The dumb logic of conservative COVID vaccine opponents
I went out recently with some friends and met a mutual acquaintance who is anti-covid-vaccine. I’ve known this person for a long time and have always considered them an average reasonable person but given the area of the country she lives in, I was not surprised that she had not gotten the vaccine. This is a conservative area and she believed the message she was hearing from everywhere.
Here is the thing, I marginally respect people’s choice to not get a vaccine. I think it’s stupid for a number of reasons but it’s a free country where you have a right to be a moron. Oh, and you can’t fix stupid. I say I marginally respect people’s choices because I wouldn’t be opposed to mandatory vaccinations. But I also believe that once a suitably contagious and virulent variant arises, the problem will take care of itself, one way or the other. I mean a 5% reduction in the number of people who are anti-science in the world might not be a bad thing. Most importantly as long as your worldview or belief system is self-consistent I can respect that.
And that’s the thing, I don’t understand what conservatives are thinking the numbers just don’t add up and go entirely against their own self-interest. Particularly for conservatives or any political movement that has aligned themselves with the anti-vaccine movement. The logic is just dumb.
We already live in a country with a population that moves more and more each year to the liberal left. This reality is what makes conservatives nervous and start to panic. There are pockets of conservatism in the country for sure but even states like Texas are now starting to have a greater and greater shift that is starting to show in election results. States that were once considered red states are now swinging states and I’m not just talking about presidential elections.
Republicans and conservatives already need to rely on political maneuvers to maintain any semblance of advantage. From gerrymandering through control of redistricting boards to pulling back immigration and naturalization as much as possible from stacking courts with partisan judges to making it as difficult as possible for people to vote. All of these things benefit conservatives and yet… what happens when the people that vote for you die.
Republicans already have a death problem. Conservatives tend to be older while younger generations tend to at least start out with more liberal beliefs. Coincidentally these older individuals are also the ones that are the most susceptible to a disease like COVID both in terms of infection and mortality. At the same time, conservatives are more likely to gather in large groups without social distancing and shun wearing masks. Thus increasing the likely hood of mass transmission, aka a super-spreader event.
It all seems illogical to me. If I was leading a political movement with a tenuous grasp on power that is getting weaker every day, I would do everything in my power to ensure that the people that give me that power don’t die.
Think about this, in 2016, 75 electoral votes were decided by 5% or less. 50 by less than 1%. If none of your supporters get vaccinated and 2% of those die, that changes the electoral map significantly. Sure not everyone who doesn't get the vaccine will get COVID, but COVID has a 2% to 10% mortality rate. When elections for the last 30 years have been so close why would you risk losing 2% of your voting base to something that is easily preventable?
This is the logic I don’t understand. In the long run, the strategy of opposing vaccinations is self-defeating. You might earn points with your base in the short term which will make them come out in droves to support you. But in the long run, you are hastening the inevitable. Maybe that’s the point, the Republican party needs to die so that it can be replaced by something without all the crazy that can oppose the relentless liberal mob with some kind of integrity. It’s just a shame that on the way to its death it will probably take so many of its supporters with it.
yada, yada, yada…. if you liked this article you know what to do.