One of the greatest puzzles in my life has been how do so many believe in unproven theories fueled by a belief that there was some conspiracy involved that gives it credibility? A wanted sign for healthy skeptics ought to be posted. We have become a nation of many beyond reason, unwilling to ask questions that may give inconvenient answers. This blind belief in conspiracy theories is a danger to both those who believe in conspiracy theories and the rest of us who do not. It is a danger to the health of advocates of such theories themselves and those around them. These theories are also fueling a serious attack on the continuation of democracy. Missouri once was once known as the "show me state", famous for not accepting hot air and theories as truth, but demanding proof one can actually see.(I spent many summers visiting my maternal grandmother in Missouri). Long forgotten were those days. Instead, Missouri has become an icon of Trump country with most in that state accepting whatever comes from Mar-A- Largo and amplified by Trump's media supporters as the gospel truth. , We need more of old-time "show me's". Considering sources is a legitimate approach, but at least ask about the hows, whats, and whys. That is healthy skepticism.
On a recent exchange in a debate Facebook group, a post was made by someone who claimed in so many words that Biden was a feeble old man and incompetent. In my response, he charged me with using too many words to respond. I used two brief paragraphs laying out a list of actual events to back up why I concluded Biden had done a bunch with so many issues, including passage of the infrastructure bill. My response was posted on my blog site, as well. The critic instead resorted to calling me a derogatory ideological name as if that constituted all of the proof he needed I was wrong. I challenged him to tell me exactly what I wrote did not happen. Radio silence. He could have responded, but he did not, with "it was not enough", here is what Biden failed to do, or what he had done would have had undesirable side effects, or the conclusion I derived from what obviously happened was faulty for such and such a reason. To satisfy his troll, I should have put it in a one-sentence meme or called him a right-wing expletive in response. Either he did not the ability to comprehend the written words that exceeded more than a sentence, or he did not have any facts, even alternative ones, to back up his name-calling, This is not an unusual exchange whenever there is a rare opportunity for dialoguing with the other side. In fact, it is the right wings' common response when they are challenged to "show me". Memes, name-calling, and opinions have taken the place of reason, facts, and data. For the mentally lazy or those who have an inability to do critical thinking, it is easier to parrot memes and slogans as a response than to show and convince those who are not in their echo chamber they are right.
Repeating conspiracy theories, again and again, are not words just uttered into the sky until they are accepted by the unthinking as gospel truth with no repercussions. It is far more dangerous than just baying at the moon. Aside from the hospital data serving as a warning to the unvaccinated, this state of public dialogue has serious ramifications for the continuation of our form of democracy. That 60 federal judges of all ideologies and appointed by a wide variety of past presidents came to the same conclusion that there was not enough fraud in the 2020 election to change the outcome, Nine months of attempts for devotees to Trump to find that evidence of enough irregularities and trying to justify conspiracy theories have failed. Nonetheless, nearly one-half of voters still spout "the election was stolen" as a reason to make it harder for "undesirable voters" to vote. Half of Republicans polled approve of violence to overturn an election with results they do not approve. Democracy is by definition rule of, by, and for the people, but overturning the popular will and putting it in the hands of one person is anti-democracy, especially when the pretext is a cooked-up version of reality, and spoon-fed to unquestioning loyalists. One of the hallmarks of democracy is that the ballot box determines the winner, not a violent riot and bloody overthrow of the vote counters.
The current state of un-reason in our current political dialogue has deadly results, The anti-vaxxer paranoids who believe computer chips are put into your arm so the government can control you or that the vaccinations are hyped because of the greed of pharmaceuticals are theories held by those needing serious education of how the virus spreads and works. That is not likely to happen. Being receptive to education will not happen when ignorance is bliss. That those promoting vaccinations are politically motivated to hurt Trump's legacy or to help the Democrats in 2022-2024 are fantasies believed by so many. Israel, Austria, the UK, and the entire EU all are taking masks and vaccination-mandated steps. Do they really believe the reason for all of these countries getting together to promote these mandates was to help Democrats in the US maintain control of Congress? Show me.
In Colorado, seeing its 5th and worst spike, where over 80 percent of unvaccinated accounts for the hospitalized and dying, do the conspiracy theorists believe the data they do not accept as fact was the result of Colorado hospitals all getting together to lie about their daily data numbers? Or if given the data is correct, the conclusion is that the unvaccinated are proof the COVID epidemic is faux and shots don't work, so why bother with them?. Since vaccines are not 100% effective, don't get the shots and just be 100% vulnerable? That logic escapes me. When 40% of Americans are still not vaccinated, they are ripe to act as a matrix for the development and spread of mutant variants and are responsible for continued spikes and spread. When over a thousand are still dying from COVID a day in the US, including those infected by the Delta variant, do some seriously think they are immune because somehow they are superhuman, exercise a lot, eat well, are too young, take quack remedies, or have the right political persuasion? Think political affiliation is not a factor? Republicans are three times more likely to be unvaccinated than Democrats. Or do some seriously think all the world scientists got together to agree on the same lies about COVID and just wanted to raise alarm bells and advocate masks and shots for the heck of it? Then, show me.
1 in 38 unvaccinated Coloradans are infected with COVID-19, Polis says | Colorado Public Radio (cpr.org) "82 percent of COVID-related hospitalizations are among the roughly 20 percent of Coloradans who are unvaccinated. "