R.E.M. - World Leader Pretend
The latest episode of the Ezra Klein Show (hosted by the mean and dishonest David Wallace-Wells) discusses covid revisionism. The guest, epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina, tries to have a gentle touch - people don't like being afraid, we react badly to the unknown, etc.
I believe that somewhere between 30-40% of people in the United States are fundamentally motivated by hatred of "liberals" / "the elite."
Just consider if they have any core values they won't throw away to "own the libs."
Do they believe in family? They support a twice-divorced cad who runs off with a prostitute while his wife recovers from childbirth.
Freedom and democracy? Their god loves the worst people on earth, so #TeamFreedom opposes aid to Ukraine and supports Putin.
Rule of law? Ha.
They would literally rather die than listen to a libtard. (Notable Anti-Vaxxers Who Died From COVID-19; The Herman Cain Award; Republicans' excess death rate spiked after COVID-19 vaccines arrived)
|Cain had died of covid caught at a MAGA rally 2+ months before this.|
There are people who believe anything. Conspiracy theories are literally* beyond parody.
Birds Aren't Real in Germany.
As tempting as it is to believe, it isn't just that some people are idiots. We all have our blindspots.
The problem isn't that many people believe crazy things.
Rather, the danger is that many individuals' identities have become based on hatred and violence. It seems like anyone who dares to express a "liberal" point of view - e.g., good masks worn correctly decrease the spread of aerosols - is subject to threats and violence. Katelyn Jetelina, the relatively obscure and non-dogmatic epidemiologist mentioned above, has received death threats. Anne and I won't express our views in public because we fear being targeted.
This doesn't seem paranoid; Political violence in polarized U.S. at its worst since 1970s (i.e., the Vietnam War). The very people who educate our citizens are being specifically attacked: Right-wing groups are recruiting students to target teachers - a story from all the way back at the end of the Obama administration; this past weekend, I heard an even worse story of a teacher in Phoenix. These attacks feed violence against of educators. As I was writing this, I heard about the murder of yet another instructor; it happened here earlier this year).
The lead comic of this post is funny 'cuz it's not funny. If there was definitive proof of something that would provide happy immortality, do you doubt that many would actively and rabidly oppose it if Fauci and Obama announced it?
But it can often be hard to argue humanity's continuation is the highest good.
* Literally literally.