The left started politicizing the vaccine before it was even available. You remember.
It wasn’t that long ago.
In 2020, during the vice-presidential debate, Kamala Harris said that “if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.” Andrew Cuomo huffed and puffed at the height of the pandemic, “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion.” Nancy Pelosi also sowed seeds of doubt while Trump was still in office, saying “unless there is confidence that the vaccine has gone through the clinical trials…there will be doubts that people will have.”
And even though the vaccines are still in Phase 3 of those clinical trials, anyone expressing doubts today, regarding the safety of the vaccines are being mercilessly criticized and mocked. President Biden says the unvaccinated are killing people. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said last month that it’s “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks.” CNN anchor Don Lemon said it’s time to blame the “selfish” and “ignorant” unvaccinated for COVID-19. Anthony Fauci says this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” because the unvaccinated distrust science. Many have even proffered that the unvaccinated deserve to die.
While the reasons may be varied that the unvaccinated remain so, perhaps it’s not so much they are selfish, or ignorant, or distrust science – perhaps it’s because they distrust government. And can you blame them?
Bill Clinton did unspeakable acts with an intern in the Oval Office. Barack Obama ran guns to Mexican drug lords, gave billions to terrorist states, and told us that “if we liked our doctor, we could keep our doctor.” Hillary Clinton wiped her illegal server, destroyed mobile devices, left Americans to die in Benghazi (lied about it), and took money from terrorist -producing countries. George W. Bush was wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Lyndon Johnson lied about Vietnam. Richard Nixon lied about Watergate.
As a result, trust in government is at an all-time low today. Only 22% of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right most of the time.
It wasn’t always that way, though. In 1958, 75% of Americans trusted the federal government to do what is right – most of the time.
But whether it’s been government doing too much of this, too little of that, the wrong things, or nothing at all, millions of Americans no longer believe the federal government is a force for good, or positive change in their lives. Maybe that’s because they’ve seen too many instances of influence peddlers corrupting the system, or politicians who are more interested in maintaining their power than serving the people.
Our problems don’t get solved, no one is held accountable, and the system never changes – whether it’s our southern border, Social Security, the national debt, race, taxes, education, religion, or the poor. In fact, many times the government exacerbates the issues. It’s why Ronald Reagan once said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
And we are a trust-deficit society today because of it. We’ve been promised so much – by so many for so long – and we’re just worn out listening to politicians who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.
At one time, journalists would ferret out fact from fiction. Investigative journalists would hold politicians accountable for what they did (and didn’t do), subject their rhetoric to scrutiny, and their claims to the light of day. Today, many journalists are instead writing the rhetoric they once scrutinized and censoring any opinions other than their own.
Echoed by the media, politicians tell us not to trust the police (to defund them). Not to trust white people (Critical Race Theory) or rich people (they just get richer). We’re told to distrust conservatives (they are racist). To question those who believe in God (the crazy religious right). To shame those who even as much as question the “conclusive” evidence of global warming (those “redneck” science deniers) or how many different genders there are (the bigots).
With this much distrust of each another in our country today, and censorship of both opinions and science, that are different than our government’s, is there any surprise that millions of Americans are skeptical of what they hear, or read?
You see, trust shapes how the world works. It’s the belief that someone or something can be relied on to do what they say they will. It forms the foundation to cooperate with one another. Without it, society unravels.
The “pandemic of the unvaccinated” or “vaccine hesitancy” is largely because the American people no longer trust their government to do what is right.
And until we start electing men and women again who not only want to be trusted, but are trustworthy, then this distrust – the unraveling of our country – will continue.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney, and author of Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great. He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and Trump elector. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at [email protected], and on American Ground Radio weeknights from 6 – 7 PM on 101.7FM/710AM KEEL, streaming live on keelnews.com, on iTunes, and at americangroundradio.com.