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Political orientation predicts science denial: What that means for getting vaccinated against COVID

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By Adrian Bardon

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authoritarianism

Authoritarianism means mandates, such as masks, vaccines and lockdowns.

The people who want to make these things compulsory are authoritarians.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

This article written by a philosopher is filled with science denial. He wrongly assumes that everyone who does not follow the pharma narrative is wrong.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Had Trump not been in the White House during the outbreak of this pandemic and we had a more moderate and less decisive president that didn't politicize this at all, I bet a lot more people would've gotten vaccinated.

Him being there at that time and place spelled doom for this vaccination roll-out. Still at 65% is astonishing. Japan at its current rate is going to pass up this currently sick state.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

divisive

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I had COVID19, in July 2020. It lasted five days and it was ugly. I've had two Pfizer vaccinations since July/August this year. They didn't hurt, except for a 4-hour pain in the arm with the first injection. The second didn't faze me 1%.

I'm not supporting vaccinations and I'm not saying they're not a good thing. I'm saying only that some of us don't get sick all that often and it takes a real 'whammy' to challenge our systems. I'm 67, by the way, I had a heart attack eight years ago. I'm not dead yet.

Believe as you will about the virus and vaccinations. But first, replace politicians who believe they should tell you how to live. And that includes medical 'officers' who are hired by your governments to play the cautious route, more often than not to an extreme.

Each to his own, don't you think?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

American life has been intensely politicised since Trump became president. Political allegiance seems to have mutated into religious zeal. That is not healthy and both sides need to turn the volume down. They are radicalising their own citizens at the worst possible time.

In general, politicians need to change the habits of a lifetime and become more honest, transparent and trustworthy if they expect people to trust what they say.

They can't just do whatever they can get away with, promise lots, deliver little, and then expect people to trust them.

They also need to be honest about science: Scientists don't always agree. There are legitimate dissenting views in science, something that is seen by all scientists as healthy, but there are also majority views. Be honest about the vaccines. Explain that some people will always have side effects, but that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Be explicit: the world is not a lab. We have to function, but we have to limit some behaviours. Responses to the pandemic cannot simply be based on medicine, but must factor in an awareness of what society needs to cope and function, and how humans behave under pressure.

The lockdowns have been too clumsy - not clinical enough. Some have banned things they did not need to. Others have failed to mandate masks. Be better at this.

Openly address peoples' fears: Make it clear that this is not the beginning of an endless Orwellian despotism. Governments have persistently failed to offer enough hope, underestimating how much it matters.

And don't take advantage of the pandemic to get away with stuff - it just makes you look suspicious and untrustworthy. Put off other, planned social manipulation.

After all that, politicians will have done as much as they can do. Those still refusing vaccinations will always refuse them. They are not alone - there are many who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. So you just have to be honest about their circumstances, expand medical care capacity, and get on with things.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

American life has been intensely politicised since Trump became president.

Well, that's when it started to get out of control, but that was after a 20 year buildup. After the Republicans so insanely fouled up Afghanistan and then Iraq, the people voted in a half-black president. Being put in their place enraged them, and to have it done by a black man was intolerable. So they went on an eight-year rampage of obstructionism, reality denial, and "alternative facts". They stopped trying to work for the people, and instead started to work for their ideology.

It only started to be an out of control steam engine when they elected Trump. They'd been putting coals into the burner for years before that though.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Amazing calling conservatives 'science deniers' when the left hate evolutionary psychology regarding sex differences and other differential aspects of human development to the point of denying that sex, for example, is of any consequence at all (this is often how transgend

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The reason that so-called conservatives and members of the far-right are anti-science and scorn the vaccine is because of only one thing - money....

The far-right media hate machine and their complicit Repub politicians have to keep their base in a constant state of grievance and anger. Don't listen to those epidemiologists and scientists - only listen, watch, and buy books and premium memberships from us. We'll tell you the truth - and the truth is "they" are trying to implant mind control chips in you with the vaccine, that COVID actually comes from 5G network towers, and the earth is really flat...

And those already weak of mind revel in their grievance, victim-hood, and kooky conspiracy theories inside the far-right bubble...

That is until they wake up in the ICU with a ventilator shoved down their throat....

It's not a surprise that the job with the highest mortality rate in the US today is a conservative, anti-vax radio talk-show host...

