David Pakman was asking why it is the conservatives won’t get the vaccine when they give Trump credit for creating it. I have some thoughts on this.
To start with, that may be an overstatement. Not that much time was spent trying to convince the nation that Trump belched the vaccine out on to a grateful public. So I don’t think that is prominent in the Republican brain.
Regardless, Pakman isn’t taking into account people’s ability to hold two contradictory truths in their minds at the same time. Humans are great at cognitive dissonance but modern conservatives have brought it up to the level of art.
The Anti-Vax Pleasure
But I think the big issue here is that conservatives get a certain amount of pleasure by not getting the vaccine. It makes them feel good that they are depriving liberals of getting something they want.
It’s the same old thing. That’s the basis of modern conservatism. They don’t actually believe in anything except doing things they think will annoy the libtards. In fact, they spend a lot of energy convincing themselves that we liberals are offended even when we really don’t care most of the time.
This is a great example of a self-satisfied conservative thinking he’s offending the liberals and the liberals just not caring.
The (Nonexistent) Anti-Vax Pain
Normally there would be a trade-off. They would realize that by getting this small thrill of sticking it to the liberals, they were losing something. They weren’t getting the vaccine. And as a result, their lives are more limited. But that’s not the case!
These are the people who have claimed almost from the start that there should never have been any shutdown of the economy. There should never have been any mask mandates. Because it’s only the old and sickly who died anyway. Blah, blah, blah…
Also: it is widely believed that Covid-19 is just a hoax. It’s just something the liberals made up so that they could turn America into a communist state. Or whatever. Again that is totally contradicted by their belief that Trump is brilliant and he brought us the vaccine out of his gold-plated lab inside Trump Tower. But who cares?
So there you have it: in the minds of the Republican base, there’s an upside to not getting the vaccine. And there’s absolutely no downside to not getting the vaccine.
Now I know that some of you will counter that there are all these stories about anti-vaxxers not getting vaccinated and then getting very sick and even dying. But those are stories that only occur on the regular news.
If you’re watching Fox News and Newsmax and OAN News, you’re not seeing those! And if you happen to hear about them? Well: fake news!
It’s a mistake to think of anti-vax people the way you would others. It’s not that they are irrational. They are, in fact, very rational! They simply believe we live in a different world. The logic is the same; the facts are different!
Conservative Belief in Social Cohesion
It’s kind of funny really. Because for decades conservative intellectuals have made the argument that liberals were dividing the country. It was always liberals who didn’t care about social cohesion. We saw this in many books like a couple by Charles Murray.
Just as with conservative fears of relativism, it turns out that the mechanism was backward. A lack of social conservatism wasn’t tearing our society apart; authoritarianism was destroying social cohesion.
That’s because the people who follow conservative ideology are authoritarians. Why else would a poor person vote for a party that mostly just gives tax cuts to the rich? It’s because they believe in the authoritarian underpinnings of conservatism.
And all the rich people who kept the poor and middle classes wedded to this ideology were sowing authoritarianism. Because that is literally the only thing that conservative ideology offers regular people.
The Freedom to Die
And now we have a deeply divided country. We have people who will not get vaccinated because they claim it is about their freedom. Meanwhile, they are putting all the rest of us at risk. And the entire world at risk. It’s very sad.
And there will never be an accounting. The closest that we might get is that millions will die. But it will not be those great Freedom Fighters who wouldn’t get vaccinated. It will be everyone.