The Death Cult Party: A 2022 Update

Triumphant Death chases Londoners from their city, but country folk (right), fearful of disease, drive them back. The title artwork from a 17th century pamphlet on the effects of the plague in London

Readers already know that in 2021 the Republican Party had enthusiastically opposed every governmental effort to limit the casualties from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s just part of what WC believes to be the Republicans’ tendency over the last few years to embrace policies and positions that are contrary to survival. WC will offer a few data points to illustrate his thesis.

Opposition to Vaccination. It’s true that Donald Trump says he is vaccinated and boosted, after he famously caught – and callously spread – the coronavirus, so has some acquired immunity as well. But most Republicans adamantly refuse vaccination. At a rally of Trump sycophants, the Trumpster was booed when he said he was vaccination. Other prominent Republicans have made much of their refusal to be vaccinated, as well as spreading lies about the vaccines. Think Sarah Palin, for example. All this despite incontrovertible proof that the vaccines work. And U.S. deaths in excess of 900,000. Nothing but a death cult would take such a position.

Opposition to Face Masks. Mrs. WC calls folks who refuse to wear masks where they are required “maskholes.” And most Republicans are mask holes. The thing about masks is that when used properly, they work. The significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The reasons maskholes offer for refusing to wear masks are ludicrous and utterly selfish. Masks are an inexpensive, non-invasive and proven means of reducing the rate of infection. And that means reducing deaths. Only a death cult would claim masks are bad for your health. They are good for your health, and the health of people around you.

Opposition to Science. The Republican Party has moved beyond rejecting the science of vaccination and masks. Increasingly, they reject science altogether, indulging in quack nostrums (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine), absurd conspiracy theories and science denial. Never mind that it was science that freed humans from the cycle of epidemics. WC is old enough to remember when poliomyelitis cut through summers like an evil knife. That terror, along with most of the other plagues that have afflicted humankind, are gone, because of science. Only a death cult would deny science works.

Denial of Reality. What do Bob Enyart, Marc Bernier, Dick Farrel, Phil Valentine and Jimmy DeYoung Sr. have in common? All of them were conservative Republican talk show hosts, anti-vaxxers and maskholes who minimized or simply denied the risks of COVID-19. And all five of them are dead of the coronavirus. You’d think that might offer a lesson to their peers. You’d be wrong.1

Drinking the Koolaid™, or Jim Jones Lives!  

The death rate for fully vaccinated folks who have gotten their booster shot is 0.10 per 100,000. The death rate for the unvaccinated is 9.74 per 100,000. That’s the science. That’s the data. The only way the Republican Death Cult can try to rebut the data is to indulge in conspiracy theories: that the data is fake, that the deaths are fake, that there are secret risks to the vaccine. There’s no competent evidence for any of those claims. But in cult members, science and facts are much less important than what the cult leaders say. So here we are.

So, yeah, a Death Cult political party. A political party whose leaders are so cynical, so determined to cling to power, that they are willing to risk killing their supporters by the tens of thousands because it might, in the short term at least, help them cling to power.

1 Justin Peters speculates that the reason the right-wing radio commentators reject sensible approaches to dealing with the pandemic is that it might interfere with their sales of their own quack nostrums, whether they are Dennis Prager flogging Relief Factor, or Candace Owens touting colloidal silver, or the countless other right wing boom boxes marketing miracle cures. That’s pretty cynical, almost as cynical as the unindicted criminals selling the crap.