Coronavirus vaccine status is poised to become the next barometer of the increasing polarization of this nation into two distinct camps. The fault line runs pretty much precisely along the same rural vs. urban divide evident in the recent vote by five Oregon counties in favor of breaking away from their progressive-dominated state to help create a Greater Idaho.
The embrace of rigid social curbs in the name of communal health during the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially pronounced on the urban grid. There is a certain segment of the population living highly regulated, controlled lives in densely populated areas. They truly believe layers of set societal boundaries in technologically advanced spaces make for better living.
“Anti-vaxxers don’t deserve coddling.”
I Drove to a Pharmacy, You Will Listen to Me
An overwrought May 19 column by the theater critic for The Los Angeles Times exemplifies how this particular urbanite mindset applies to vaccines and how it demands that all other members of society go along with its rigid obedience to our would-be ruling institutions.
“Anti-vaxxers don’t deserve coddling. Why theaters should require proof of vaccination,” screams the headline above Charles McNulty’s piece. McNulty begins by lamenting the “recalcitrant stance” of his fellow Americans who choose not to get the jab, regretfully stating that “no amount of information” will be able to sway them.
Having attached a not-so-subtle “ignorant” label to these citizens, McNulty gets down to his central thesis: people should be deprived of basic rights, such as the right to socialize, if they do not conform. This is another way of creating a vaccine mandate without overt government coercion.
Here is a collection of quotes from McNulty’s column highlighting his health obsessions and eagerness to punish:
“This [banning] policy would offer audience members some insurance that the stranger crammed into the seat next to them wasn’t a potential petri dish of COVID variants eagerly seeking a crack in their newly erected wall of immunity.
“Sorry for not contorting myself to understand the sincere place from which the wide-ranging resistance of anti-vaxxers emanates. But I see no reason why those of us who have driven to a pharmacy in Calabasas in tight pants and out-of-control hair must continue to indulge their selfishness. Do they really think any of us were gung-ho about getting a shot that could leave us bedridden for 36 hours?
“If they’re going to ride our vaccinated coattails, they can at least play by our rules. As walking targets for COVID-19, they have more to lose than we do. But it’s tiring to care about those who are content to roll the dice not just for themselves but for those they inadvertently breathe on.”
It’s easy to think of McNulty as a bully, but a more accurate assessment would be System Person. The term is meant as a descriptor, not as a pejorative. McNulty is ensconced in an urban bubble so airtight that he can’t fathom what would drive other Americans to have a different opinion.
A personal story illustrates this System People phenomenon well. I live in a densely populated area (not for much longer, I hope). A plumber had to replace my water heater a couple of years ago, and for reasons I don’t recall, it took several days to schedule. When he finally arrived to do the job, the plumber was stunned that I had taken cold showers for 5-6 days. He acted like I was some kind of tough guy. And it was nothing, barely an inconvenience. The water wasn’t freezing; it was just not warm.
So he started talking about the customers with whom he regularly deals. He described how their worlds completely fall apart if one of the things that enable their modern routine is disrupted even for a couple of hours. They immediately go into full crisis mode. This man was very perceptive and quite hilarious in the way he described these folks. “They’re used to pulling down a handle and making their messes disappear, with no thought to the whole process that allows it to happen,” was how he put it.
It’s important to emphasize that last part. These are people who not only do not want to think about the process; they feel they have an inviolable right not to have to think about it. Consider the implications of this because we are enduring them right now.
“Finally, and perhaps most important, if the goal is to increase the vaccination rate, then why not use every incentive structure available — sticks as well as carrots?” McNulty wrote in concluding his screed. “You want to see an effervescent musical, then get a vaccine. Your reluctance isn’t just about how you manage personal risk. There’s a societal cost, which shouldn’t be so easily offloaded.”
The System Person is devising ways to discourage his fellow Americans from thinking for themselves.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.