Given that Republicanism’s most obsessive motivation is to govern the country according to its own philosophies, you would think that there would be some point at which mass Republican death would be embarrassing enough to force Republican officials to reconsider their “what if we told everyone to get on with their lives” approach. You would be wrong. The Americans dying do not consist of anyone important enough for movement leaders to give two shits about. It’s not Ron DeSantis who’s having family members die off—Ron DeSantis happily got vaccinated as soon as Ron DeSantis could. It’s the nobodies watching Fox News who are doing most of the dying.
And it’s those dying American nobodies who are the targets of the Republican Party’s newest pandemic call to arms. Hey! Hey you! We’ve been doing our best to make sure you and your families are in as much public danger as possible. Don’t you think it’s time to hand over a bit of cash as our reward? We know you have money. We know you got a pandemic relief check, the one we all tried to stop you from getting. MONEY, PLEASE.
Yep. Republicans are now launching waves of fundraising messages to turn outrage over Democratic efforts to end the pandemic into hard cash for Republican war chests. The Daily Beast reports that the Republican National Committee has been flooding their mailing lists with fundraising pleas specifically targeting President Joe Biden’s “AUTHORITARIAN VACCINE MANDATE,” also known as the federal directive requiring federal workers and employees of large businesses to either get a free COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly tests to make sure they’re not infecting others.
Rather than encouraging their dying base to get vaccinated, the official Republican National Committee stance is that 700,000 pandemic deaths are nothing compared to the “EVIL” “UN-AMERICAN” “fascist” demand that Americans pitch in to get us to herd immunity. The reason they need more money from the Republican base is, according to them, so that they can launch lawsuits to block the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from enforcing the workplace safety rules.
The COVID-19 pandemic now poses considerably more danger to employee life and limb than getting your arm caught in heavy machinery does, but OSHA is allowed to regulate one but not the other. For now. It’s clear that new Republicanism isn’t too keen on policing how many people die in heavy machinery either, but that one doesn’t have nearly as much fundraising potential.
Again, there might be a case to be made against obligating vaccinations back when federal authorities had not fully approved the vaccine. Now it’s been proven safe and effective, and if employees still don’t want to get immunized even though most of America was willingly immunized against a laundry list of dangerous diseases because that is one of the things that makes modern civilization possible then those employees can get tested once a week for everyone else’s safety. Requiring childhood vaccinations before attending public school is not fascism. Asking people to save water during a drought or turn in scrap metal during a war is not authoritarianism.
Americans are asking other Americans to have a scrap of decency during a worldwide health emergency, and Republicans are bellowing that their whole world is coming to an end. Listen, assholes, the rest of us don’t want to die. You can lick farm equipment, gargle hamster urine, or whatever the latest anti-science health fad has you do. Knock yourselves out. But becoming a willing incubator for a disease that’s already killed 700,000 Americans and is still going strong is about as “un-American” as you can get.
Wait—no. Sending fundraising requests vowing to fight anyone who tries to keep burping sociopaths from becoming willing incubators for a disease that’s killed 700,000 Americans is as “un-American” as you can get. That’s the sort of thing that would make Jesus Christ punch you in the kidneys. How can you even live with yourself after pressing that send button?
So this, then, is the latest Republican scam. Republicans are certain that government should take no particular action to end the most deadly pandemic America has faced in a century. Republicans are certain that Americans should not be allowed to vote by mail to keep from catching the disease, and do not need relief money during a pandemic-fueled economic crash, and that it is fascist-authoritarian tyranny for cruise ships to ask you whether you have been vaccinated before they allow your runny-nosed visage to stumble through their floating vivarium, poking at everything on the buffet tables.
But first and foremost, the Republican Party believes that Americans ought to be paying them some serious cash to help the Republican Party keep the pandemic going. This isn’t a charity, after all. The people that brought you a fascist insurrection, nationwide election hoaxes, a new surge of voter suppression, performative border stunts, and anti-vaccine information piped directly onto your television screens are in this for a salary.