By Yves Smith
A couple of years ago, when Lambert would talk about professional pundits and official Democratic spokescritters behaving as if they were trying to stoke civil war in the US, I thought he’d been spending too much time on Twitter and might benefit from a dose of smelling salts. It now looks like he was correct, albeit so early it was still possible that the impulse could have fizzled out or moved in another direction.
One of the reasons it’s hard to talk about this obvious yet diffuse and multifaceted development of actively fomenting class hatred is that it doesn’t fall tidily along demographic lines, as much as some factions would like to have you believe otherwise. It’s psychographic.
Hatred of The Other was supposed to a hallmark of the uneducated, provincial, and intolerant. Yet we now see bloody, vicious fantasies about what should happen to Them for being wrong-thinking and wrong-acting being not just voiced freely, but even applauded.
The immediate manifestation is open hatred for the unvaxxed. The Othering of them takes the form of depicting them as white Trump voting Bubbas, when vaccination rates happen to be relatively low also among blacks, Hispanics, and curiously, PhDs. In a belated admission that the media stereotyping of the unvaxxed is too narrow, minority vaccine-shunners are being rebranded as “vaccine deliberate.”1
One of the new big ways to despise The Bad (Presumed White) unvaxxed is to depict them as unworthy of receiving medical care for Covid because it’s supposedly their fault that they are in this fix. Yet no one bats an eye at treating smokers for cancer and COPD, or STD victims who presumably couldn’t be bothered to use a condom, or the overweight for heart attacks and diabetes or drunks who smash themselves up with their cars, or attempted suicides. If we’re going to go strong form “only the deserving get treated,” we could probably shrink the size of the medical industry by two-thirds.