He was for the COVID-19 vaccines before he was against them, but now Florida’s governor is all-in on vaccine skepticism—and hoping to use the issue to outflank Trump on the right. With the presidential primaries looming, and MAGA activists angling to turn Trump against the vaccines he helped fast-track, experts fear anti-vaxxism could soon become an official plank of the Republican Party.
If you really want to get the support of the faction of the population that wants personal autonomy above all, “to go to Hell in their own way”, championing anti-vaxxism is the way to signal you agree with them — personally self-destructive, socially irresponsible, but the ultimate put-down to the prissy scolds who want to get people to stop drinking even one beer a day. Or more specifically, to disempower those who would claim “science” as the mantle to dictate to people how they must live their lives.
“I come from the West … where we think it is the right of every American to go to hell and be damned if he wants to. This is not humor – it is the truth.” — C.E.S. Wood, speech to Democrats at the Manhattan Club, NYC, 1902