But first, a reminder. When 3,000 people died on 9/11, we created a new security agency that can stop us from flying on planes. We got a no-fly list that takes away the right to fly completely. The government locked up José Padilla, an American citizen who’d committed no crime, for four years without trial because he’d allegedly bragged about working on an Al Qaeda terrorist plot. Plus all the enemy combatants locked up without trial, even though most of them were innocent.
As noted in the comments on this post, for right-wingers all of that is good government. Requiring citizens to wear masks — even if it’s private business doing it — encouraging them to get vaccinated, that’s a loss of our freedoms! If TSA agents request you wear a mask, now it’s okay to harass them.
Not that this is new. When I wrote columns pointing out that more U.S. soldiers had died in Iraq than Americans died on 9/11, someone would invariably respond that the military deaths were less than traffic accident fatalities every year. Which was true of 9/11 too, but they didn’t admit it. So it’s no surprise that Republicans are doing their best to get the people who listen to them killed.
As noted at the link, Tucker Carlson, asked if he’s been vaccinated, claims that’s a vulgar question, just like asking “what’s your favorite sexual position?” Which I take to mean that the lying shit has indeed been vaccinated but he wants to keep drawing anti-vaxxer eyeballs. Carlson’s brand is whining about oppression of white Americans so I imagine whining about vaccines is just one more card to play. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s sincerely racist and misogynist, but he can also be a grifter.
Of course he’s not alone. Tennessee fired its top vaccination official, along with its push to reduce vaccination in schools. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bragged about how he kept Trump virus cases down with minimal pandemic restrictions; now Florida cases are rocketing up.
And let’s not forget, it was The Former Guy who got the ball rolling. He insisted the virus was going away. Thought it would mostly affect blue states, so no problem (which shows the advantage Republicans have in the media. If Biden had made a similar decision about conservative areas, it would be front-page news). Scoffed at masking, refused to take precautions, allegedly thought of sending Americans returning home with COVID to Guantanamo Bay. And after becoming seriously ill with the Trump Virus, surviving thanks to the best medical care — he took that as a sign it was no big deal. Because he’s the right wing’s divinely anointed god-king of America, that made it a culture war issue.
Nevertheless, National Review wants to blame liberals for the right-wing reluctance to vaccinate — as always, we’re just too mean to the other side. Not because Republicans are propagandizing against it.
As a friend of mine said, we’ll end up with the virus as just another “unavoidable” cause of death, to be lived with like gun fatalities.