There is so much in this world I will never understand. For example, how do those shiny rims on certain SUVs spin the opposite direction of the car’s forward motion?
But the most nagging quandary is: why are so many of my fellow Americans refuse reality? A recent CNN poll sent me to the liquor cabinet… again. Seventy percent of Republicans polled said that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected, and 30 percent of everyone, including Democrats and independents believe the same Big Canard. This despite dozens upon dozens of lawsuits and recounts to the contrary. Even a Trump-packed conservative Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly against the lie and in favor of upholding Biden’s obvious landslide victory.
Plenty of blame goes to the former president, and now fulltime Mar-a-Lago greeter and doorman Donald Trump, for muddying the waters before and after the 2020 election by claiming that the only way he could lose would be through cheating. As if all the people in charge of each state’s election conspired to tamper with ballots to ensure a Biden victory by seven million votes.
The January 6 insurrection at the Capitol to stop the validation of the 2020 election, and do real harm to police officers and those legislators willing to defend and carry out a peaceful transition of power, further perpetuated the Deep State conspiracy theories that ran rampant on social media and in the rural compounds of our well-regulated militias.
Conservative media outlets and Trump allies in Congress kept that fantasy alive, and today are paying for it with billion-dollar lawsuits, settlements and on-air apologies.
Should be the end of the story, right?
Not at all. Not in America, where believing in facts is optional. Six months later, seven out of every ten Republican voters refuse to accept that reality.
On to the next sphere of collective stupidity: the fear of the COVID-19 vaccine. Last month a Monmouth University poll found that one in five Americans said they will not get the injection. The numbers break down along predictable political lines: 43 percent of Republicans say no to the vaccine, compared with 5 percent of Democrats, and 22 percent of independents in agreement.
Despite almost 600,000 deaths in the US and 33 million cases, despite the fact that the coronavirus variants currently devastating India are already present here in the States, millions of our fellow citizens do not see the need for protecting themselves or others. Again, the same anti-government-Deep State theories abound. For example, if Bill Gates is involved in financing one of the vaccines then it no doubt contains a microchip (in liquid form I guess and, my, isn’t that clever?) that tracks our every movement.
Let me pause here and break the news to the paranoid posse that the most effective tracking device has already been unleashed. It fits in the palm of your hand. It’s called a cell phone. They know where you are, where you’ve been, and probably where you’re going.
Is history still taught in our schools? I ask because throughout this country’s recent past vaccines have been a force for good in improving the quality of life for Americans. Yet, the resistance continues to grow among the anti-vaxxers, not only to the COVID vaccines, but to other vaccines such as those that protect us from the flu and shingles. No, the flu shot will not give you the flu. Or autism. And, dear reader, trust me, you do not want to experience shingles.
(By the way, a leading anti-vaxxer is none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which proves that intelligent, critical thinking can sometimes skip generations, and that quackery is not limited to some guy belching word salad on a street corner.)
History is a great teacher if one bothers to read it. This nation came together to rally for (wait for it) “the common good” when it rolled out the March of Dimes and other charities in the 1950s to provide polio vaccinations to all children regardless of income level. The polio scourge was finally wiped out. Thank you Jonas Salk and, yes, a tip of the hat to the federal government. Vaccines have for the most part ended measles, mumps, and whooping cough.
But there is still yeoman’s work to be done on developing a vaccine for stupidity. One would think that with all of our available modern medical technology that somewhere in a sterile laboratory the white-coated scientists were working furiously to inoculate the millions of Americans who believe, for instance, that former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was behind a voter fraud scheme that cost President Trump a second term in office.
Until we have an effective cure I recommend the following preventative measures: Social distance from the tin-foil cartel wherever they congregate. If you cannot get far enough away from them, utilize a mask, a face shield, and ear plugs. And do not, under any circumstances, cite history, facts, or anything contained in a book. I hope this helps.
Now, can someone explain those spinning rims?