Conservative writer lays out the distinct parallels between anti-vaxxers and the Capitol rioters
Not all Trump supporters are outright anti-vaxxers. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for example, have recently encouraged vaccination for COVID-19 even though they oppose public health measures that reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus. And former President Donald Trump himself has been vaccinated for COVID-19. But anti-vaxxers are not hard to find among Trump supporters, and Never Trump conservative Kathleen Parker notes the parallels between anti-vaxxers and the January 6 insurrectionists in her Washington Post column.
Parker explains, "There's an overlap between anti-vaxxers and the rioters. Both were and are guided by disinformation intentionally distributed to pit Americans against one another — by forces internal or external, or both."
The conservative columnist continues, "Both the rioters and the anti-vaxxers believe what is demonstrably wrong to the detriment of others. The rioters believed that the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald Trump. The anti-vaccine crowd embraced Trump's initially blasé attitude toward the virus, despite his having been vaccinated since — and despite massive evidence supporting the efficacy of the vaccines, which, until recently, were close to putting the virus to bed."
Parker stresses that she is "not suggesting that anti-vaccine people are prone to riot or that they'd even condone what happened on January 6."
"Anecdotally, however, I can say that everyone I know who refuses to get a coronavirus vaccine also voted for Trump, even if most people I know who voted for Trump raced to get their vaccines," Parker observes. "And, though my unvaccinated acquaintances would never raise their voices, much less a fist, they might not mind too much that others took to the barricades."
Parker adds that one thing anti-vaxxers have in common with the January 6 rioters is a belief that "someone — the Deep State, Anthony S. Fauci, Nancy Pelosi, Charles E. Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, take your pick — is trying to pull the wool over their eyes."
"In the South, where I now live, you'll hear plenty of this nonsense," Parker laments. "Therefore, if one wishes to change minds, it becomes necessary to take seriously that which is nonsense. To wit: The Deep State is trying to overtake the country, 'vaccinate' its citizens to make them obedient with the goal of 'herding' them into camps, cubicles or whatever to be controlled for government use or whatever. If all this is true, then you'd have no choice but to decline the vaccine and resort to whatever measure necessary to preserve 'freedom.'"
Parker describes anti-vaxxers as "the passive twin to the rioters' aggression."
"Both operate from a posture of certitude," Parker writes. "Both threaten the health and welfare of the nation…. The good news is that the bad guys of January 6 ultimately will be brought to justice. But the 'bad guys' of the vaccine resistance, assuming they survive, likely will get away no matter how many others they infect."
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