Seiler: Psychology of the Double Reversal Vaccine

By on September 25, 2021 0

Last weekend I biked from Albany to Valatie along the Empire State Trail, which could be one of the best parts of the new state infrastructure championed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo – so don’t say I never said anything nice about the man. As I refreshed myself with a tasty drink at Reifenberg Brewing, I checked my phone and found my email was cluttered with more xenophobic racism than the equivalent of a year of Father Coughlin’s sermons.

Sweaty in my IPA, I read that Jews have for years conspired to use immigration to demographically reshape the United States and Europe to reduce white majorities. As a member of the media, I have been accused of having participated – willingly or not – in this effort. There were more typos than I had seen since high school.

These were, of course, responses to an editorial that appeared in this beautiful publication on September 17, criticizing US Representative Elise Stefanik for playing soccer with white supremacist’s “replacement theory” in a campaign ad that claimed that the Democrats were attempting to stage a “permanent electoral uprising” by giving the right to vote to millions of undocumented immigrants. These ugly emails, of course, tended to confirm the editorial’s thesis: it’s hard enough for a politician to deny engaging in racist dog-whistle rhetoric when surrounded by a pack. abominable racists and worshipers. .

It hasn’t been a good week for far-right conservative rhetoric, and not just in Arizona, where Cyber ​​Ninjas’ election auditing and manual counting revealed that Joe Biden actually had a margin of victory. slightly larger on Donald Trump than the previous vote. tally had shown.

Preliminary results were released on Friday. Trump issued a statement Thursday night saying “Everyone will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what highly respected listeners and the Arizona State Senate have found out about the so-called election!” When the first stories hit, he pulled it off.

Undeterred, Trump released another statement on Friday, this time incorrectly claiming that the audit found “significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!” This notion was rejected by a spokesperson for Cyber ​​Ninjas themselves. And when Trump lost the Cyber ​​Ninjas – a company so enamored with conspiracy theories that I’m almost hurt that I didn’t receive an email about Stefanik’s editorial from them – he did. well lost.

All of these examples are classic examples of BS, a category of rhetoric that has accompanied us for centuries but which received its first thoughtful analysis by moralist philosopher Harry Frankfurt in a thin 2005 treatise titled “On Bull__”. Frankfurt made the distinction between a BS slinger and a liar: A liar recognizes that there is a thing called truth and tries to hide it, while a BS artist doesn’t really care whether what it says is true or not – what matters is whether it serves its purpose. And the minute it stops serving its purpose, it removes it and says something else.

Can BS ever be a force for good, beyond mere entertainment value? For a test, let’s turn to the writings of John Nolte, a member of the Breitbart stable of quick-hitting commentators. On September 18, Nolte wrote about his belief that COVID-19 vaccines are “a miracle and a lifeline” – he actually collectively calls them “the Trump vaccine,” which begs the question of whether Pfizer is Trumpier than Moderna or Johnson & Johnson – but “masks are stupid”.

And then, the change: Nolte ends his list of beliefs by stating, “The organized left is deliberately putting Trump’s unvaccinated supporters in an impossible position where they CANNOT get a life-saving vaccine or MAY feel like cuckolds who are in danger. collapse for the world’s ugliest and smugest bullies. … The morality of the left is guided only by what advances its fascist agenda, and therefore using reverse psychology to trick Trump supporters into NOT getting a life-saving vaccine is, for them, good moral. The more of us who die, the better.

One can imagine a meeting of the Left organized in their underground lair, exposing their master plan. Are there any holes in it? Sure. It is unfortunate for these conspirators that vaccines were invented while Trump was in power, and that the man himself made noise as his great farewell gift to the nation. It’s also a shame that Trump himself received the blow from the start, even though he played into the left’s game by being terribly silent about it.

The central problem with Nolte’s analysis is that people on the left, as well as many people on the right, don’t want Trump supporters to get vaccinated just to save their lives. They want these people to be shot at to save the lives of people across the political spectrum by putting an issue at the heart of the pandemic, and perhaps healing the global economy and making it possible to one day return to a crowded movie theater.

So to John Nolte and his readers, I say this: of course, whatever, save your life and really own the libraries. Imagine making George Soros cry by rolling up your sleeve. If it takes BS to get you to the clinic, fine.

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