The Lynchpin

It has been darkly amusing watching many pundits and others being forced to finally confront anti-vaccinationism. For those of us who have been aware and opposed to this and other idiocies (e.g., creationism, global warming denialism), what we’re seeing is nothing new: science blogs were having many of these debates fifteen or so years ago that are being rehashed again today (and often more ineptly). But one of the key points that hasn’t been raised much in The Discourse, but is obvious to anyone who has dealt with creationists is these views often are part of a comprehensive world view and thus refractory to evidence (MAGA or otherwise; boldface mine):

The whole key to understanding the anti-vax pro-horse dewormer mentality is that it’s not just this one thing for these people. Admitting that they’ve been wrong about this isn’t like admitting you were wrong about thinking that Willie Mays hit 700 home runs or that Detroit is the capital of Michigan. To admit you were wrong about this thing in particular would be to pull on a thread that could unravel your entire social and political identity. For those in the right wing bubble/base, admitting error on this point basically requires a literal conversion experience. It would be like a former Christian fundamentalist coming to the view that the Bible isn’t actually the inerrant word of God. In other words, that’s not just some random fact, but THE fact, that holds every other part of the person’s world view together.

I wrote darkly amusing above because I’m trying not to get frustrated witnessing the same arguments from over a decade ago. Maybe now the punditocracy will finally understand what we’re up against, albeit perhaps too late (certainly too late for hundreds of thousands of Americans).

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4 Responses to The Lynchpin

  1. Beached says:

    Not until we get an entirely new punditocracy.

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  3. Daniel Becker says:

    You can see the effect you describe in the case of Terri Schiavo and how the right (especially the elected right in congress) responded. To have admitted the actual reality of Terri would mean admitting that there is something more to defining “life” and “living” than just a heart beat.

    To do that blows their entire argument against abortion.

  4. Ed says:


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