It Goes WAY Beyond Hypocrisy

While I am on a rant against insanity, can you stand one more diatribe about anti-vaccination, anti-mask hysterics?

There are a number of theories about the motivation of these truly horrible people. (Not everyone who is unvaccinated falls within that category, of course–I’m focusing on the “activists” who are promulgating lies about the vaccines and threatening school board members.)

Paul Krugman recently opined that much refusal is political, pointing to the strong negative correlation between Trump’s share of a county’s vote and vaccinations. As of July, 86 percent of self-identified Democrats said they had had a vaccine shot, but only 54 percent of Republicans did.

He also pointed out that peddlers of quack medicine and right-wing extremists cater to more or less the same audience.

That is, Americans willing to believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and that Italian satellites were used to switch votes to Joe Biden are also the kind of people willing to believe that medical elites are lying to them and that they can solve their health problems by ignoring professional advice and buying patent medicines instead.

And those peddlers are making money. Horse dewormer, anyone?

But it’s the sheer lunacy–the extreme cognitive dissonance–that drives me up a wall. 

  • “We don’t  know what’s in it.” There’s a meme going around Facebook, enumerating all of the things Americans ingest without the slightest idea “what’s in it.” Everything from hotdogs to McNuggets to horse dewormer.
  • “Bill Gates has placed a chip in the vaccine to track people”–usually uttered by people carrying cell phones equipped with such chips…
  • “I have a right to control my own body”. This is a particular favorite of mine, coming as it does mostly from men who adamantly refuse to extend a similar right to pregnant women. Or people who disagree with them.
  • “Requiring masks is government overreach.” If the government can’t require a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth, why can it require that you cover your genitals in public? I want to see these “constitutional scholars” at the grocery, shopping naked. (I bet the men have teeny weenies.)
  • Speaking of overreach–these also tend to be the people who want government to drug test poor folks on welfare…
  • “I’m rejecting vaccines because I trust God.” If they truly trusted God, why do so many of them own/carry guns? Do they lock their doors? Buy eyeglasses and/or hearing aids? For that matter, why do they check into hospitals when they’re gasping for breath?
  • Speaking of individual liberty–government mandates seat belts, imposes speed limits, enforces smoking ordinances and issues multiple other rules to protect public safety. According to Hobbes, the original purpose of government was to remove us from the state of nature, in which there is “no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Government is supposed to keep the strong from hurting the weak, the predatory from taking advantage of the helpless, and the stupid and/or selfish from spreading a deadly disease.

The hypocrisy is stunning. Republicans are suing businesses that require masks. Florida’s insane Governor is fining businesses that require vaccinations. These are the same  Republicans who insist that businesses have a right to refuse service to LGBTQ customers… 

I could go on and on…If COVID is a hoax, why ingest bleach or dewormer to treat it?

Many Republicans encouraging vaccine resistance know better. They just want to hurt Joe Biden politically. Biden promised to defeat the virus, and they’re determined to keep him from delivering on that promise. If lots of their own voters get sick and die as a result–well, them’s the breaks…

Former Republican and sane person David Frum made an interesting point in a recent issue of The Atlantic.

As cases uptick again, as people who have done the right thing face the consequences of other people doing the wrong thing, the question occurs: Does Biden’s America have a breaking point? Biden’s America produces 70 percent of the country’s wealth—and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America. Which is fine; that’s what citizens of one nation do for one another. Something else they do for one another: take rational health-care precautions during a pandemic. That reciprocal part of the bargain is not being upheld…

In the end, the unvaccinated person himself or herself has decided to inflict a preventable and unjustifiable harm upon family, friends, neighbors, community, country, and planet.

Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays? Check yourself: Have you?

I certainly have.


  1. As I mentioned before, this sorting of America has an ironic political and economic twist — most Red states are dependent on the federal government. Texas might be an exception, and maybe Florida, but the rest of them aren’t self-sustaining.

    For instance, Indiana’s governor used over $100 million from the CARES Act to shore up the deficit in Unemployment Insurance as opposed to charging businesses. This shouldn’t have been allowed, but of course, the local Republicans applauded.

    I read yesterday that our pandemic will probably turn endemic since people refuse to get vaccinated and are profit-focused pharmaceutical companies won’t share the patents and manufacturing process globally.

    It should have never been optional but we had an idiot for POTUS when the outbreak occurred who allowed his crazy followers to go down paths that were insane. I guess LA hospitals are overrun with overdose cases from Ivermectin.