In recent weeks, at least 7 different anti-vaccine and anti-mask conservative activists have ultimately died in hospital settings from COVID-19 and its complications. The men were radio hosts Bob Enyart, Phil Valentine, Marc Bernier and Dick Farrel, along with former CIA officer/conspiracy theorist Robert David Steele, South Carolina GOP leader Pressley Stutts, and anti-vaccine activist Caleb Wallace. All had used their platforms to push various bits of misinformation about the virus, masks and the vaccines, and all were ultimately brought low by the very virus they refused to take seriously. Sadly, several recanted of their anti-vaccine stances in particular before passing away, but by then it was too late.

https://www.pastemagazine.com/politics/coronavirus/covid-anti-vaccine-anti-mask-radio-hosts-dead-tucker-carlson-fox-news/

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The elephants in the room ignored by this academic: Nikki Minaj and the fact that (deeply Democratic) blacks have the lowest COVID jab rate in America.

Not that I blame them. Generations of scientists and governments using people as guinea pigs is a legit reason to reject “science.”

6 ( +7 / -1 )

After the Republicans so insanely fouled up Afghanistan and then Iraq,

Not just the Republicans, Democrats as well

the people voted in a half-black president. Being put in their place enraged them, and to have it done by a black man was intolerable

No, his toxic policies did, not him as a person or him being black.

So they went on an eight-year rampage of obstructionism, reality denial, and "alternative facts". They stopped trying to work for the people, and instead started to work for their ideology. 

Absolutely, not, just like when the Republicans are in office both sides try to obstruct each other, Democrats didn’t like Trump’s policies and the GOP hated Obama’s policies, that’s politics, sadly.

It only started to be an out of control steam engine when they elected Trump.

And now it metastasized and accelerated under Biden and things politically are worsening given the fact that the nation is not a center left nation overwhelmingly and the repercussions of that are more obvious than ever.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I think that a lot of the narrative on right wing politics seems a bit removed from on-the-ground realities. I would say that the main reason is because right-wing folk do not have any trust left in federal government institutions - the majority understand and support science.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Politics aside, questioning accuracy of any claim on any subject is what science is all about.

Demanding lock step acceptance and subjecting doubters to ad hominem attacks is an example of the science of totalitarian mass manipulation and control, of that there is no denial.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Huh?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

left hate evolutionary psychology regarding sex differences and other differential aspects of human development to the point of denying that sex

The left is everyone that's not on the right. I'm left, and I don't fit this description of yours - I think that stuff is silly too. You're trying to make all of us own the extreme. Sorry, us moderates hate the far-left as much as the far-right.

The biggest difference is that the far-left are a small percentage of the left - overwhelmingly we're normal people with balanced views. The right however is mostly far-right nowadays. There are very few traditional conservatives left, the majority went extremist over the past five years.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Politics aside, questioning accuracy of any claim on any subject is what science is all about.

That's incomplete. Science is about asking questions, and following the data. Anti-vaxxers are about asking questions, not listening to the answers, and not following the data.

The former have brought society to where we're at. The latter are useless byproducts of a society with too much free time on its hands, and too many morons who think they are smart enough to read a bit on the internet and know more about a subject than the experts.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is not a surprise at all given the education gulf between liberals and conservatives. The gulf favors liberals, in case it wasn’t painfully obvious.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The gulf favors liberals, in case it wasn’t painfully obvious.

How do you make that determination?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

bass4funkToday  06:40 pm JST

> How do you make that determination?

Remember, you chronically use surveys and polls when they support you (and claim they are biased and inaccurate when they don’t because you’re consistent).

Highly educated adults – particularly those who have attended graduate school – are far more likely than those with less education to take predominantly liberal positions across a range of political values. And these differences have increased over the past two decades.

https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2016/04/26/a-wider-ideological-gap-between-more-and-less-educated-adults/

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Remember, you chronically use surveys and polls when they support you (and claim they are biased and inaccurate when they don’t because you’re consistent).

As do the left to support their underlying argument.

Highly educated adults – particularly those who have attended graduate school – are far more likely than those with less education to take predominantly liberal positions across a range of political values.

*

Again, you can make that exact same claim about conservatives, the lists are endless. Now it is true that conservative (and to their detriment have left the education field for going into private business, a lot of liberals remained, but luckily you are starting to see conservatives slowly re-enter the educational field, because we need various viewpoints from all political angles and not just from the left and only the left.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Again, you can make that exact same claim about conservatives, the lists are endless.

Can you provide us with just one of these lists telling us that highly educated people tend to lean towards more conservative views?

Thanks in advance.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/only-six-percent-of-scien_n_229382https://www.huffpost.com/entry/only-six-percent-of-scien_n_229382

The Pew poll showing that only 6% of scientists and engineers in the USA identify as Republican is very telling. It says to me that the overwhelming majority of educated people reject the Republican Party, and its message of lies and dis-information.

We have had four people die of covid on the block where I live, and none of them were vaccinated. Conversely, no one who is vaccinated has died, on this block.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

That in no way backs up the idea that the majority of highly educated people tend more towards conservative ideas. 

