Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccination warrants exemplifies the Republican philosophy of “doing what a 3-year-old would do.”


Republican politicians have long been willing to set aside certain conservative principles for the sake of the group. Their concerns about deficits don’t apply when deficits are created by upper-bracket tax cuts, while their concerns about government spending don’t apply to spending on entrepreneurs, like those of the defense industry, who often hire former Republican officials.

The MAGA era, however, hastened the abandonment of current Conservatism to the point that hardly anything remains that drives party decisions. Republicans have long argued, for example, that “big government regulations” are a problem and that local officials should be given as much autonomy as possible. They dived into it ignore this idea when, say, a blue city in a red state wanted to raise its minimum wage. But the notion of local control was completely abandoned during COVID as one Republican state government after another has has tried To to prohibit cities and school districts to establish public health standards. This week, for example, the administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis imposed a $ 3.57 million fine to a county for breaking state law against “vaccine passports.”

Even more shocking betrayal has befallen business owners. One of the most consistent historical missions of the Republican Party across all branches and levels of government has been to support the right of businesses, large and small, to impose conditions on their employees without interference from regulators or regulators. unions. But neither: This week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a decree prohibiting private companies in his state from requiring their employees to be vaccinated. Senator Ted Cruz made some more trivial and squeaky news in a similar vein by posting statements of support for NBA goalie Kyrie Irving, whose own employer (the Brooklyn Nets organization) just announced that he won’t let him participate in games or training until he proves that he was trapped.

Like the Texas Tribune Explain, Abbott’s edict conflicts with federal COVID rules for many employers and will almost certainly be challenged in court; two Texas-based airlines with pre-existing vax requirements (US and Southwest) have already simply stated that they are not considering changing their policies. (A judge in Texas just expanded a restraining order against another airline, United, which seeks to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave; this decision is unrelated to Abbott’s ordinance.) But it is a symbolic attack on the prerogatives of business owners that is especially noticeable given the warmth the South Dakota governor has received from media and activists aligned with Trump for refusing to issue a similar ban. .

If local governance and the rights of business owners are no longer core Republican priorities, what are they? The standard, half-joking answer is that the party’s main mission in the MAGA era is simply to own the libraries, which in effect means attacking any policies or values ​​associated with Democrats. And to some extent, that is the logic of operation when it comes to COVID. As recently as late August, Abbott was firmly defend the right of private companies to mandate or not what they want. But that was before President Joe Biden announced that some employers would be forced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require vaccinations. The Republican position has therefore become that employers must not do so, even if they wish for practical reasons such as back to office plans, recruitment needs, or customer preferences.

But Republicans have long campaigned on the principle of giving the know-it-all progressives a middle finger. What is arguably different now is that the know-it-all group has grown to include anyone who says “no” to a restless MAGA supporter, even if that person is the owner of a business. company, a head of elections in a county that Trump won, or a true chosen one aligned with MAGA like Noem. This position is draped in rhetoric about personal choice. and bodily autonomy, but Republican politicians only celebrate individuals who choice to avoid vaccination. This rejection, like the refusal to recognize unfavorable events such as the 2020 elections, or even thoughts on, for example, the role of racism in US history – is the value they actually feel should be prioritized. In this light, the virtual deification of Donald Trump, a businessman who is not really good at running companies and who generally puts an end to projects in conflict with his lenders, entrepreneurs, and customers-is appropriate. The only thing Trump is really good at is being rude.

Those with young children will recognize the party’s behavior as “provocative” or “opposition”. It has no other purpose than showing authority, but the fact that it’s fundamentally absurd doesn’t make it any less powerful, more manageable, or less destructive. You suggested having ice cream, and for that reason only, they hate ice cream, and in addition, three boxes of just-sorted toys were thrown on the floor. There’s a reason why, so far, we haven’t given 3-year-olds responsibility for entire states and countries.

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