    On a separate more local note, I saw ISDH sent out a list of hospitals with DIVERT, and the Indy area is plugged up. Ambulances are being rerouted everywhere. My daughter has to stay home from school because a kid in her class is infected. I guess lots of parents are experiencing this in Indiana right now.

    Great job, Eric!


  2. This quote from Frum’s column is interesting: “In the end, the unvaccinated person himself or herself has decided to inflict a preventable and unjustifiable harm upon family, friends, neighbors, community, country, and planet.”

    Economists would call that exerting a negative externality, which results in “market failure,” for which there is no market remedy. Situations like that call for intervention by the government.

    But apparently, the Republicans orchestrating the insanity over vaccinations don’t believe in market economic thinking. At least, they don’t when it interferes with their quest for power.

  3. Indiana’s governor doesn’t believe it is necessary to quarantine school children, of all ages, who have had direct contact with students tested positive for Covid-19. I know of one case where a Kindergarten student who was violently ill was sent home yesterday. Schools are not required to report to parents that their child has been in contact at school with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Students are being sent to school while sick with nausea and fevers, most not tested for Covid-19 and some who have been tested but do not have test results yet. The home situations or conditions of family members of those students is not known to school staff members or administrators. What loving, caring parent would drop off their obviously ill Kindergarten age child and drive away to go on with whatever else they had to do?

    Republicans are now killing our children, and their own, by ignoring the medically reported importance of masks and vaccines to protect themselves and family members. If they exhibited half as much interest in protecting living people of all ages from Covid-19 as they to “protect” fetuses by denying women medical care, we might at least have a chance at gaining some control over Covid-19 and its many dangerous variations and this Pandemic.

    “In the end, the unvaccinated person himself or herself has decided to inflict a preventable and unjustifiable harm upon family, friends, neighbors, community, country, and planet.”

    That term “In the end…” is the most telling and frightening in today’s blog.

  4. Very good blog today along with poignant comments. I received my booster shot Thursday. Next day, I went and played golf, edited a book for a friend and even wrote another chapter for my next novel.

    Yes, the vaccine resistance is political. Republican politics began feasting on the stone-ignorant with Ronald Reagan. It’s their base and it’s loyal to the point of signing their own death warrants. Hypocrisy? You bet. Mass hysteria? Of course. I saw these people in my science classrooms. They are told over and over by clergy and the ignorant parents that science is B.S. I had some very nice kids actually tell me that they’ve been told by their ministers and, therefore, their parents not believe a word of what they were reading and hearing in science. It simply didn’t matter that the proofs of the reality were self-evident. Oh, and I was accused, more than once, of being one of Satan’s children. I’m not making this up.

    The willfully ignorant will die a slow, painful death as they gasp away their last moments. I would say this is Darwinism hard at work, but, except for the kids, these people have already been allowed to reproduce.

  5. I cannot make my planned trip to the Philippines as US residents/citizens are currently banned from entry. Needless to say I’m more than aggravated.

  6. We recently cancelled our 50th anniversary high school reunion for the 2nd year in a row. A number of classmates decided they’re going to get together at a restaurant with a party room anyway. I was asked if I was attending and I said no. Of course then they asked if I was vaccinated. I said sure I am but it’s not about ME. It’s about US. I simply don’t wish to contribute in any way to community spread of a virus that is still killing people. It’s the right thing to do. Besides, I don’t even want to contract a MILD case of the disease – not enough is known about the long-term effects of contracting it.

    He responded politely that he didn’t agree and told me to have a nice life. After that exchange I was curious as to what part he didn’t agree with: The science behind just HOW this virus is spread? Or that there is a moral obligation to modify one’s behavior to decrease the odds that vulnerable people become gravely ill or die?

    Either way it’s very troubling but especially if the latter, as it would demonstrate just how deeply ingrained hyperindividualism has been embedded into people’s basic values. And closing that values gap will require the passing of a generation or two. In the meantime we have to try our best to hold onto the Republic.

  7. Talk a bout “sheeple”…those who are spreading the lies are themselves vaccinated, and do you think any person is going to get close to DeSantis without a mask or proof of being vaccinated? So, to the liars are willing to sacrifice everyone else but themselves in order to keep Americans poor, sick, and ignorant, and their followers keep falling off the cliff. How much longer?

    And, what do we do about it?

  8. How long can they last if they’re killing themselves off at the current rate? Ivermectin is the new Kool-Aid, but the Kool-Aid works faster.

    Isn’t it time for our contact tracers to be empowered to ask for charges of manslaughter or attempted manslaughter for those who knowingly infect others? We did it for Aids and Aids isn’t nearly as deadly as the Delta Variant.

