The Republican Plot to Stop Herd Immunity & Flip America Into Authoritarianism

The GOP and Trumpsters are willing to sicken more Americans to regain political power

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Well, it’s all out in the open now. Donald Trump and his homicidal cronies actively worked to damage America’s public health infrastructure, so 500,000 Americans ended up dying unnecessarily. All to push America deeper into authoritarianism.

Back in the Spring, we saw the Trump administration turn on a dime after the April 7th revelation that Covid was mostly killing Black people and was worse in Blue states. They actively walked away from initial efforts in March to get the Covid crisis under control, thinking that blaming things on Blue State Democratic governors would benefit them politically.

Which would aid their 40-year plan to take down democracy and replace it with corporate- and billionaire-run authoritarianism.

Now we see, in documents just unearthed by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Outbreak and reported in The Washington Post, that in the Fall, in the three months leading up to the election, the Trump administration and their Republican allies actively sabotaged the CDC.

All so they could continue to mislead Americans about the dangers of this disease — again, for political gain so they can push us deeper into authoritarianism.

History tells, and Trump well knew, that presidents rarely get reelected when they preside over an economic disaster. Thus, Trump was doing everything he could to push Americans back into the workplace and back into stores, restaurants and shops to juice the economy.

The result, of course, was an explosion of Covid cases and deaths in the last three months of last year.

But that’s all history now. Trump is no longer running for reelection, and even pushing people to take Covid risks to get the economy going at this point seems like it would only benefit President Joe Biden.

Yet Republicans continue to push myths and scare stories about coronavirus vaccines, and to play down the seriousness of the disease, and to discourage people from getting vaccinated.

To stop this pandemic in the United States, we have to hit between 70 and 90% vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. Yet this Republican reluctance to get vaccinated will almost certainly prevent America from reaching those levels of protection.

So why, after pitching “herd immunity” through the last four months of Trump’s presidency, would Republicans now actively work to prevent America from hitting a vaccination rate that would guarantee it?

Donald Trump and his wife, for example, were both vaccinated against coronavirus in the last weeks of his administration, but went out of their way to keep it secret.

Right wing media, including Fox News, continue to promote bizarre stories that contribute to “vaccine hesitancy.”

As a result, among rural people who say that they definitely will not get vaccinated, almost 3/4 identify as a Republican or Republican-leaning, and 41% are white evangelical Christians.

How does preventing herd immunity and encouraging the death of more Americans possibly benefit the Republican Party today?

The answer is fairly obvious: if they can prevent a Democratic governor or President Joe Biden from getting a handle on the pandemic, they can blame them for the failure. People will die, but they get their political gain, what they hoped for a year ago but missed (letting 500,000 Americans die in the process).

Seriously, it’s most likely that craven and disgusting; it’s simply a variation on what they did before the end of the year, but they miscalculated back then and it ended up hurting, rather than helping, the GOP.

Having learned that lesson, they apparently now want to inflict the same pain on Biden and Democratic governors who are today in charge and thus will take the political heat for any Covid failures.

In Michigan right now, for example, Republicans in the state legislature are actively working to thwart Democratic Governor Whitmer’s efforts to get the pandemic under countro.

Making Covid worse will also keep our economy depressed, which further diminishes the chances of Democratic wins (particularly governors and US Senators) in the midterm elections next year.

Some would call this assertion a “conspiracy theory,” but just look at what’s going on and what went on last Fall. How else can we explain Republican governors like Abbott and DeSantis actively working to promote more infections, and Fox hosts and guests encouraging people to avoid vaccination?

How else can we explain billionaire-funded rightwing websites and media outlets promoting scary stories about vaccine, or downplaying the damage this disease can do to people?

They’re apparently willing to kill another half-million Americans to try to gain and hang onto political power while strengthening their own authoritarianism by spreading fear and confusion.

And if it throws the nation into chaos, all the better for the authoritarians within the Republican Party who are thirsting for power.

That “authoritarian” word sounds like strong language, but, seriously, do you think that if Donald Trump had been able to get a few Republican Secretaries of State to flip the election for him and hang onto power, that there would ever again be a free and fair election in this country?

Not to mention GOP efforts to sabotage democracy across the nation with over 300 voter suppression bills sitting in State legislatures right now.

And when a country has abandoned democracy as a governing principle, what is left? The world’s two major authoritarian models right now are oligarchic authoritarianism (Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia) or capitalist-communist authoritarianism (China, Vietnam).

We’re definitely not going to go communist, and we can clearly see that flat-out racist, corporatist authoritarianism is the direction the GOP has been pushing America for forty years.

Citizens United is their governing principle, as it lets authoritarian billionaires secretly fund an entire spectrum of political and social media activity while undermining faith in democracy.

This makes clear the meaning of “the death cult of the Republican Party.” And the role of “conservative” and social media in this genocidal effort.

Getting to herd immunity is the key to restoring normal economic and political activity in America, and the GOP — from the federal to the state level — is actively working against it.

It’s time to call them what they are: authoritarians who want to take down democracy and don’t care if it kills another half-million Americans in the process.

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