The fissures in our society

Yes, when COVID first hit, the large blue urban states suffered the most. But currently, that is no longer true; the states hit the hardest tend to have mediocre to low vaccination rates, and ..yep..the Republican states.

And so it goes; vaccination and risk mitigation behaviors tend to break along party lines, even as some notable Republicans (e. g. Mitch McConnell) have tried to encourage masks and vaccinations.

Yes, science is hard. Yes, liberals are on the right side of this issue. But the very fact that “liberals are for it” turns others off. Some conservatives admit this.

Yes, sometimes loud liberals say some moronic things and “liberals say it” does not mean that anyone else should trust it. But once something gets polarized in this manner, doing something that requires all but universal community buy-in (like stopping the spread of a contagious virus) becomes all but impossible.

What is ironic is that much of what I learned about safety (risk mitigation, redundancy) came from my time in the nuclear Navy…one of the most conservative institutions in the country!

Now I cannot blame liberals for conservatives balking at these measures; some of the blame is can be placed on their placing INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM above and beyond responsibility to the communities in which they live.

But I can say that liberals are absolutely awful at convincing. They are even awful at what I call constructive shaming.

For one: people are more likely to accept a message from someone that they respect, and a first step is to, well, become worthy of respect yourself. And I don’t mean “you think that you are awesome” or that you think that others should respect your opinions; I mean, do something that earns the respect of others..which cannot be coerced.

IMHO, too many liberals deny human nature; to them, everything human, including thoughts and unconscious bias, is a social construct, that can be overcome with a good scolding.

And too many are concerned with thoughts rather than actions; no, we often do NOT act on thoughts. Yes, I am aware that he is a conservative but..

What is frustrating at times that many of the liberals who say ridiculous things (e. g. making kids memorize times tables is oppressive or “gate keeping”) are themselves very good at certain things (e. g. math, science); in a dual way, they remind me of some of the brilliant engineers I have met who are also…young earth creationists!

They say “religion poisons the mind” and I think there is a kernel of truth to that, for both the conventional religions and the secular ones (e. g. wokeness)