Certainly, public life is an honorable endeavor. Politicians, artists, and public personalities, have a prolific public life, always on the quest for relevance in the spotlight. But what happens when we deviate from ethics, truth, and honor in public life, can we kill with our mere words?
Only recently, Republican politicians, some members of the conservative media, and other conservative media personalities have discouraged people to get vaccinated for Covid-19. These spreaders of misinformation, misplaced skepticism, and outright lies have led to lower vaccination rates among conservatives in the United States. In a recent survey, 58% of unvaccinated Republicans do not plan to get vaccinated for Covid-19, compared to 18% of Democrats. The vaccine coverage in the United States has lagged among Republicans, with some surveys reporting self-identified Republicans are the 48% of the unvaccinated population.
The rationale behind these lies is purely political, all of them out betting themselves to please Trump, and the consequences are unquestionable, unvaccinated people are dying, with recent data showed that 99% of people dying were unvaccinated. A part of the resistance to vaccination, is the sense of community provided among conservative circles. Humanity is sociable, likes to fit in, to be part of a tribe. For these unvaccinated people, the sense of community, of belonging, is more important to their lives than a vaccine. As Ms. Goldberg of the New York Times argues, the loneliness of these people is palpable. To their eyes, a vaccine may or may not save their lives, but the lack of community would certainly doom them.
A reckoning for these lies will come. Only yesterday, the change in tone among Republican politicians and media personalities was swift after the Dow Jones, and index of market futures and the overall economy going forward, crashed 2% due to pandemic concerns the day before yesterday. Not to mention the fact that Republican voters are dying in large numbers.
Indeed, what a sad day it was, self-interest trumping ethics.
When will responsibility and honor breach the wall of selfishness among conservative leaders? Where did the self-imposed so-called morality of these leaders went? Where is the outrage of seen people die for these lies?
The moral responsibility cannot rest on Democrats alone, in the end, it is our world, not the Democrats’ world. And despite all, despite the self-centeredness, I have hope for the times where incremental improvements to our society will come. While hoping for this day, where is our moral courage?