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

I’m still puzzling over how he managed to get all those Republican and Democratic election officials, Secretaries of State, voting machine companies, judges and foreign governments to totally rig the 2020 election without leaving a trace or breaking their silence ……yet he couldn’t manage to rig another Senate race or two so he could actually get something done during his Presidency.

This raises a question I’ve had a long while. (I have many long-standing questions. I basically am a long-standing question. My parents should have named me Q. Think of the power I’d have.) If most Republicans are convinced the election was rigged by all those election officials, voting machine manufacturers, etc., why are they bothering to nominate candidates? Why the Trump 2024 hats? Why would they vote at all?

Because they’re the Scrappy Underdogs vs the Evil Empire.

Because now they have control of the packets. And the pillow guy is on their side.

I once asked my crazy landlord, “If Democrats rigged the election, why didn’t we get McConnell and Cruz out?” He said, “They didn’t want to make it that obvious.”

Why not both?

And this evil, globe-circling conspiracy could be undone by Republicans mailing in their own ballots.

They’ve been telling people these things for months and they don’t listen. That the CDC says these things simply means that it is coming from experts who do this for a living.

The people who don’t want to get vaccinated you aren’t going to convince with reason and logic. Because in their mind:
The illness is not as nasty as they are being told.
The people telling them to get vaccinated are the liberal media, coastal elites, corporate scientists, Democrats and other people who they don’t trust because they don’t share or understand their interests as hard-working middle-class Americans.
If those people are so keen on everyone getting vaccinated, they must have ulterior motives for doing so, which are probably counter to their interests and America in general.

Every Republican I’ve met has the media-consumption habits of a middle-school C-student. They cannot differentiate good sources from bad sources, and gravitate to any media that tells them they don’t have to believe anything they don’t want to believe, and blame others when reality doesn’t line up with their priors.

They want to believe that liberals never have any good ideas whatsoever. They want to believe that they’ll never have to do what a liberal says. They want to believe that Democrats are uniformly worse on COVID and every other issue of national importance than a Republican. They want to believe that their high-school education alone is sufficient to judge serious matters that involve epidemiology, virology, immunology, public policy, anything.

So, long story short, when Joe Biden comes on TV and says “you need to get the vaccine or you die,” their response is “I’m not getting the vaccine, I’m not dying, and I’d rather die than listen to you.” It gets gift-wrapped in some rhetoric about “muh individual choice,” but it’s just 100% ignorance and childish defiance. January 2022 is going to be a real test of their beliefs. Not just theirs, probably all of our beliefs. We’re about to get smacked in the face by the unknown.

I predict that Republicans will come out of the omicron phase having learned nothing whatsoever, with even wackier beliefs than before. I would also predict the total evaporation of any liberal hope that the COVID epidemic can be managed by any sort of prolonged stay-at-home regime. There was a window when that was realistic, but if delta didn’t destroy it, omicron certainly has.

We know different Republicans. I know lots of Republicans who are well-educated and keep up on the news including several good news sources. My Republican friends aren’t wearing masks, but they’ve mostly been vaccinated and boosted.

I think there’s something slightly different going on here than “Republicans” vs. “Democrats”.

It could be, but:

We can do “not all Republicans” if you like. And certainly there is a stripe of health-supplement anti-vax weirdos that cuts across political lines. But it’s pretty obvious and uncontroversial that Republicans as a group are less-vaxxed.

I do like.

I also think that “us vs. them” is not a great strategy. Yes, a higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans are vaccinated. A higher percentage of old people are vaccinated than young people. But in looking at “what is it with Republicans not wanting to get vaccinated” I think “they are a bunch of dumbos who follow bad news” is an unhelpful perspective. Both in changing minds and in understanding what’s going on.

I do agree that we are well past the point where a government stay-at-home order will end the pandemic in the US.

If we hypothetically assume that the explanation for the discrepancy is that many Republicans are in fact dumbos who follow bad news and can’t be persuaded, would your both-sides worldview be able to detect this reality? Or do we just keep dismissing it as long as we can find at least one Republican with at least one vaccination?

I’m arguing with a bunch of them right now. There are no good arguments that penetrate because they don’t understand facts, statistics, and evidence.
Exhibit A: They tell me vaccinated people are getting sick anyhow, so the vaccine does nothing. The response that this is expected just gets a “nu uh.”
Exhibit B: They tell me there are side effects, from late periods to blood clots. I show them blood clots are more common in those with COVID but they don’t even bother responding to that.
Exhibit C: They say Fauci made the virus. Yeeeaaahhhh.
Exhibit D: They haven’t gotten the virus yet, so there’s no reason to be scared of it. They don’t understand what survivor bias is.

So yeah, there’s only one real answer here, and I’m sick of it being ignored. They’re not bright people. That’s the answer. That’s the only answer. They just don’t know basic things. They have low mental processing power. And they resent you for showing them that.

What in the world do you imagine you are going to accomplish?

Fence sitters. There are always fence sitters watching the brawl. Plus I like a good fight. They’ll never admit I won, but I won.