Vax resistant? Be consistent.
Seven ways to avoid hypocrisy.
It’s pointless to argue with people who ideologically refuse to mask or vaccinate against Covid-19 and variants.
The harder we try, the more objective verified facts we provide, the more we try to reason, the more we beseech out of love and concern for them, the public and healthcare workers, the more antivaxxers push back and dig in.
The pushback varies. But it’s typically based on unfounded doubt, rumor, deliberate misinformation or fear spread by the (vaccinated) right-wing media, internet hacks and quacks, or social media “friends.” Either for attention, validation, views and/or money, and all unaccountable for their lies, the lives they threaten, or how they keep the pandemic going.
But often vax resistance simply comes down to Herman Melville’s confounding Bartleby, the Scrivener declaring, beyond all frustrated reach and reason, “I prefer not to.”
Nobody — certainly not the government or the medical experts or public health leaders or the Socialist leftist sheeple flock — is going to tell anti-vaxxers what to do.
This ornery recalcitrance often arises from a nihilist distortion of the American independent revolutionary spirit, rebelling with misguided cause, the once liberal anti-establishment impulse that Republicans used to hate but now incite for political gain.
Antivaxxers are Phil Connors/Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” driving on the railroad tracks toward a speeding train, scaring his bar buddy passengers, declaring, “I’m not going to live by their rules anymore!”
Of course, in the movie, Phil Connors was impervious to death. But we aren’t, thanks to the Antivaxxer Rebellion, which rivals the Toronto Circus Riot of 1855 in stupidity. (At least that one involved clowns in a brothel.)
In any case, if anti-vaxxers won’t change their minds, let’s ask them to apply their rationale to the rest of their lives.
Certainly, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. But complete inconsistency is dumber. So here’s some advice for how antivaxxers can square their declarations:
1. “Covid is no big deal.”
Covid was America’s third top killer in 2020, just behind heart disease and cancer, and it keeps on killing with U.S. death toll now at 850,000.
If you question whether Covid is serious, then you also need to dismiss heart disease and cancer. Also the top killers behind Covid such as cerebrovascular diseases, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, and kidney disease.
When a loved one is suffering from a deadly disease other than Covid, tell them it’s also no big deal.
2. “Covid vaccines kill.”
Maybe you don’t care that the 6,000 Covid vaccine death figure circulating the internet has been roundly debunked.
Or that, per The Commonwealth Fund, without vaccinations 1.1 million more Americans would have died from Covid and 10.3 million more would have been hospitalized by last November.
But if you feel endangered by Covid vaccines, then you also need to refuse heart disease medications, surgery, stents, pacemakers and ablation for atrial fibrillation, or cancer treatments including surgery and chemotherapy. And stop expensing fellow Americans for Medicare and employer health plans that cover your care and companies write off their taxes.
Many life-saving treatments fail. So you need to reject any attempt to save your life or the lives of loved ones if there’s even a statistically remote or internet chance you might die anyway.
To be completely consistent, join the Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Amish and Scientologists that reject mainstream health care on theological grounds.
3. “I don’t trust the vaccines — they were developed too quickly.”
You might feel more expert and experienced in your internet medical assessments than the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, your doctor, or your hospital that is still jammed and struggling to save unvaxxed Covid patients.
But you can never complain if medical science is slowed by government bureaucrats to protect you so you can’t get treatments fast enough to save you or loved ones. Or you can’t get into a clinical trial for life-saving experimental treatment.
Also, please note that if you don’t trust Big Pharma, then you’ve joined the Democrat Socialist leftists that have been saying this forever.
4. “If vaccines work, then why is there still Covid?”
Don’t apply this logic to the rest of your life, please. It’s too dumb.
5. “The government can’t tell me what to do.”
Fine. Assert your liberty from tyranny. Then don’t wear seat belts or helmets, obey speed limits, pay speeding tickets or taxes, avoid hurting others, or do anything the government requires in doing its job to protect you, public health and safety, and the nation. Good luck.
Beware: You might hate when other Americans defy government in ways you don’t like. What about Antifa?
6. “Republicans don’t get vaccinated.”
You’re right: Nearly 60% of Americans who will “definitely not” get vaccinated identify as Republican or Republican-leaning.
You’re certainly not resisting because you adore Trump, Trump downplayed the Covid to get reelected, Trump controls the Republican Party, and the Trump Republican media that provides unbiased news and information is feeding what you want to believe about vaccines.
You’re not a sheeple like those libs. The truthful media you follow that declares its media competitors are liars would never mislead anyone for viewership and money.
You would never put politics or ideology over health. Just like the 900 People’s Temple followers of Jim Jones who suicided with Kool-Aid didn’t. Or the evangelical Christians who also refuse vaccinations because they worship Trump alongside Jesus.
But to be consistent, as a Republican, you also need to support the wealthiest with tax breaks and regulatory relief such as allowing polluters to poison your children.
7. When you say, “I care about other people.”
Stop. If you did, you’d get your vaccination and booster, and wear a mask.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.