The Other Vaccine

The COVID vaccines have mostly done their job, in America and other wealthy nations anyway. Unless there is a more dangerous mutation, COVID’s threat is now manageable. In America there is another large threat to health and beyond. It is the Republican party. It is not hyperbole to say it is just as deadly; in fact a case can be made that it kills many more Americans. What we desperately need is a vaccine against it. The most interesting thing is that the vaccine already exists, and is both widely available and affordable. What it is may surprise you. Read on to discover.

I don’t write about it nearly enough, but the surest threat to America is climate change. There is only one political party of significance in the entire world that denies it. You guessed it – the American Republican party. Climate change keeps on rolling whether it is ignored or not. It is a global problem which will inevitably win unless a global leader like the United States takes steps to combat it.  The Republicans claim to be the pro-life party. What a joke! (Sadly, many American believe their malarkey.) What greater threat to human life than climate change? But wait, there is more!

I live in North Carolina and elected Republicans will stumble over themselves telling you how pro-life they are. Let’s examine that a bit. Tuesday the Republican dominated North Carolina General Assembly overrode the Democratic Governor’s veto of an abortion ban. They will tell you they did it because they are pro-life. Pro-fetus I’ll buy; pro-life no way! This bill and many similar to it in other Republican dominated states, largely, if not totally, ignore the health of the mother. The mother is alive and a human that is alive is a life.

The Republicans have consistently lessened the money spent per pupil in public schools. Their “solution” has been to provide so-called opportunity scholarships which help make other schools more affordable. Most of those schools and/or the corporations they rely on are for profit. The only opportunity here is for their financiers to syphon off money intended to provide a quality education for all.

Many got excited when the North Carolina Republicans finally relented and allowed a Medicaid expansion bill to pass. (Over a decade late to the “party” but.…) I was not among the cheerleaders. What went largely unnoticed was the caveat that the funding for the small portion the state pays (if they had signed on originally the state’s share was zero for the first several years) had to be provided for in the budget which wasn’t even in the works yet. Color me cynical if you must, but I have serious doubt that funding will ever materialize and if it does only after a poison pill(s) is swallowed.  Many say that compromise is the art of politics and there is much to be said for that. Extortion is not compromise. You decide what we are dealing with.

One of the basic things you have to do with human life is feed it. America has a social safety net program (a poor one by the standards of many other developed countries) that includes the SNAP program commonly called food stamps. It is one of the targets for today’s Republicans. My degree is not in any of the medical sciences but I still have a difficult time understanding how you sustain a life if you don’t feed the (in this case) person. There are serious legal repercussions for not feeding your pets or farm animals. The Republican care much more about them.

One last example of hypocrisy or at least selectively acting on a declaration. The Republicans have built the legend that they are pro-police. When they are not tripping over themselves declaring how pro-life they are they are boasting about backing the blue. The reality is that they only back the blue when it is convenient for them to do so. During and after 1/6 the Capital Police and other members of DC area law enforcement saw just how much many Republican members of Congress backed them; the members of law enforcement that lived that is.

The vaccine already exists and the Republicans fight it tooth and nail. (Remember that the promotion of ignorance is one of today’s GOP’s three pillars.) It’s a two “shot” vaccine. The first is the ability to do critical thinking and the second is to consume the truth.

Critical thinking skills are largely acquired in schools. Republicans fight public education and divert money to indoctrination centers. Over the years they have been successful in filtering many of their base into news silos where they are fed malarkey and the truth often just isn’t covered. (An only slightly modified version of the Mushroom Theory.)

As with COVID (and many other health threats) the vaccine exists. If you don’t avail yourself of it, it’s your own fault and the rest of us have to suffer because of you.

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