It doesn't discount it either.

It’s just a list of people. 

Yes, powerful, influential and prominent people.

Can you provide something which addresses the point? 

I’m genuinely interested as I have been under the impression that the majority of the highly educated tend more towards more liberal ideas in the US.

I tend to focus more on the conservative side of the argument and in particular, the Black and Latino communities.

This was evident in by the voting preferences of the highly educated in recent elections. You often criticize these people as the liberal ‘elites’.

Yes, that is true and at the same time show the exact same praise for conservative ideology as well as various conservative scholars and philosophers. 

Thanks in advance. Remember, a list of highly educated people who tend conservative isn’t of any use whatsoever here.

Hmm, that is just your personal opinion. I think differently. It does address the point in that it offers a glimpse of how these people and I listen to a variety of them have a lot of serious views on the issue of COVID, but as deep, detailed as they are, they do see a pattern of how liberals have pushed and weaponized this virus and to wield it to their political advantage and now the conservatives are about to do the same thing and switch it around on the Democrats next year. https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2021/sep/13/victor-davis-hanson-will-california-get-back-on/?opinion

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Moving "the goal posts of success in full public view" is a big part of the problem.

According to WaPo:

The document [an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slide presentation] outlines “communication challenges” fueled by cases in vaccinated people, including concerns from local health departments about whether coronavirus vaccines remain effective and a “public convinced vaccines no longer work/booster doses needed.”

It cites a combination of recently obtained, still-unpublished data from outbreak investigations and outside studies showing that vaccinated individuals infected with delta may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people infected with delta have measurable viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated and infected with the variant.

The presentation highlights the daunting task the CDC faces. It must continue to emphasize the proven efficacy of the vaccines at preventing severe illness and death while acknowledging milder breakthrough infections may not be so rare after all, and that vaccinated individuals are transmitting the virus. The agency must move the goal posts of success in full public view.

Matthew Seeger, a risk communication expert at Wayne State University in Detroit, said a lack of communication about breakthrough infections has proved problematic. Because public health officials had emphasized the great efficacy of the vaccines, the realization that they aren’t perfect may feel like a betrayal. “We’ve done a great job of telling the public these are miracle vaccines,” Seeger said. “We have probably fallen a little into the trap of over-reassurance, which is one of the challenges of any crisis communication circumstance.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/29/cdc-mask-guidance/

1 ( +5 / -4 )

One more, from the WaPo article:

{Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania}: “You don’t, when you’re a public health official, want to be saying, ‘Trust us, we know, we can’t tell you how,’” Jamieson said. “The scientific norm suggests that when you make a statement based on science, you show the science. … And the second mistake is they do not appear to be candid about the extent to which breakthroughs are yielding hospitalizations.”

Walter A. Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center, said he was struck by data showing that vaccinated people who became infected with delta shed just as much virus as those who were not vaccinated. The slide references an outbreak in Barnstable County, Mass., where vaccinated and unvaccinated people shed nearly identical amounts of virus.

“I think this is very important in changing things,” Orenstein said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/29/cdc-mask-guidance/

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Is there any hope of depolarizing the issue of COVID-19 vaccination, or trust in science itself?

The hope of depoliticizing this, and all other future health issues of importance, has always been transparancy in the provision of health care. Informed consent must never be an abstract concept, regardless of whether (or not) it conveniently fits within the current cultural or political narrative.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is rich. What do you call a scientist who denies the validity of vlife saving treatments? Treatment deniers? Or big pharma payout recipients?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Is there any hope of depolarizing the issue of COVID-19 vaccination

No. We may see a reduction of it as more of the unvaccinated die off, and more of the morons see someone who died unvaccinated and have a change of mind. But it won't be depolarized, the people who do switch and decide to get the vaxx keep it on the down-low so as not to have to admit their stupidity.

or trust in science itself?

I think that one will take a major collapse of a world economy first.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What do you call a scientist who denies the validity of vlife saving treatments?

Politicized.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

bass4funkSep. 20  08:53 pm JST

> Again, you can make that exact same claim about conservatives, the lists are endless. Now it is true that conservative (and to their detriment have left the education field for going into private business, a lot of liberals remained, but luckily you are starting to see conservatives slowly re-enter the educational field, because we need various viewpoints from all political angles and not just from the left and only the left.

No, you can’t make the same argument that conservatives are far more educated than liberals because no facts support that argument.

Sure thing.

https://www.ranker.com/list/republican-and-african-american-or-the-black-republican-list/famous-conservatives

This does not refute the facts I shared with a link to support those facts. As Jimizo pointed out, this is simply a list of people. Try again.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

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