What IS it with Republicans and not wanting to get vaccinated?

As of today, 5.05 million people worldwide, including 754,000 people in the United States, have died from coronavirus, with domestic cases well above 45 million.

And we’ve got one of the two major political parties in this country denying the science.

What is it with Republicans and not wanting to get on board with vaccination? Ted Cruz is bitching about Sesame Street, for fuck’s sake!

Can’t tell me what to do!

This is my wild-ass guess. Right-wing media has been against it all along (for their viewers – they have mandates for their employees, of course). I think that’s because they think it will harm the economy and harm the Biden administration.

Their viewers just do what they’re told – yell and scream about vaccines, yell and scream about “CRT”, etc.

Right-wing media did the same thing with “death panels” and the ACA – seeing a government program work and also giving Obama a victory was a double-whammy. So, they riled up their viewers to be opposed to the ACA, and they went out and were yelling and screaming at political town halls. Once it ended up helping people, they found it was impossible to reverse.

Blind partisanship…

I remind them that the vaccine was developed under Trump’s Operation Warp Speed and so they should just say “Let’s go Brandon” and get the Trump shot to spite Biden.

Laudable. And does it work?

ETA: Probably paywalled, but the bit you can see says a lot.

There’s a psychological phenomenon called “solution aversion” that explains a lot of… fairly dumb responses to real problems.

Basically, if you don’t like a proposed solution for a problem, it’s a lot easier and simpler to deny that the problem is really a problem than it is to take issue with the solution.

You can see this with Global Warming. The costs of fixing it are large, the solutions are challenging to implement, and will likely have lots of costs for lots of people. But what if the earth wasn’t really warming? So easy, then! Then we can just ignore it.

One problem with this is that once you’ve decided something isn’t a problem, the aversion continues even when the solutions change.

When there were really no good solutions to Covid aside from massive societal restrictions on movement/activities/etc., the solution was very costly. So a lot of people decided that life would be better if Covid wasn’t really a problem. Now that the solution is actually pretty easy and cheap, well, sorry. I already decided it wasn’t a problem.

It’s basically because the GOP politicized vaccination, and so many people’s personal identities are wound up with being Republicans, that they view any attempts to get people vaccinated as not merely a public health message like “Stop Smoking”, but rather as a political message. Same thing, just from a different direction with ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, etc… Their anointed ones suggest something, and it’s the best thing since sliced bread, even when it’s actually harmful and not at all helpful.

It’s about as stupid as things get; I wish the Democrats would figure out how to weaponize this idiotic herd mentality and use it against them.

Personally, I’m about 80% convinced that those who sit upon the wall of the GQP want the pandemic to continue — and the more the merrier! Then the Biden Administration’s “failure” to conquer the Chinese Virus™ can be used against Democrats in 2022 and 2024.

Sure, that means an undetermined (but significant) number of people will sicken and die; but, y’know, omelets … eggs.

I wonder if there’s any point at which the number of deaths could become electorally significant. That’s the only way, IMO, the leadership of the party (minus Trump, since his decision making is about as logical as a toddler) might actually buckle down and push for more vaccinations.

According to the article above the Red States™ are approaching herd immunity faster than the blue or purple ones, and the biggest cost has already been incurred, so it is a sunken cost they discard. Your argument only holds in disputed states: where the Republicans have a big majority a couple of percentage points don’t count, where they are in the minority it doesn’t matter anyway. Only purple states are relevant, there it has to hurt them. How many purple states are there?

The USA is fairly unique as to how it’s become politicised. The anti vax woo medicine left has all but disappeared, Marin county as an example.

There’s definitely anti vax activism in other countries, Jeremy Corbyn’s brother is one of the leaders in the U.K.

But I don’t see a consistent theme in any other country with a strong correlation between being Republican and being against the vaccine.

They fear what they don’t understand.
And they understand very little.

My understanding is that they were less enthusiastic about the vaccine even before the election, while Trump was campaigning on his herculean efforts to develop a vaccine to save us all.

This article has the following:

So, if Trump fast tracked a vaccine before the election, more Dems would take it than Republicans.

Imagine that, the guy you’re enthusiastically voting for, the guy with a 92% approval rating among Republicans, touts this vaccine as a major accomplishment, and 60% of you would refuse to take it. And the people who believe him more than willing to force approval of an ineffective or dangerous vaccine for the purpose of getting elected, more of them will take the vaccine.


A significant chunk of the vaccine resistant population today may have been anti-vax before COVID-19. Last January a Gallup poll1 showed 11% thought vaccines were more dangerous than the diseases they protect against. Compare with Gallup’s poll from this August2, where 18% said they were not likely to get vaccinated or change their mind on the subject.


1 2020. “Fewer in U.S. Continue to See Vaccines as Important”. Gallup. https://news.gallup.com/poll/276929/fewer-continue-vaccines-important.aspx

2 2021. “About One in Five Americans Remain Vaccine-Resistant”. Gallup. https://news.gallup.com/poll/353081/one-five-americans-remain-vaccine-resistant.aspx

I am so old I can remember when the anti-science, anti-vaccine people were left-wing people. (As a serious question, are there still crystal healing people out there?)

Yes. I passed by a shop in Hot Springs, Arkansas last month that had all sorts of healing crystals for sale.

Gosh, I saw healing crystals in the background of some movie scene, recently. Can’t remember which one though.


Come to Santa Cruz California and relive your youth.

It’s truly tribal. These same people unquestionably accept what is told to them by their clergy, their political leaders, and Tucker Carlson. But when a fact they don’t like wanders into the discussion, it has no effect at all, unless that fact was told to them by their clergy, political leaders, or Fox News. Where that fact originated makes all the difference. They are great at obeying without questioning, except when it suits their political lean, then it goes the other way.