It ain’t about principle …
Some level of truthfulness has always been seen as essential to human society, no matter how deficient the observance of other moral principles. — Philosopher and ethicist Sissela Bok
This is, in essence, a continuation of several past blogs. I’ve commented before on the fact that the Republican Party, which was once a viable political party, is now a personality-driven cult – and a dangerous one at that. And last month I commented on how far-right political lies are dangerous and have led to the killing of people.
The killing continues. Not as dramatically, perhaps, as when a gunman, acting on Trump’s lies about “invading Mexicans,” set out to kill Mexicans in El Paso to stop the “invasion.” Or when a gunman, acting on Trump’s lies that the U.S. was being “invaded” by Central Americans coming through Mexico, killed 11 worshipers at a synagogue he believed was helping the “invaders.”
Omicron is today’s “gunman” …
Today’s “gunman” is the omicron variant of the covid-19 virus. Omicron’s victim of choice is the unvaccinated American – child or adult. Indeed, as many medical experts have asserted, for all intents and purposes, we are experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
The available data show that vaccination remains highly effective at preventing severe Covid illnesses. Since omicron is milder than earlier versions of the virus, most vaccinated Americans face little personal risk from Omicron. The situation is very different for the unvaccinated. For them, omicron is severe enough to cause debilitating illness and death. (Source 1)
A recent study by a team of international health experts concluded that booster shots provided protection against severe COVID-19 symptoms, even among elderly patients with significant comorbidities (two or more serious illnesses). The researchers also noted that the number of patients requiring ventilators, as well as in-hospital death rates, were lower among the fully vaccinated (who also had the booster) as compared to those who were unvaccinated, despite a higher risk for in-hospital death among the fully vaccinated group (i.e., elderly, compromised immune system, etc.). (Source 2)
Yet, even in the face of solid, scientific evidence that vaccines keep people out of the hospital and out of the morgue, the unvaxxers hold fast to their resistance, endangering themselves and their families.
It ain’t about principle … it’s about politics…
To be sure, perhaps a handful of the unvaxxers are opposed to vaccines on principle or for religious reasons. But for the vast majority of them, it has to do with politics and cultism, i.e., allegiance to Trump. For, it’s well established that there is a strong correlation between so-called “red” states and counties (Republican, voted for Trump in 2020) and unvaccinated people.
But the antivaxxers’ antipathy towards government-mandated health-safety measures is selective:
* Unvaxxers who are parents with kids in school comply with the government health-safety mandate of vaccinations (Tetanus, Polio, Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps, etc.) in order for their children to attend school …
* Unvaxxers comply with the government health-safety mandate of using seat belts for adults, children, and infants …
* Unvaxxers who are parents comply with the government health-safety mandate of not providing alcoholic beverages to their children or sponsoring keg parties for their teenagers …
* Unvaxxers comply with the government health-safety mandate of having vehicle insurance as a condition of driving …
I could go on, but you get the point. Unvaxxers have no principled stand against government health-safety mandates. Their refusal to get vaccinated is purely and simply a cult-political stance.
Not to mention the blatant hypocrisy. Unvaxxers go around chanting “My body, my choice,” or variations thereof. They insist, and militantly so, that the government cannot dictate to people what they can and cannot do regarding their health and their bodies. But as regards abortion rights, the Republicans, Trumpies, right-wingers, unvaxxers (but I repeat myself) militantly insist that the government can and must dictate to women what they can and cannot do regarding their health and their bodies.
The children be damned!…
It’s lamentable enough that people are risking their own health and lives by refusing to be vaccinated, and it’s even more lamentable that they are putting their families, including their children, at risk. There is a false belief that children are immune from Covid-19.
But the reality is that children are testing positive for Covid-19 at higher rates than senior citizens – the most vaccinated age group. Especially vulnerable are kids with underlying conditions such as diabetes, etc., for Covid triggers an exacerbation of their chronic condition. Children account for more than 7 million Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. Out of the more than 840,000 people who have died of Covid-19 in the U.S., about 1,000 were children. (Source 3)
The dynamics may be different, but today’s unvaxxers who are parents are acting very much like the parents of Jonestown and Waco in that they are willing to risk their children’s lives so as to please a sick, narcissistic cult leader.
In the 1978 Jonestown massacre, approximately 304 children died when their parents made them drink poisoned Kool-aid. (Source 4) In 1993, at least 25 children died with their parents when David Koresh’s Branch Davidian cult complex outside Waco, Texas went up in flames. (Source 5)
Except for the drama and the particular circumstances, the unvaxxer parents are doing what the Jonestown and Waco cultists did. They are knowingly and purposely exposing their families, including their children, to something that is potentially fatal. This is so unconscionable on its face it needs no elaboration.
They’re not stupid or of a weak personality…
It’s too easy to invoke the stereotype that the cultist unvaxxers are of low intelligence and of weak personalities. For sure, some of them fit that description, but many are of average intelligence and some are highly intelligent, and some possess advanced degrees. They are simply doing what Trump wants them to – subvert President Biden’s efforts to curb Covid-19 via widespread vaccination, even if it means sacrificing the lives of their parents, grandparents, spouses, and children.
What they are stupid about is turning a blind eye to how they are being blatantly manipulated by hypocrites. The elected officials who rail against vaccinations are themselves vaccinated, as is Trump. Fox network propagandist Tucker Carlson, one of the shrillest anti-vaccination voices, is almost certainly himself fully vaccinated, given that Fox requires it of all its employees (when he is asked directly if he is vaccinated, Carlson simply refuses to answer).
It is as infuriating as it is sad that our politics – or at least one wing of it – has reached this nadir, where human lives are deemed expendable in order to score political points and to please a sick and narcissistic cult leader. There was a time when the Republican Party was a principled and viable political party –even if one did not agree with its ideological bent. Lamentably, those days are long gone. c/s
Copyright 2022 by Salomon Baldenegro. To contact Sal write: firstname.lastname@example.org All images used in this blog are in the public domain.