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CPAC goes Anti-Vax

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As a quick recap, the Trump administration and its allies responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by downplaying it, ignoring it, and calling it a hoax. After Trump’s defeat, the right persisted in treating the pandemic as a political game, attempting to score points with their base. While Trump got vaccinated early on, many on the right have embraced a virulent and flamboyant anti-vax position. At the 2021 CPAC, Alex Berenson accused Dr. Fauci and others of using coercion to try to get Americans vaccinated. Berenson said, “They were hoping, the federal government was hoping, they could sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated.” The crowd loved this, wildly applauding the extensive resistance to vaccination during an ongoing pandemic. As one would expect, numerous false claims were advanced at CPAC. Scare tactics and appeals to anger were also quite popular. Madison Cawthorn presented an excellent example of using a slippery slope fallacy (claiming that one thing will follow from another without providing evidence for the connection) and scare tactics (using the creation of fear as a substitute for evidence). He asserted, without evidence, that Biden’s plan for community outreach for vaccination could lead to a scenario in which the government “could then go door-to-door to take your guns. They could then go door-to-door to take your Bibles.” While some on the right might feel that this is true because it matches their fevered nightmares of a world that will never be, there is no evidence that the mechanisms used for vaccine outreach could be used for this purpose in any meaningful sense. One could, of course, draw a connection. But one could also argue that having public addresses could be used in the process of seizing guns and bibles. One could even make the claim that the existence of doors allows for this possibility. After all, if we had no doors, then the government could not go door to door to take our guns, bibles, and bible guns. While. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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