"Republicans who helped nurture vaccine skepticism"

I vaguely remember an overwhelming number of Democrats saying they would not take the vaccine when Trump was in office. Ross needs to lay off the drugs/Kool aid.

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You inserted Douthat's piece for comic relief, ne c'est pas?

Ponder this - name one freedom you lost under Trump. You can't. The entire construction of the left is one big lie.

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Mr. Freedom:

"I know that America has its share of problems, chief among them racism."

Let me challenge you. Look at your position. Look what you have accomplished. Look at your teammates, all of which are in the top 0.1% of society. How can you believe what you just wrote?

This is not to say racism does not exist but to say it is among the top issues (I assume you believe it is rampant given your use of the phrase "chief among them") is easily falsified in your own personal experience.

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About 3/4 of the way thru this, I wondered if this was a literary example of the political phenomenon we see where the "cool kids on the right side of history" leave the cesspools they have created themselves and invade the rest of the world only to do the same thing all over again. "It will work this time, they just didn't do it right last time."

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I think all these people live in large urban areas and know nothing about the rest of America which is mostly still America where people go about their business working hard to take care of themselves and their family, enjoying friends, making new ones, but suffering for all the evil that is occurring in our cities. God have mercy on us.

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This is all well and good, but I doubt it will reach ordinary, common-sense people like me. My own grown children (in their 50s and 60s) simply dismiss what I have to say. I am well educated (Ph.D in chemistry, half a dozen technical books, several awards) but anything I say is dismissed out of hand. There has to be one-on-one action. I could give examples, but I don't want to get anyone in trouble. I am a widow and live alone, and neighbors and friends with whom I socialized no longer call and socialize (with one single exception).

Standing together is important. I was slow to broadcast my new Republican sympathies, but we only have two viable political parties, and not voting or voting for a third party is useless. The best weapon is still the voting booth, if it can be protected.

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Dec 28, 2021·edited Dec 29, 2021

Thanks for this.

Two comments: Enos Freedom says America has problems, chief among them racism. No. The problem there is the cottage industry built on defaulting to accusing others of racism when they espouse a different point of view. Actual racism has greatly diminished in this country during my 60+ years.

Also, Ross Douthat, attempting to straddle the middle ground, accuses Republicans of nurturing anti-vaccine sentiment. But Republicans tend to be anti-mandate rather than anti-vax. Kamala Harris kicked off the anti-vaccine sentiment by declaring she wouldn’t get a vaccine that Donald Trump was behind.

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Mr. Douthat, I am weary of the reductionism of labeling the "vaccine" skeptics as Republicans. I am neither Republican nor Democrat; I am among the regretfully "vaccinated," having received the 2 Pfizer jabs of experimental mRNA. We are no longer in April of 2020; many of us have actually educated ourselves without having ever turned on our televisions. Call us those who know well the dangers of high-risk Covid shots: antibody dependent enhancement, severe immunological overreactions, thousand of deaths from the "vaccines" (of which only an estimated 1% are reported through VAERS and are reported as COVID deaths!), severe organ damage and clotting, increased hospitalizations of the vaccinated, not to mention the absence of protection against Covid! There are very valid reasons countless doctors and nurses are willing to quit their jobs (or be fired!) rather than expose their precious bodies to a laboratory product of bioterrorism research. I join them. No boosters-in-perpetuity for me. And if that morphs me into a Republican, then the world really has gone mad.

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Keeping an open mind, avoiding dogmatism is a path worth following. Seeking truth.

Mr Douthat you may not recall but both Biden and Harris questioned the vaccines very early. You may want to check the demographics of who questions/refuses the vaccine.

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What did I change my mind on?

I used to think Bill Gate's statement about using vaccines to reduce population was just an awkward misstatement.

Now I know it is a true reflection of his objective.

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To Balavi Srinivasan: with regard to breakdown in public trust, the reality is much worse than you think and I'm not sure if the end result will be anarchy.

For as long as I can remember every lawful regulation and order issued in the military was treated with a near-religious level of attention and sincere obedience. Disobedience, knowing or otherwise, was strictly and immediately addressed. These mores were enforced through a shared culture of doing the right thing no matter who was watching or standing by. There were some regulations that strained credulity, like not being allowed to walk while holding a cell phone in uniform, but even those were often enforced through group social pressure. There was the gradual breakdown of uniform standards with the adoption of special allowances for religious minorities to where hijabs, yarmulkes, and traditional beards, as well as ponytails and jewelry worn in uniform. There is the new "equity" push that gives the top 25% of females a boost to their physical fitness scores.

The trouble with what's happening today with post-Delta, post-Biden management of the military goes beyond incredulity. After the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, the vaccine mandates, and the mask mandates, I am for the first time seeing overtly hostile political language toward the commander in chief. I'm seeing widespread scorn and non-compliance with various mandates. I never heard someone willing to retire or accept a felonious dishonorable discharge to refuse an experimental vaccine, as many of us had already taken the anthrax vaccine. It used to be true that any kind of mental health treatment within 5 years of enlistment would disqualify a candidate for service, but today gender dysphoria is not a disqualifier but is celebrated, most notably by our first "female" admiral. The blowback has not come yet, but it will and could signal something worse in the near future that many would not see coming and would be worse than the general anarchy that many of you expect to be the new normal now that polarization has become so bad.

Never forget that even in true-Blue New York City there are many places like Staten Island where no one wears a mask and will yell at you if you heckle them. The less faith there is that we are being governed responsibly the more disobedience there will be and the less trust. It's time to leave each other alone again.

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In response to Chole Valdary I will just say that though the proponents of critical race theory may make the occasional valid point, the ideology as a whole is vicious. It promotes—indeed, celebrates—a postmodern variant of racism in which the pseudo-intellectual vocabulary of debased social science replaces the crude stereotyping of past times.

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Ross: “ for Republicans who helped nurture vaccine skepticism” — you may want to change your mind again and review facts not found in NYT. It was prominent Democrats and “press” with TDS that promoted vaccine hesitancy and then flipped to the extreme with mandates. What seems more sane is vaccination for those with comorbidities and the elderly only.

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“I was very good at prestige-seeking, and prestige gave me a lot of pleasure. I scored well on tests and went to a nice school”


Mainly there’s that one test you take when you’re 16. I also did well on that test.

I have a hypothesis that we may have made a huge mistake by essentially using that test to screen for our nations leadership class.

Doing well on that test really does not mean you are smart or competent at all. The math is incredibly basic and the language part requires you to have read for about an hour a day. If you’re fairly diligent you’ll ace the test.

I think there might be certain psychopathologies that are overrepresented in the individuals who score well on that test. Diligent kids? Maybe they have a greater store of resentment on average than the general population? NERDS!!


Regardless, it seems these psychopathologies are now overrepresented within our ‘elite’ class. Many of them are not actually elite, which is what you’d expect when the screening mechanism is a relatively easy test that you take when you’re 16, and it seems clear that a substantial portion of them are still seeking that high they felt when, at 16 years old, a modest degree of aptitude finally put them ABOVE the popular kid whose dad was a real estate developer or business owner of some kind……WHO NEEDS TO PAY HIS FAIR SHARE!!!!

(As I said, I also did well on that test so if you’re a nerd do not take this as an attack. There are good people on both sides. On many sides.)

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Tim Urban's lament reminds me of a remark, (doubtfully) attributed to G.K. Chesterson: "When men cease to believe in God, they do not then believe in nothing. They become capable of believing in anything." This is only too true, as we see in the present moment.

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Only Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a message that is worthwhile.

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