Monday, July 19, 2021

Republicans' Culture Of Death

COVID is ripping through the United States again. And that, James Downie writes, is just fine with Republicans:

In the last two weeks of June, the United States averaged between 11,250 and 13,500 new coronavirus cases per day — the lowest numbers since the virus began spreading widely across the country in early 2020. As of Saturday, it was 31,464 cases per day. With multiple vaccines widely available, this rise was entirely preventable. The backsliding is due in part to Republican politicians and right-wing commentators who have spread misinformation about the virus, as well as colleagues too scared to confront them.

On “Fox News Sunday,” . . . Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) correctly framed the problem as “choosing between vaccination or accepting higher rates of death.” Yet, bizarrely, he blamed distrust of the vaccines not on the many Republican voices raising doubts about them, but on “partisan comments coming out of the White House regarding next Jim Crow laws, or people like Senator Schumer and the White House not cooperating on a bipartisan bill.” How exactly Americans make a mental link between infrastructure negotiations and a lifesaving vaccine went unexplained.

And, over at Fox News, the lies just keep coming:

In this vacuum of silence, right-wing voices such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have spread lie after lie about vaccination efforts. And Republican governors such as Kristi L. Noem (S.D.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.) and Mike Parson (Mo.) have encouraged “personal responsibility” or sown fears about government efforts to vaccinate more Americans. Never mind that those governors got their shots months ago. Never mind that, according to some estimates, nearly half of South Dakotans have been infected, or that Florida’s daily case average has quadrupled in the past month. The residents of their states will have to bear the risks, for the good of the governors’ poll numbers.

But other poll numbers are truly depressing:

The most recent Washington Post-ABC poll found that 29 percent of Americans probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated, up 5 points from the last survey, in late April. Forty-seven percent of Republicans said they likely or definitely wouldn’t get vaccinated, compared with just 34 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats.

The Republicans have a lot of blood -- and ignorance -- on their hands.

Image: AZ Quotes


Anonymous said...

Nobody has greater contempt for the Republican base than Donald J Trump. He's a lifelong New Yorker who hated having to fly to rural backwaters to speak to yokels stupid enough to believe him. But his narcissism craved the validation he wasn't going to get in NYC.

After making sure that he and his family had first access to the vaccine, Trump's happy to kill the rubes who failed him in his coup. Facebook and Fox could be praising Trump for developing vaccines in record time and urging the base to get a Trump-vaccine, but their owners and talking heads (all vaccinated) have the same contempt for the base that Trump has. They'd sooner kill their viewers than help Biden get a political win.


Owen Gray said...

The psychologists have called it right, Cap -- malignant narcissism.

John B. said...

On the vaccination question, neither our political reps nor the medical community have been sufficiently forthcoming in addressing public concerns. Their explanations are too often incomplete and reeking of deceptiveness or the patronizing "there-there, dear" attitude you get from the geniuses at Internal Medicine. I know well-read intelligent people who don't fall for the conspiracy crap they get get on the Internet, but who've been turned into skeptics because the authorities have been responding to legitimate questions by either ignoring them or offering one big eye-rolling pooh-pooh with reinforcing ad hominem when it's there to be used. These people aren't stupid; they've just become skeptics. They get the vaccination anyway, but they can see the door our leaders and technical experts have opened for the creeps who're now exploiting the rubes.

Owen Gray said...

There's a lot to be said for bedside manner, John. Lots of medical folks don't have one.

the salamander said...

.. It's quite laughable to watch, the monetization of ignorance or hate
Whether Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Donald Trump, Alex Jones
And we have similar flag bearers here in Canada too
Michel Bernier or Senator Ms Batters come to mind as does Ezra Levant
I've mentioned it many times - it's The Attention Economy
When you really have ZERO TALENT ..
then be outrageous and/or a complete & utter A-Hole

I guess its about being the complete opposite of Mark Twain

The Disaffected Lib said...

The Republican approach is, at some level, nihilistic. Could it be they don't see any way today's divided America ends well? I doubt they're stupid enough to think that they'll prevail or that the other half can be subdued. What is their long game? Perhaps they don't have one or care. This is incomprehensible.

The Delta variant hot spots are all in the southern states. Anyone familiar with Wilkinson and Picket's "The Spirit Level" would not be surprised by any of this. This same region has the greatest levels of inequality and the poorest outcomes on longevity, education, substance abuse, incarceration, spousal abuse, venereal diseases, unwed teen pregnancy, obesity - you name it. Yet this is also America's Bible Belt. That they should be easy meat for conspiracy theories and spurn vaccines absolutely fits their profile. They are, in every respect, Gullibillies.

The Disaffected Lib said...

In response to John B., when I need medical advice I don't rely on the "authorities." I ask my doctors. There's no eye-rolling, no pooh-pooh. Just straight answers to my questions. Or he can listen to Michael Haughton, the University of Alberta virologist who just won the Nobel for discoveries about Hepatitis variants and the vaccines that protect against them.

Owen Gray said...

There has always been a market for the outrageous, sal. But it used to tickle our funny bones. Now all kinds of us are taking it seriously.

Owen Gray said...

William Faulkner built a Nobel Prize-winning career chronicling the lives of these people, Mound. Seventy years after he was awarded the prize, nothing has changed.

Owen Gray said...

There are plenty of doctors who will give it to you straight, Mound. All you have to do is listen to them.

Anonymous said...

Yes. All one has to do is ask their doctor. However, some people think doctors are not telling the truth. Know anyone like that? I do! When it comes down to people mentioning how Punk doesn’t like his following and the others who are vexed continuing their fallacies about vaccination must have an alternative motive. Perhaps it is an attempt to kill the unwanted off? Hmmm that has happened before in history. Of course those people would never mention over population would they? Anyong

Owen Gray said...

As a species, we're not particularly noted for our wisdom, Anyong. The battle has always been between wisdom and ignorance.

John B. said...

MoS. That's right. What we get from pollical leaders and the people who speak for and with them isn't professional medical advice. Doctors will answer questions on the science.

e.a.f. said...

some of them may think their "god" is going to save them or some such nonsense.

It will be up to community groups to ensure people get vaccinated. Of course the funeral industry is going to continue to make a wack of money. these politicians most likely want people to die or don't care if people do die. Fewer people, fewer you have to pay pensions to. there is a savings. Kids die, fewer schools are required. Once the variants start things will get really ugly because in my opinion, a variant will develop which vaccines won't help that much against. These govenors know COVID has a greater impact on the communities of people of colour and this is working well for them. The U.S.A. may have Biden as President, but given the number of "crazy" Republican governors, the U.S.A. is fast becoming a failed state. It will also become a very divided country.

If these govenors told people to get vaccinated and admitted they too had been vaccinated I suspect they would still be re elected. It is a nice test run though to see how much B.S. the public in their state will buy into. It will be interesting to watch the next American election.

In the meantime I do hope our federal government has figured out a way to ensure Americans coming into this country have had their vaccines and that the documents can't be faked. I'd much rather keep them out.

Owen Gray said...

Our neighbour to the south is in a very bad way, e.a.f.

jrkrideau said...

@ e.a.f
In the meantime I do hope our federal government has figured out a way to ensure Americans coming into this country have had their vaccines and that the documents can't be faked. I'd much rather keep them out.

Same here. I just do not trust Americans not to lie like troopers. The "Drive from Washington to Alaska " deal we offered found US tourists taking a break in Banff!