The strange emergence of the anti-vaxxer bogeyman

The strange emergence of the anti-vaxxer bogeyman. By Paul Collits.

Invariably and conveniently, they are conflated with conspiracy theorists, anti-lockdown protesters, and Covid deniers. There would be many opponents of Covid vaccine mandates who are none of these. Some are even world-renowned, highly published medical scientists. Characterising the anti-vaxxers as stupid might be a bit of an own goal. Presumably Bob, Sir Tony and the rest are unaware of the recent study by Carnegie Mellon University that found the highest represented educational cohort of vaccine opponents are those with a PhD. …

Several explanations for the “no-holding-back attacks on the unjabbed:”

Pride. … Once you (as a politician or any Covid acolyte) have bought into the vaccines-as-Covid-silver-bullet solution to the virus, it is a mighty back-down to admit defeat against those who (correctly) say over and over again, the vaccines don’t work as intended. Better to ignore them, to silence them, to censor them, to isolate them, to demean them.

Fear of being shown up as stupid. … If the anti-vaxxers are shown to be correct in their various claims, then the pro-vaccine lobby are the ones who are the simpletons here. The increasingly shrill attacks on the unjabbed are a feint to distract attention from the fact that mass vaccinations do not stop the spread of Covid, or illness from Covid, or deaths from Covid. Even if you don’t keep up with latest studies from Israel, Iceland, Gibraltar, India, or just about anywhere else. Or listen in to the pronouncements of no less than the CEO of Pfizer who admitted that two jabs aren’t sufficient to stop you getting Covid …

Disdain. The anti-vaxxers are, well, deplorables. Trump supporters, more than likely. Prone to planting Aussie flags in their front yards. Easy targets.

Bought off. Many who are gaslighting the unjabbed are undoubtedly simply in the pay of the Covid State, in particular of the vaccine manufacturers, one way or another. They are bound to belittle those not playing ball. They are merely acting in their economic interests.

Intellectual laziness. Why bother to find out one; why the unjabbed remain so; two, whether they are all alike; and three, whether their arguments have merit and whether, therefore, it is they who turn out to be on the right side of history, when you can simply dismiss them as intellectual and moral club-foots?

Nudging. Shame them into getting the jab, so as to propel the vaccination rates even higher. Alas, if true, this is utterly misguided. I suspect that those still not vaccinated are anything but hesitant, and in no way susceptible to cheap, unalloyed propaganda.

Intellectual barrenness. Ad hominem attacks and constructing straw man arguments are now the best that even journalists and politicians can come up with, in these second-rate times. Any assertion and insult will do, especially when the best argument you can summon is, ‘my vaccine will only work if you have yours’.

Yep, that about covers it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil