Science through a political lens is killing us

Vaccine hesitancy increases the likelihood of COVID virus mutations, which puts everyone (including the fully vaccinated) at risk.

By refusing the vaccine, Americans are ensuring this virus will remain with us for a long time. Unfortunately, this is our future.

Remember when America would proudly celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our scientists and medical doctors and how we banded together when faced with a crisis.

Now, look at us.

All it takes is a gaggle of fully-vaccinated Fox News hosts and a handful of YouTube charlatans spewing lies and misinformation. As a result, millions of Americans disregard science and the advice of professionals with decades of experience studying infectious diseases.

What the fuck happened to America?

One thing that’s happened is we’ve politicized science. From climate to vaccines, we have well-organized entities who frame discussions about science through a political lens, and they do so purposefully. The goal is to get people to make decisions about science using emotion rather than data.

So, instead of talking about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, we have news organizations and YouTubers framing the discussion on vaccines around government overreach and individual freedoms – important subjects for sure, yet irrelevant to whether or not getting vaccinated gets us to the other side of the pandemic. And so, science gets kicked to the curb, and altruism and good citizenship get thrown out the window.

And this has been going on for so long, news organizations and YouTube hucksters and influencers have a built-in audience of anti-vaxxers and climate crisis deniers. Both are now cottage industries in America.

And if you think for one second that politicians and propagandist news organizations like FOX don’t understand this, you’re kidding yourself.

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

Almost all standard responses you get from Trump supporters when you criticize their idol are cloaked in whataboutisms. So, for example, when you mention the lies that Trump told (and continues to spread), you get an immediate response of “You don’t think that Biden lies?” as if there’s an equivalence – as if both of these men are in the same area code for lying when nothing could be further from the truth.

Trump’s lies and lapses in morality are now coming to light since the orange abomination left office. Members of the military say that Trump was a clear danger to the republic. This crazy narcissist suggested executing people who leaked stories to the press or shooting protesters in the legs. Comparing Trump’s lies and behaviors to past presidents (republican or democrat) is like comparing the flames in my backyard fire pit to the wildfires raging across the midwestern U.S. — they’re both fires, but. . . .

The 2016 election was not that long ago; those of us without dementia remember the aftermath.

Were there claims of election fraud? Yes.

After her loss, did Hillary Clinton go on for month after month after month about a stolen election? No.

Do you remember a constant, never-ending push of lies about Hillary being the real president-elect? No.

Do you remember Hillary riling up her base, inspiring and praising a traitorous assault on the capitol to try and stop the election from being certified? No.

The false equivalence that Trump supporters employ is stunning, but what’s even crazier is the total disregard of their own senses and experiences. Like me, they lived through 2016 – was that post-election experience anything like what we see now? No, it was not. And how do we know the situations were different? Because we observed, experienced, and lived through both.

I saw Fox news show a montage of Dems claiming the 2016 election was rigged, suggesting that what Trump did (and continues to do) is no different than what Dems did in 2016. The strategy behind these types of videos is not to inform viewers but rather manipulate them into believing the claims made by democrats back in 2016 were frenzied and constant, that they had a velocity and critical mass and are no different than what Trump is engaged in.

But anyone who lived through 2016 knows that’s not the case at all.

There was no massive push to overturn the elections or fake ass “fraudit” of the vote conducted by partisan and conspiracy-addled companies.

From Orwell’s famous novel 1984, “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

When Fox News tells you the claims of election fraud by democrats in 2016 mirror what’s happening today, or when republican congressmen and senators tell you January 6th was just a regular tourist event, they’re telling you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. Don’t do it.