Image Credits: S.C. Watson, The Orcasonian.
I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’m still gobsmacked by Conor Friedersdorf‘s piece on the hard right’s excuse-making over their low Covid-19 vaccination rate and subsequently high rate of quickly dying. It’s a tale of abdicated responsibility, victimhood and conspiracy theories, and constant blameshifting that’s manifestly resulted in a collective descent into madness.
In Nolte’s account, however, a conspiracy of evil leftist elites are to blame for vaccine skepticism on the right. “I sincerely believe the organized left is doing everything in its power to convince Trump supporters NOT to get the life-saving Trump vaccine,” Nolte writes. They are “putting unvaccinated Trump supporters in an impossible position,” he insists, “where they can either NOT get a life-saving vaccine or CAN feel like cucks caving to the ugliest, smuggest bullies in the world.”
In a country where elections are decided on razor-thin margins, does it not benefit one side if their opponents simply drop dead? If I wanted to use reverse psychology to convince people not to get a life-saving vaccination, I would do exactly what Stern and the left are doing … I would bully and taunt and mock and ridicule you for not getting vaccinated, knowing the human response would be, Hey, fuck you, I’m never getting vaccinated! …
Have you ever thought that maybe the left has us right where they want us? Just stand back for a moment and think about this…
Taking writer John Nolte’s advice that I stand back for a moment and think about this, I quickly came to the conclusion that you would have to be completely fucking DEMENTED to come up with this line of reasoning, and dumb as a bag of hammers to accept this, um, “theory.” It’s also an open admission that Cleek’s Law is true, and that today’s conservatives are essentially morons: “By telling conservatives to take the Covid vaccine, the liberals are actually trying to get them to NOT take the vaccine because liberals know that conservatism is simply the opposite of what liberals want—so get the vaccine to own the libs!” I mean, if it’s that easy, let’s have AOC run some ads saying subway surfing is dangerous, and maybe get Uncle Bernie to scold people for jumping off highway overpasses during rush hour.
It’s really quite remarkable to watch the conservative movement devolve from the likes of Burke and Buckley to paranoid screeching about Wily Liberals tricking their Conservative Betters into killing themselves by promoting a life-saving vaccine. Thomas Paine is spinning in his grave fast enough to power New Rochelle well into the next century.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
Movement conservatives have spent decades lying to themselves and to Americans about everything under the sun—tax cuts that pay for themselves, women who line up for third-trimester abortions, WMD in Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s culpability for 9/11, climate change, Trump’s fitness for the presidency—so it’s not entirely surprising they’re lying to themselves about why they’re not getting vaccinated. “I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er,” as Mr. Shakespeare once wrote; there are simply too many lies piled on top of lies to turn back now.
Which brings me to William of Occam and his razor. Given the choice of “Wily Liberals leveraging Cleek’s Law to trick their Conservative Betters into killing themselves by promoting a life-saving vaccine” or “Decades of history shows conservatives distrust science and tell themselves self-serving lies,” I think I’ve figured out why so many right wingers are dying from Covid-19.
I’d tell them why, but they’d never believe me.