  9. Republican politicians who’ve been sacrificing first their voters and now their voters’ children deserve to be on the receiving end of a slew of wrongful death lawsuits, if not negligent homicide charges. (I’m looking at you, Ron DeathSantis).

    As for being hypocrites, well, as Michael Gerson has said, “hypocrisy requires a standard.”

  10. I was reading. before I got to this post, Heather Cox Richardson’s blog where she talks about the insane ruling, or lack thereof in the Texas abortion law case. She points out, and many of you probably already know, that Roe v. Wade is based on (for a while yet) the fourteenth amendment and the cluases therein the provide for due process and Equal protection under the law, She also comments that:

    “This is the foundation for today’s “originalists” on the court. They are trying to erase the era of legislation and legal decisions that constructed our modern nation. If the government is as limited as they say, it cannot regulate business. It cannot provide a social safety net or promote infrastructure, both things that cost tax dollars and, in the case of infrastructure, take lucrative opportunities from private businesses.

    It cannot protect the rights of minorities or women.

    What would our nation be like during a pandemic under the limitations of an originalist constitution? How many of the action pf right wingers and crazy Republican governors are prehaps based on states rights over the Federal Government?

  11. It is my understanding, as I have never had children, that almost any parent would give up their life for their children. I guess that’s not the case when dealing with Covid-19. Frankly, I have no more empathy for the non-believers, I am not talking about the people whose children have possible compromising issues. Perhaps, for the republicans, it will take a number of their very own children to die for them to join the ranks of the believers. I don’t wish this on them, but so be it.

  12. It’s tragic that people in the GOP and the Trumpists are so determined to undermine Biden that they are willing to die with COVID to do so. It seems to me that we now have a bizarre civil war, and the weapon used is the misinformation around vaccines and COVID.

    And in the meantime, my nursing colleagues who are on the front line of this battle are burning out and having melt downs like never before because of the insanity of the GOP and red governors who refuse to protect their citizens in the name of individual rights. This is not a pro-life stance.

    I feel badly for Biden who is trying to help the nation recover not only from a pandemic but also from hurricane Ida and forest fires. I am certain that all these internal threats motivated him to remove our troops from Afghanistan, a country which is unable to stand up on its own 2 legs even with billions of dollars in assistance.

    We often focus on the divisiveness in Afghanistan and do not see it as a warning to what is happening in our own country.

    The GOP has also weaponized the fight about climate change. Wealthy oligarchs think they are immune from the effects of climate change. Such arrogant denial.

    I find myself detaching from all this insanity because there is simply nothing I can do about so much of it. I protect myself with a mask and vaccinations and am so glad all my friends and family are taking the same protective measures that I am.

    Death and change are guaranteed in life. Obviously the people who don’t want to change in response to the pandemic and the warming of the climate have no problem with watching others die and/or dying themselves. Often these are the same people who oppose abortion and believe we should all carry guns. They definitely are NOT pro-life.

  13. The GOP continue as the masters/mistresses of marketing coming up with team slogans – “own the libs”. Helps get out their vote. How about a contest here for a brief 3-4 word “chant” for the DEMs…Problem, the party is hopelessly divided and splintered. As in Afghanistan, those with a hardcore “cause” win…

  14. We may have to make up a new word or words for what we are witnessing. I am at a loss for that word or words. How do verbalize or write out a word or words to describe:

    Oklahoma hospitals deluged by ivermectin overdoses, doctor says
    Jason McElyea says people overdosing on anti-parasitic drug that some people believe without evidence can cure or treat Covid. Some animal feed supply stores have run out of the drug because of people buying it in its veterinary form.
    Ron DeSantis appeals mask mandate ruling as Florida Covid deaths set record. The battle over mask requirements in Florida schools is headed for a new legal phase following an appeal by the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, of a judge’s ruling that a blanket ban on mask mandates exceeds the state’s authority.

    This as August emerged as the deadliest month for Florida since the pandemic began. Florida has reported a total of 5,721 deaths in August, surpassing the previous monthly high of 5,469 deaths in January, before vaccines were widely available.

    Arizona father held after threat to zip-tie school principal over Covid rules.
    The father of an Arizona elementary school student was arrested after he and two other men showed up to the campus with zip-tie handcuffs, threatening a “citizen’s arrest” of the school principal over a Covid-19 quarantine, officials said on Friday.
    Top loyalists to Donald Trump, who frequently push lies about election fraud, have joined forces with conservative doctors touting unproven Covid cures and vaccine skepticism, and like-minded evangelical ministers at a series of events across the US this summer.

