental trials both on animals, and humans before it is forced on the entire
    world humanity. We should NOT be classified into groups as vac/non-vac’d. this is just another separation of
    a once united people, whose history is being erased, schools dumbed down, or taught fractious (CRT), theories,
    people seperated and taught to hate each other anew. our Christian values and even people are being persecuted.
    we will indeed lose all we stand for/ stood for, if not, we already have.

  • Greg says:

    It’s good to hear someone that doesn’t gloss over the atrocities committed by the US government and those who obey it’s orders. Remember folks, the people of the world are our neighbors, and They are not less valuable because they live in another nation. The governments of the world start wars and then use the citizenry as cannon fodder. Individuals can defend themselves, but the militarism of this nation is despicable, for it is not about defense. It is for oil protection and arms sales (ask Smedley Butler and many others today). Do not kill just because the government tells you to, it will be no excuse before God Do not maim and starve just because the government tells you to. Christ does not command his followers to go and kill – he commands that we seem to convert others, even at great risk to our own lives. America is not the Kingdom of God. The president is not God. Congress is not the Church. The US military is not God’s army. Stand up for your fellow man, even those of different nations. Resist government tyranny.
    No King but Christ

  • Greg says:

    “The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other–instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.”
    ~ Edward Abbey (1927 – 1989)

    • Greg says:

      I do not condone political violence, but this quote from Edward Abbey is a reminder to us that the people of the world are not our enemies. The greatest threat to our well-being is those who wish to rule us – our own government. Any that trust their government do not know history.

  • Dan says:

    Thank you Representative Eastman. I too am a civilian employee and veteran working for the Department of Defense and refuse to take the experimental drugs. So far I am still employed, but unless a favorable court decision is made soon that could change. While I can go on about the details on how these drugs are quite dangerous and ineffective, my primary reason for refusing it is that forced administration of any medical treatment, especially one that alters a person’s DNA, is something that slave owners can do to their slaves, not something an employer can do to an employee. Once this bridge has been crossed it will only lead to more an more infringements on our freedoms until the USA becomes a tyrannical dictatorship. THIS is the line in the sand. THIS is the hill that I and other have chosen to die on. If we do not stop this here and now, the next step will be forced boosters, then perhaps forced sterilization and other heinous acts. Do not fool yourselves into believing that once you acquiesce and get the jab, then they will leave you alone. Once you give in to the bully, the bullying will only get progressively worse. Please stand with me and others who are putting our livelihoods on the line to resist tyranny.

  • Dan says:

    One has to wonder if the DoD “vaccine” mandate was meant to weaken our armed forces. In the recent excellent decision by Judge O’Connor to uphold the religious exemptions of many Navy Seals, the Government argued that 80 military personnel deaths had been attributed to the CCP virus. What I find interesting is that the Government used the deaths of 34 service members to justify the mandate back in September. That means in the 18 months preceding the mandate an average of two service members deaths per month were blamed on the virus. After the mandate and hundreds of thousands of forced injections, 46 military personnel deaths were attributed to the virus in about four months or about 11-12 per month. Thus the death rate increased by about a factor of six AFTER mass injections of “vaccines” and the Government is fully aware of this as they provided these statistics. Any objective observer would think a six fold increase in deaths in something that was supposed to REDUCE the mortality rate is an unmitigated disaster that should at the very least be reassessed if not immediately halted. I truly find it difficult to believe that since the Government is doubling down on the mandate, despite this knowledge, that they are not deliberately seeking to weaken the military.

  • Kristen says:

    As my two military officer sons face continual disparate restrictions and certain dismissal, your words are an encouragement. Thank you

  • jh says:

    Democrats now Return Back to Segregation!
    Did you know that it is o.k. to be RACIST if you are a LEFTIST pushing Covid -19 mandates?
    It is finally official!
    New York City now requires you to be vaccinated with the Covid shot, to enter a business.
    If you are not vaccinated, you cannot enter.
    Remember those days when the DEMOCRATS SEGREGATED the black people from the white people? That is why the radical leftist democrats don’t want you to learn about HISTORY!!!
    Welcome back, to the good old days of SEGREGATON by the Democrats!
    They’re back from the grave!!!!!
    Progressive’s love REWRITING history, but they don’t want you to know about it. From the 1619 Project to renaming roads and melting of statues, if they can protect their party by WIPING CLEAN or reassigning their PAST, they’re all for it. But underneath it all, below what they let the world see, is one simple truth: The Democratic Party WAS, STILL IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE the PARTY OF RACISM. They CREATED segregation and, as Democrat Governor George Wallace FAMOUSLY said, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Progressives publicly renounced their openly racist past as fellow progressive Adolf Hitler exposed what was always the endgame for eugenics (to improve the human gene pool by encouraging the reproduction of people considered to HAVE DESIREABLE traits and DISCOURAGING or preventing the reproduction of people who have undesirable traits
    (unattractive lunatic leftist?)
    The Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow never changed their goal, they only CHANGED THEIR TACTICS..
    When being blatant racists was no longer acceptable, the left went another direction. When they were no longer able to publicly hate black people, they switched to publicly hating white people. It was the hate that mattered, not the direction in which it flowed. (SOUND FAMILIAR?)
    The average, rationally thinking person would not embrace progressive policies if they were thinking clearly.
    Martin Luther King is rolling over in his grave over how Democrats have abandoned what he gave his life for – the idea that people should be judged for who they are as individuals, by their INTEGRETY, NOT by their skin color. Now your skin color is all leftists see or care about. If you stray from their pre-conceived notions of how someone with non-white skin should think, you become their enemy and no holds are barred in pursuit of your destruction.
    (Ask Clarence Thomas or Condi Rice how tolerant Democrats are toward black people who REFUSE to conform to the progressive’s pre-conceived notions.)
    GOOGLE: Town Hall Democrats Return To Segregation