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Monday, Aug. 9, 2021

Early Daze

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They were against it before they were for it

The left started politicizing the vaccine before it was even available. You remember.

It wasn’t that long ago. Kamala Harris said that “if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.” Andrew Cuomo beamed, “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion.” Nancy Pelosi sowed seeds of doubt: “Unless there is confidence that the vaccine has gone through the clinical trials … there will be doubts that people will have.”

Even though the vaccines are still in Phase 3 clinical trials, anyone expressing doubts regarding the safety of the vaccines is being mercilessly criticized and mocked. President Biden says the unvaccinated are killing people. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said that it’s “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks,” and that “these folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.” CNN anchor Don Lemon said it’s time to blame the “selfish” and “ignorant” unvaccinated for COVID-19.

Anthony Fauci says this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” because the unvaccinated distrust science. Many have even proffered that the unvaccinated deserve to die.

While the reasons may be varied that the unvaccinated remain so, perhaps it’s not so much they are selfish, or ignorant, or distrust science – maybe it’s because they distrust government. And can you blame them?

Bill Clinton did unspeakable acts with an intern in the Oval Office. Barack Obama ran guns to Mexican drug lords, gave billions to terrorist states, and told us that “if we liked our doctor, we could keep our doctor.” Hillary Clinton wiped her illegal server, destroyed mobile devices, left Americans to die in Benghazi (lied about it), and took money from terrorist-producing countries. Nancy Pelosi wants you to believe that increasing unemployment benefits are one of the best ways to grow the economy. Lyndon Johnson lied about Vietnam. Richard Nixon lied about Watergate.

As a result, trust in government is at an alltime low today. Only 22% of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right most of the time.

It wasn’t always that way, though. In 1958, 75% of Americans trusted the federal government to do what is right most of the time.

But whether it was the government doing too much of this, too little of that, the wrong things or nothing at all, many people no longer think the federal government can be a force for good or positive change in their lives. Maybe that’s because money has corrupted our government, or politicians have become more interested in maintaining their power and less interested in serving the people.

Our problems don’t get solved, no one is held accountable, and the system never changes – whether it’s our southern border,

Social Security, the national debt, race, taxes, education, religion or the poor. Many times the government exacerbates the issues. It’s why Ronald Reagan once said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

And again, we are a trust-deficit society today because of it. We’ve been promised so much – with very little to show for it.

The media doesn’t help. At one time, journalists would ferret out fact from fiction. Investigative journalists would hold politicians accountable for what they did (and didn’t do) and subject their rhetoric to scrutiny and their claims to the light of day. Today, the media is part of the rhetoric and more interested in censoring opinions other than their own.

Politicians tell us not to trust the police (to defund them). Not to trust white people (critical race theory) or rich people (they just get richer). We’re told to distrust conservatives (they are racist). To question those who believe in God (the religious right). To shame those who even question the “conclusive” science of global warming and gender (they are science deniers).

So, with so much fear and division already sown, is there really any surprise that millions of Americans might not trust what politicians have to say about a vaccine?

Trust shapes how the world works. It’s the belief that someone or something can be relied on to do what they say they will. It forms the foundation to cooperate. Without it, society unravels.

For those in government, as well as the media, who are blaming the unvaccinated for not trusting the vaccines or questioning the science, maybe you should take a good, long look in the mirror and see what’s staring back at you.

It’s not really complicated to see. This “pandemic of the unvaccinated” is mainly because only 22% of Americans trust our government to do what is right.

So, to those government officials lamenting the unvaccinated’s skepticism of government or the science – remember, it didn’t have to be this way.

If you wanted to be trusted, though, you have been trustworthy first.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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