I’ve recently had some conversations with a Republican friend of mine (my last remaining Republican friend), who doesn’t have any plan to be vaccinated. I said, “Oh yeah, because of your media,” and he said, “No, this has nothing to do with politics! It’s because we literally have zero idea whether the vaccines even work at all!”
This is of course untrue, and the only ones saying this are conservative media, so his decision must indeed have something to do with politics; he just doesn’t know it. While the reporting side of Fox News has been good enough to report the truth about the vaccines (that they work), their opinion shows report the opposite.
As Tucker Carlson stated last week,
[M]aybe [the vaccine] doesn’t work, and they’re simply not telling you that.
Well, maybe there are faeries in the garden, and they’re simply not telling you that, either.
Just as all the evidence shows that there are no faeries in the garden, all the evidence shows that the vaccines work. J&J has a serious side effect, which occurs in so few people you should worry about getting hit by lightning before you should worry about J&J’s side effect.
Now a report in the Times confirms that conservative media’s message is getting through to the base. Just half of Republicans intend to be vaccinated, and even the Republicans who trust the vaccine are not exactly rushing to get it. Two-thirds of Democrats have already been vaccinated, compared to 36% of Republicans.
With public health experts warning that there could be another surge in Covid-19 cases if the economy reopens too swiftly this spring, the Quinnipiac poll found that 85 percent of Democrats said they were worried about another outbreak. Just 32 percent of Republicans shared their concern. And while hardly any Democrats — just 12 percent — said they would feel safe attending large events like professional sports games or concerts, two-thirds of Republicans said they would.
During the pre-vaccine era, when Republicans refused to wear masks, they died, but they also spread the virus all over the place, and Dems got sick along with the Trumpies; the cries of “Freedom” served a certain political purpose in motivating the base.
But now, you have to wonder what the plan is, what the Right wins if they convince their followers not to be vaccinated and to attend mass gatherings in which the virus will run rampant. At these events, covid will infect Republicans, who will bring it home to their families, while the few Dems in attendance will emerge unscathed.
I guess that if lots of people die in Mississippi and Kentucky, and the virus surges, Tucker Carlson can blame Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. But is that really the strategy here, to orchestrate mass death to damage a Democratic administration?
Look, I suppose it’s tempting to make some kind of joke about what a shame it would be if all the Trumpies became sick and died. But I don’t want awful things to happen to my fellow citizens, many of whom were terrific people before they fell into the clutches of a reality-denying cult. Did you enjoy the Jonestown massacre, the death of people whose only crime was believing the lies that their cult-leaders fed them?
If the current Trumpist conspiracists are awfully lucky and their message really resonates, the Republican base could become a breeding ground for vaccine-resistant variants, and then maybe some Dems will die too, as the new variant spreads throughout America, and then the world.
This is going to get really ugly, and a lot of people will die.
Design by Steven S. Drachman from an image by Brett Sayles / Pexels.