    It underscores how Trump’s allies, anti-vaccine doctors and conservative preachers are amplifying baseless claims that are hurting the nation’s public health and its democracy with potentially far-reaching impacts, say pandemic and election experts.

    “ReAwaken America” tour – featuring ex-general Michael Flynn and top Donald Trump loyalist donors – has held events in Florida, Michigan and other states.

    The ReAwaken meetings: Promotional materials indicate that attendees are asked to pay $250 for general admission or $500 for VIP tickets, with pastors eligible for half-price tickets.

    HA! HA! some how I knew there would be a charge to attend the ReAwaken Meetings. ReAwaken has the familiar sound of Reborn just make sure the bible thumper’s can get on board.

    Ever since Trump appeared it has been Cry Havoc and let slip the Dogs of War.

  15. The insanity is mind-boggling!!
    Trump said, many years ago, now, that if he were ever to run for president, it would be as a Republican, because their followers are dumber than the Dems’ followers.
    The attacks on the Dep’t of Eduction, going back to Paul Ryan, and now spouted by Rand {Paul and that Cawthorn thing, are all about keeping the populace too dumb to recognize evidentiary reality.
    At risk of repeating myself, there is the story of the fellow I used to know, in N.J., who had to interrupt a conversation we were having when I brought the word “evolution ” into it. He said that to discuss anything related to evolution would be to g against his church. He is Catholic, the Pope has agreed that evolution is a real “thing,” but, maybe it was his priest’s preaching that did it, or he never read about what the Pope had said…it wasn’t in his bible.

  16. No wonder I’ve had a churning stomach for the past 3 weeks! I live in one of the Red states (SC) and my grand-daughter’s elementary school has just gone totally virtual. I worked with this first grader for the past week at home since my daughter works and I can tell you, virtual school is NO substitute for the real thing.
    I think we are witnessing the end of the American Empire — we are sinking into chaos — environmentally, health-wise, politically, etc. I hope that those of us that can think clearly can remain strong to get through this time of great uncertainty.
    What a long, strange trip it’s been –so far.

  17. “…virtual school is NO substitute for the real thing.”

    Kathy M; I agree with you 100% but…have you seen the numbers of hospitalized children with Covid-19? These are school age children and their numbers have increased since schools reopened so they are coming from classrooms where they have been exposed. This would be a temporary situation if not for Republicans making the Pandemic political issue; we need to continue a time-out till this Pandemic is coming under control. I have a family member who works in a school; I described what she is seeing every day in classrooms K to 8th grade in her school. The parents are to blame for sending sick children so they can carry on their lives as if times were normal. NO, I do NOT have the answers but I see the problems and virtual school and home schooling is the only TEMPORARY solution at this time.

  18. Mitch D., I looked up the origins of that quote where Trump supposedly said he ran as a Republican because their followers are dumber than Democrats. It came from a meme someone had created. Supposedly it was based on an old quote from a 1998 People magazine article, but People magazine were scoured by fact checkers and it could not be found. A People magazine official also searched its archives and couldn’t find the alleged quote.

    And until the Trump era, people with higher levels of education tended to be Republican. I know, I used to teach the subject and have seen the data. Trump has been changing that big time though. Probably the biggest change in the last 5 years is college-educated, suburban Republican leaning voters voting for Democrats. In droves. That is what doomed Trump. It wasn’t working class whites returning to vote Democrat after voting Trump in 2016.

    As far as Sheila’s column, yes vaccine refusal is completely political. Imagine if Trump would have won the election. You would see a much, much higher vaccination rate in red states. Opposition to vaccinations is almost completely opposition to Biden and Democratically-controlled Congress. Because Democrats are (barely) in charge, Republicans don’t trust anything done under their watch. I think if Trump would have been re-elected, there would have been more vaccine hesitancy among Democrats, but nothing to the degree we are seeing with Republicans. You have to understand how brainwashed Republicans are. They don’t just believe Democrats are wrong. They have been trained to believe Democrats are pure evil. If you polled Republicans on who is more evil – Democrats or Taliban, Democrats would win hands down.

