Vaccine and LBGTQ - The West’s New Ideological Schism

There are limits to how much speech freedom they’ll confer; how much political choice, or right to assembly, will be permitted.

  • Vaccine and LBGTQ - The West’s New Ideological Schism

‘Vaccinated America Has Had Enough’ is a piece that David Frum wrote in The Atlantic. In it, Frum mused: “Does Biden’s America have a breaking point? Biden’s America produces 70% of the country’s wealth — and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America. Which is fine; that’s what citizens of ‘one nation’ (sic) do for one another … [Yet] the reciprocal part of the bargain is not being upheld … Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk - by people whose bills it pays?”

It's pretty clear, is it not?  People like Frum (famed speechwriter, and creator of the “Axis of Evil” slogan), say Blue America - which pays the bills - demands there be a limit both to their patience and their generosity for ‘Trump’s deplorables’.  There are limits to how much speech freedom they’ll confer; how much political choice, or right to assembly, will be permitted. Or, how much ‘ignorance’ will be allowed to fester. The western news landscape today is filled with angry articles indicating just how “fed up” are the vaccinated with the others’ ‘inadequacy’, viz:  I’m Tired of Being Nice to Vaccine Refusers.

Just to be clear - though blindingly obvious - this has nothing to do with vaccine science, but rather the reverse, since it comes precisely at a moment when on Tuesday, America’s CDC u-turned to advocate the wearing of masks indoors. The game-changer, it is reported, was data showing that vaccinated people infected with the highly infectious delta variant, carry the same viral load as unvaccinated people who are infected. 

There may be a sound medical case for vaccination, but given the little we know about this virus, and the nothing we know about the longer-term effects of these experimental vaccines, the debate has no deep roots, and has turned ideological and a tool of narrative war:  It’s about punishing the vaccine-hesitant  (whom, disingenuously, the proponents of vaccine-coercion conflate with opposition Trump supporters), yanking services and denying them access to schools, restaurants and transport. For these murderous ‘holdouts’ are, Biden suggests, “killing people”. They are, in short, ignoramuses revolting against their betters. 

Exclusionary ideology is not new: In the past, the Washington Consensus was the ideological signifier in western foreign policy. If a state held aloof from embracing the Consensus-led, ‘liberal’ economic order, it suffered excommunication and denial of access to the global economy – being branded by their Consensus ‘betters’, as an unstable and malign security threat. 

What is different today is that exclusionary ideology is being turned-in, upon itself.  Turned-in, within western societies, and not just outwards, towards those ‘barbarians’ in the jungle just beyond the ‘city wall’ as before.  Now, key segments of domestic society are being morally shamed, and exiled from full participation in their societies – and threatened with sanctions - which if implemented - could destroy their livelihood.  

Primarily, it is the ‘unvaccinated’ who are deemed morally inadequate, but the scope of the new moral ideology extends more widely, and includes those who fail to embrace the green agenda and LBGTQ rights uncritically.  Only this month, Christine Lagarde promised that the ECB would extend the exclusionary process by declaring that the ECB will not buy the bonds of companies that did not conform to the ECB green agenda – thus effectively restricting capital to these un-greened enterprises.

And here we go full circle: As the borders of the woke cultural warfare expand wider, its moral ideology is being projected outwards: with the EU discovering the central importance of expressing its values through the prism of the place of homosexuality in society. European values now have come to seem quite abstract, compared to the immediacy of the rights of LGBTQ communities. War has been opened with Orbàn and the traditional cultures of eastern Europe.

Establishment media insist these politically self-serving narratives on vaccination, the climate ‘emergency’ and LBGTQ rights represent the new ‘dividing line’, defining majority over minority. Macron’s spokesperson, for example, Gabriel Attal pitches the vaccinated as the ones ‘ready to work’ against a capricious minority that prefers to protest against it.  The privileges of the vaccinated truly have become the live rail of US and European politics - and the Euro-élites believe themselves to be on a roll against populists.

For now, it might seem so - yet the political consequences of mandatory vaccination, and the EU hype on LBGTQ, may return to haunt them. Do they really believe that teaching children gender fluidity and trans-genderism defines the European majority?   Deep polling suggests not. Mandatory vaccines rather, is a perfect theme for the Right - one that will far outlast the epidemic.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.
Alastair Crooke

Director of Conflicts Forum; Former Senior British Diplomat; Author.