You really can’t tell by looking at us these days, but the United States was founded in such a way as to allow, if not outright foster and encourage, disagreement. The First Amendment was a handy way for the dudes who created the Constitution to give the American citizens the right to disagree not just with themselves, but with their own government. It makes for a really messy situation, but ultimately our country, at least on paper, believes that verbal battles are better than actual battles.
In a nation where disagreement is tolerated, it can only make sense, then, that there could be some fundamental differences of opinion.
For instance, some may think that tax rates should be high enough on the wealthy to ensure that the entire infrastructure their wealth depends on isn’t destroyed from lack attention or care, and others might think that taxation is theft because they’re twelve. Or, maybe some people in this country believe that a woman should be able to control her own genitals, while others wonder if they should be allowed outside to do anything but walk to the store for diapers and pie ingredients.
Lately, it’s come to my attention that we have another pretty significant chasm of thought that’s developed between the right and left wings of American political discourse. Put simply — where some are seeing tyranny, the rest are seeing “taking advice from trained medical professionals.”
But before you scoff at the people who act like vaccine mandates are literally the same as rounding up people and putting them on trains bound for death camps, just keep in mind it’s their right, okay?
It’s their right, as Americans living with that whole First Amendment thing to think and spout the most insane, crazy, scientifically illiterate, backwards bullshit they can think of. Sure, most of us don’t see seatbelts or sneeze guards as imperious overreach into our lives. But some people are, and I cannot stress this enough, fucking stupid.
And we still live in a country where being fucking stupid isn’t just okay, it’s a fundamental, foundational right.
Sure, most of us understand that the medical research community is made up, by and large, of people who were interested in doing their part to save humankind from the kinds of devastating loss of life that happens during pandemics. And, undoubtedly, the majority of us understand that when a private company says they want people to be vaccinated in order to work there, that company is only protecting its staff and its profits by making sure it has a healthy workforce that can actually work. We hold these views because we passed high school science class, and we don’t listen to hours of conspiracy theory drivel and right-wing propaganda every day.
Then there are the people who threaten teachers and school board members for following medical professionals’ advice, and there are those who are demanding Dr. Anthony Fauci be fired, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison at Guantanamo Bay. Yes, those people are unhelpful and unserious. Yes, those people are a danger to society, and yes, those people are absolutely, positively, stupid as fuck.
…and that is their right.
It’s their right to see that up is down, that water is dry, and that the sky is polka dotted. It is their right to be fucking stupid as utter fuck. It’s incredibly dumb to turn down a free, life saving vaccine that people are paying hundreds of dollars in other countries for. The limits to their stupidity are nil, and their willingness to perform acts of violence, idiocy, and voter suppression to achieve those goals are limitless.
No matter what we say, or do, no matter how much scientific data we give them, they don’t care. It doesn’t matter that sneeze guards save lives by keeping us from spreading our disgusting germs everywhere, and it doesn’t matter that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Just like it doesn’t matter how many times we show them data that putting a gun in as many morons’ hands as possible only leads to more morons dying.
We have to accept that one man’s tyranny is another man’s “taking the advice of trained medical professionals.” I don’t have any answers for how to square that circle. I have no idea how to bridge the gap. I just know the gap exists, and stupid people have every right to have the most elementary school level understanding and view of freedom and liberty as they want to have. It’s why were are doomed to an existence where we’re chained to our idiot cousins, dragging them kicking and screaming (about tyranny) into the modern age, and I honestly don’t have any clue how to get out of this quagmire.
You didn’t expect a comedian to have any answers did you?
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.