  19. JoAnn — totally agree. Just so frustrated that our governor is following in the footsteps of DeSantis and Abbot in not mandating masks for ALL school kids!! Our legislature tied a “No Mask” mandate onto the state’s budget this summer which passed. We were all looking forward to our kids having somewhat of a normal year — but “NO!” — somehow children can’t learn wearing masks — even thought they did when they returned in the spring to the classroom. Homeschooling by grandma is also a poor substitute. 🙁

  20. North Dakota has made getting jabs easy, even in a dusty truckstops lot. the gov is on the front page recently saying get it.. as far as the ones i work daily with,from site to site, the majority have all swallowed the poison media pill instead. even most of the minority ones side with the Qs. the many of media voice who have died recently,seems the followers only seek conspiracies over facts. in theres a new variant MU that is now being studied, seems the robert koch inst,and NIH in euroland have a 2 week ahead of any US. news in any news related to covid,keeping ahead of the slush were fed in between. the shear ignorance from the locals here is related to the news and whos yelling what into their ears, none, or few,ever read a damn thing, much less something that has substance. if the people who dont go back to work because they didnt get the shot,and are affraid of the whatevers, seems we have forgotten a bunch who, well, didnt make the deans list on fox and friends, instead its just us freaks who were blue,sucking off the public doles.. 4 million have retired,because of the death march,and many just advanced upward into those titles if they still exist..hense,the lower wage and minority held jobs have big holes in the employment areas of need, no one suggests that locking the border up and running off the few who do those jobs, are gone,or, underground for now.. cant override the tide of bullshit from OAN and such because,up here in NoDak, we have the biggest damn walls around any state blocking out the facts, while the tide of shit rises..boycott texass, seems there is a issue with women health and the pregnant posse running rough shod over the lives of normal Americans. maybe we should hold the pregnant posse accountable for denial of human rights. in my gen and socio-economic life, we know what we do with snitches..

  21. I’m with Vern. I, too,as well as Vern, ascribe to Hitler’s ethic. I’m going to sit back and enjoy watching people die.

  22. Know the other – from Pew research today:

    In just five years, the percentage of Republicans with at least some trust in national news organizations has fallen by half – dropping from 70% in 2016 to 35% this year. By contrast, nearly eight-in-ten Democrats (78%) say they have “a lot” or “some” trust in the information that comes from national news organizations. This partisan gap is the widest since at least 2016.

    Among White Americans, worship service attendance remains highly correlated with presidential vote choice, according to a new analysis of 2020 validated voters. Overall, 59% of voters who frequently attend religious services cast their ballot for Donald Trump, while 40% chose Joe Biden. Among those who attend services a few times a year or less, the pattern was almost exactly reversed: 58% picked Biden, while 40% voted for Trump.

  23. I wonder if I have the right to spray Lysol in front of the face of unmasked people. According to their logic, they should just get out of the way if they don’t like it.
    Of course, if I don’t like patronizing a business full of unmasked people, I should stay away. If they don’t like a business that requires masks, that business should change to accommodate them.

    My real complaint/worry, that doesn’t get mentioned enough, is biological weapons laboratories. Yes people, beware the proliferation for biological weapons labs cooking up better weapons of mass annihilation.

    I am, of course, taking about the bodies of the unvaccinated that allow the virus to mutate into ever increasingly dangerous forms. We already have the rapidly spreading “delta” variant, and I heard (not sure about this – one report on radio or TV when I wasn’t paying attention) of a potential new variant that overcomes the current vaccinations.

    Eventually the “Omega” variant will arise in the unvaccinated body of a Trump supporter here in the US. It will make the “delta” variant look like a slow train and evade all vaccination/previous exposure immunity – or turn us into zombies, or something.

    All this because of the preference for ignorance and the desire to destroy Democrats, even if it takes a destroyed economy, a destroyed environment, and preventable deaths due to disease.

  24. Oh. I am done with them. I think there should be a limit on the number of covid beds. We have this many critical care beds and out of this number a certain percentage will be for those with Covid. I am so over these science deniers who are berating those of us working in health-care for being liars, actors and melodramatic but then show up after catching Covid (and some still don’t believe it) wanting the best science can deliver.

    My kid has been out of school for a week because this year her school decided not to mandate masks. I do think if her female superintendent did not retire masks would be mandated. She did not play.

    I have a dtr and being a girl what she wears to school is highly scrutinized and mandated. She is held responsible for boys boners if her shorts are not Bermuda and if her shirts do not have sleeves even in when she was in 2nd grade.

    I can’t remember who said it but they were on MSNBC and they said Covid has highlighted an ugly undertow that has been bubbling up and it us the lack of empathy. I think we all have been using the word entitled but our societal disease is the lack of empathy. How we, the individual me impacts others and our community. This whole bootstrap myth is pile of BS crap.

    I find myself agreeing more and more with Anand gGridharadas

  25. Recent events (ivervectin, Tx abortion law) seem unbelievable to me – yet, here they are. Like other people, I’m so tired of fighting ignorance and stupidity and wonder if I should just give up and let it all happen. I’m over 80 years old, and a little worn out. But I’ll try to keep on keeping on to the best of my ability, can’t let them just get away with it.

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