A White Conservative F You to America

“To many medical providers working today, the rejection of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines feels like a giant “Fuck you” from 29 percent of American adults.”

Media outlets like the Atlantic under-estimate the extent to which medical people and their research are suspected by white conservatives–especially in deep rural areas like my area of Eastern KY, my hometown of Waverly, NY, or Northern PA where men and women both sides of my family settled in the 1700’s.

Doctors and pharmacists are often viewed as “outsiders” and bear a stigma of “not being one of us” in a place where being “one of us” is important. That’s even more the case when medical people are from places like India, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and especially when they aren’t white. The sense of medical people as outsiders in this part of Kentucky is increased by the lengthy education of MD’s in a region where barely 10% of the population has undergraduate degrees in most counties. There is also a felt opposition between medicine and evangelical religion and an association of science with “liberalism” that’s looked on with suspicion as well.

However, the FU being given by white conservatives to vaccines is a deeply felt rejection of American “society” as it’s developed over the last 20 years. First black president, gay marriage, Black Lives Matter, women in the military, “Me too,” trans rights, climate change, the environment,–Billy Joel could write another version of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” about everything that bothers white conservatives about America but it all adds up to America becoming a foreign country that conservatives especially hate because they think it used to be theirs. In the sense, white conservatives are saying FU to the vaccine as a way of saying FU to America (while waving the flag).

White Conservatism and Child Sacrifice

White conservatives in the State of Tennessee are now triggering a large-scale, ritualistic sacrifice of their own children. The relevant event is an edict by the Tennessee Department of Health to suspend communications concerning childhood and adolescent vaccines. From the Tennessean:

The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents.

The rationalizations from the Department of Health seem to be that Tennessee wants to stress the authority of (white conservative) parents in relation to vaccinations and that the public health authorities avoid attacks from the right-wing media apparatus.

But there’s something more archaic going on. Republican state lawmakers, conservative media types, and religious leaders are all aware of the statistics on Covid and equally aware that a percentage of children would become seriously ill or die from diseases like hepatitis, rubella, whooping cough, measles, mumps, chicken pox, and polio.

The areas of concern span much farther than just the COVID-19 vaccine, though. The new TDH policy applies to all vaccines — even common childhood vaccines such as Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps, Polio, and even hepatitis.

What it gets down to is that white conservatives in Tennessee are not only willing but INSIST on a percentage of their children being sacrificed. Of course, human sacrifice has a long history in Western culture. Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia to change the winds was part of the Homeric saga of the Trojan War, written anew in Classical Greece by poets like Euripides, and re-staged recently in “Troy: Fall of a City.” However, the champions of child sacrifice around the ancient Mediterranean appear to be the Carthaginians who practiced child sacrifice on a massive scale right up to the final conquest by Rome in 146bce.

There was a peculiar dualism in Carthage . . . in which the thrust for commerce, prosperity and the good life were blended with a religion so intense that the richest Carthaginian could cheerfully consign a son or daughter to the flames of the sacrificial pit to redeem a pledge to the gods.”

What’s different about Tennessee conservatives (really white conservatives in general) is that the Carthaginians sacrificed their children to propitiate the gods while Tennessee conservatives are setting up the sacrifice more as a PROTEST against public health as am emblem of science as an element of the emergence of the United States as a multicultural, socially liberal, and secular society. Conservatives in Tennessee are so deeply offended by all of these developments that they’re willing to see their kids die rather than cooperate in science-based vaccination.