You have heard the phrase “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” right? It’s a popular saying used to describe a better way to get people to do what you want. While I have no idea why anyone would want to catch flies, the overall point is apt. Being a douchebag is typically not the best course of action when it comes to persuasion.
Yet, this is the exact behavior high-profile left-leaning politicians, media figures, and influencers have clung to since vaccines became a thing. Fox News published a piece noting how mainstream activist media outlets have attempted to shame Americans into taking the jab. Author Brian Flood wrote:
A Washington Post columnist on Tuesday praised French President Emmanuel Macron for a series of discouraging remarks he made about the unvaccinated, urging readers globally to make life a “living hell” for those who choose to forego the vaccine. The opinion column titled “Macron is right: It’s time to make life a living hell for anti-vaxxers,” was the latest example of liberal journalists and news organizations calling for Americans who declined the COVID vaccine to be treated poorly.
Other leftist media activists have suggested shaming or punishing the unwashed unvaccinated as an effective way to push them to roll up their sleeves. “MSNBC’s far-left host Joy Reid even suggested that unvaccinated Americans should suffer financially while speaking to a medical contributor wearing a ‘Fauci’ t-shirt,” Flood wrote.
Columnist Michael Hiltzik recently penned a piece for the Los Angeles Times in which he urged readers to publicly mock anti-vaxxers who die from the virus. He wrote:
On the one hand, a hallmark of civilized thought is the sense that every life is precious.
On the other, those who have deliberately flouted sober medical advice by refusing a vaccine known to reduce the risk of serious disease from the virus, including the risk to others, and end up in the hospital or the grave can be viewed as receiving their just deserts.
Hiltzik argued that people “must view every one of these deaths as a teachable moment” because they “demonstrate in the most vivid way imaginable the folly of vaccine refusal and of flouting responsible public health measures.”
But wait, there’s more!
Daniel Lippman, a media activist with Politico, recently asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki why President Joe Biden hasn’t done more “scolding” of the unvaxxed. He said:
“Since there are millions of Americans who have not been persuaded by the various government campaigns to get vaccinated, why hasn’t the president focused more on scolding the unvaccinated to try to tell them, hey, this is not working for society, we keep getting these shutdowns.”
CNN’s Don Lemon also supported the idea of shaming “stupid” people who have not taken the jab. “I think we have to stop coddling people when it comes to … the vaccines, saying, ‘Oh you can’t shame them. You can’t call them stupid.’ Yes, they are,” he said last September, adding, “The people who are not getting vaccines who are believing the lies on the internet instead of science, it’s time to start shaming them or leave them behind.”
This is just a small sampling of instances in which members of the press suggested shaming and punishment as a means for getting folks to fall in line. However, not all who are pro-vax think this is the right way to address the matter. Vanderbilt University professor of critical care Dr. Wes Ely disagreed with this notion. “Shaming people does not change behavior, and in fact, it can get them more entrenched in their current behavior,” he told Fox News Digital.
“We all want to do something that will be effective, not ineffective,” he continued, insisting that educating people on the science is far more helpful than mistreating them.
Therein lies the rub.
Anyone with an IQ higher than my shoe size knows that berating people is one of the least efficacious ways of persuading them to do what you want. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that insulting people to get them to take the jab is about as wise as letting President Joe Biden babysit your eight-year-old daughter. If these people truly wished to get people to get vaccinated, they would grab the jar of honey and rely on that instead of bathing in vinegar.
Perhaps this isn’t really about the vaccine. These media activists might be deranged, but they are not stupid. They know they aren’t going to get people to get the injection by acting like jerks, but they do it anyway. This is proof positive they don’t truly care about the vaccine; they are concerned with promoting a political agenda. These folks are demonizing folks on the right for being hesitant to take the vax.
Oddly enough, they are not taking the same approach with black Americans, who share conservatives’ reticence. Instead, the left approaches melanated Americans by using persuasion without shaming. However, I will concede that having rapper Juvenile change his song to “Vax That Thang Up” was insulting as hell.
At the end of the day, it is not difficult to see that this behavior from the activist media is nothing more than mindless politicking. They don’t care if people get the vax. It is more important to convince the public that the unvaccinated are paranoid fools who listen to too many conspiracy theories. After all, that’s what’s truly important, right?