One time, during high school in Western Pennsylvania, about six of us got in a car and drove across the border to Wheeling, West Virginia, where the drinking age was still 18. 

Just one of us was actually 18, but it didn’t matter. It was 1981, and Pennslyvania still issued drivers’ licenses without photos. Just a flimsy, paper card. 

The legal holder, one of us, showed the door guy his license, then — slyly yet clumsily — passed it down the line until all six of us were in. 

In the words of comedian Ron White, I told you that story to tell you this one.

Vaccine passports won’t work, nor will requirements to show proof of vaccination, via another flimsy card. Concerns about coercion, invasion of privacy, and authoritarian-style edicts are paramount, as politicians and health “experts” — primarily from the left — fumble all over the pretense of keeping us safe from COVID-19, now, precisely, the Delta variant. 

But, more fundamentally, the passport idea won’t work because the cards —which don’t fit in a standard wallet — can be faked, forged, and reused. The CDC vaccine cards — I have one — don’t carry a photo. So, I suppose it would be safe to assume, that, like when sometimes using a credit card, a photo ID would, too, be required.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week said people entering businesses such as restaurants and gyms must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, either by the state “Excelsior Pass” — the city’s new vaccine pass — or CDC’s paper vaccine card, as proof of vaccination, the New York Post reports.

The acting mayor of Boston wasted little time in blasting the liberal mayor.

Kim Janey, the first woman and black Bostonian to hold the office, reports the Post, said ‘there’s a long history’ in the United States of people ‘needing to show their papers.’

“What our focus here in Boston is in making sure that everyone has access to the vaccine, making sure that we are doing everything to vaccinate our workforce in the city of Boston, making sure that our residents have access to the vaccine,” Janey said, according to the newspaper.

Government must have limits, and government should never be the solution for society’s problems, whether real or imagined. But that’s a principle progressives and liberals often eschew.

“‘Only government can make a difference here,’” N.Y. state Sen. James Sanders Jr. of Queens,” said in a press briefing, the Post says. “‘If we do not take a strong stand and say, you have the right to your body, of course; but you do not have to kill other people.’”

Idiotic hyperbole aside, infringing on the rights of others for political, cultural, or societal goals or ambitions can’t be tolerated, and that’s what this whole passport business is about.

Consider this: The left is falling all over its collective self in promoting vaccine passports and the like, yet it calls sensible moves such as showing an ID to vote racist and divisive. Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, responded to de Blasio by introducing legislation requiring states that mandate vaccine passports, or cards showing proof of vaccination, to also mandate voter identification, Fox News reports.

“If states that take federal money for elections feel the need to make residents verify a piece of information as private as their vaccination status just to return to normalcy, then they should have no problem requiring people to prove they are who they say they are when they go to vote,” Cramer said in a statement, according to Fox.

Stories about fake passports already abound, as counterfeiters welcome a new way to make money. By forging a flimsy, paper card.

It’s especially infuriating, though, that all of this is sanctioned — promoted, really — by state-level politicians and the U.S. government, whose primary duty is protecting our rights and civil liberties as defined in the Constitution. 

Talk about divisive.

John Trump is Carolina Journal managing editor.