The facts about vaccinations are totally political – because all the facts are totally political
As you know, Dr Anthony Fauci is the White House senior pandemic advisor. He appeared on Sunday morning talk shows as part of the administration’s renewed efforts to meet its goal of vaccinating 70% of the American population. But his appearance seemed to do more than that. It seemed to suggest a consensus. The people most likely to resist covid vaccinations are Republicans. A new wave of Delta variant infections is seen almost exclusively in those who are not vaccinated and in areas of the country dominated by Republican Party politics.
On Jake Tapper’s show, Fauci asked, “Why do we have states and red places in the South that are very highly ideological in a way that they don’t want to get vaccinated? Vaccinations don’t matter. to do with politics. It’s a public health issue. It doesn’t matter who you are. The virus doesn’t know if you’re a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent.… Yet there is this gap between the people who want to be vaccinated and do not want to be vaccinated, which is really unfortunate, because he is losing lives. “
Normal people living outside authoritarian subcultures often misunderstand their inhabitants. It is not their fault. The inhabitants of authoritarian subcultures lead a “Gothic” life.
I think this consensus is good. Now we have a point of reference. But we should take this general opinion to the next level, recognizing an apparent paradox. Fauci is absolutely right that “vaccinations have nothing to do with politics.” This is what a public health official should say for the sake of public health. For the same reason, however, he cannot believe it. More than most, Fauci knows that vaccines have always had something to do with politics. Because they do, we should recognize another paradox. Vaccine Facts — Indeed all facts – are political. To be clear, I am do not talk about opinions on facts. I’m talking about the facts themselves.
To explain, let me turn to Lauren Boebert, Congressman from Colorado. She made the news last week in response to the administration’s plan to go door-to-door to publicize covid vaccines. The Republican representative wrote on Twitter that “Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis in Mesa County. The people in my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the investigational vaccine and do not need the coercion of federal agents. wake up in Communist China? ”I don’t know Boebert very well, but I can say that she understands the internal logic of authoritarian subcultures. For example, the white evangelical Protestants who overwhelmingly supported the former president, or about 15 percent, I guess, of the American population. How can I say? “Needle Nazis” is the clue. Ditto for “Communist China.” Boebert is not alarmist, however. She reassures the already fearful.
Normal people living outside authoritarian subcultures often misunderstand their inhabitants. It’s not the fault of normal people. The inhabitants of authoritarian subcultures live “Gothic” lives. Up is down, left is right, evil is right. Locals learn from birth to rely on the authority of leaders – the father of the family, the minister (male) of their church, or the former President of the United States. In this context, individuals do not, because they can not, assess the facts for themselves. They have neither the skills to determine the truth or the lie, nor the will to go through this process. They must be guided by their leaders. In the absence of leadership, the inhabitants of authoritarian subcultures live in a constant state of aggravation, fear and terror. Outside of this subculture, the facts can be neutral. They are never neutral on the inside.
There is absolutely nothing coercive about the president’s plan to knock on doors in an effort to raise awareness of covid vaccines and end this damn pandemic. But from the perspective of the inhabitants of authoritarian subcultures, Biden’s plan is terrifying and coercive. Therefore to be terrifying. Think about it. If you don’t, because you can not, judge for yourself the true or the false, in the absence of leadership, you run the risk of making a choice contrary to the authority of your leaders. Making a personal choice assumes an authority that you are not meant to have. (The key to resisting Satan’s temptations, after all, is to ignore what he says and have blind faith.) Literally, knocking on your door to persuade you to make a choice that is, objectively speaking, very good for you is, from this point of view of the inhabitants of authoritarian subcultures, what the Nazis totally would do.
Boebert is not an alarmist, however. These people are already terrified. Instead, she reassures them. By accusing the administration of sending “Nazis to the needle,” it was signaling residents of authoritarian subcultures that they should not risk making a choice contrary to the authority of their community leaders. They don’t have to worry about being tempted. They don’t even have to think about it. All they have to do is know that the servants of public health are equivalent to the agents of “Communist China”. As facts are always political in totalitarian regimes, past and present, they are always political for people who long ago decided that morality was the same as obedience.
It’s a Gothic existence. The top is down, the left is good, the evil is good – and the people who are trying to save your life are “really” trying to lead you astray, even murder you. the rational the answer is therefore to resist the temptation at the request of your leaders, to the point of dying to assert your rights and your freedom. The more the government tries to reach these people, the more they run away or accuse the government of turning God-fearing America into a totalitarian Godless state. The most gothic of all, of course, is that they are precisely what they fear but are oblivious to the fact. The rest doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, so unconscious. It’s good to see a broad consensus emerging that Republicans are delaying the end of the pandemic. Our democracy depends on the next step, however.
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