SELFISH INSENSITIVE OR BOTH

Predicted by Politics?

The comedian-actor Timothy Alan Dick, known professionally as Tim Allen and sometimes known to me as a dick, is often not the smartest Allen wrench in the toolkit. When he got successful and didn’t agree with the government taxing half his salary, he became a conservative, or more accurately, a Republican.

As I studied both Republicans and Democrats over the years, the word ‘selfish” has come up many times. Here’s a story that pops into my head when I think of selfishness and try to understand how some people can be so downright insensitive. On April 1, 1996, the Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos were playing an Opening Day game where John McSherry was the home plate umpire. McSherry called a timeout seven pitches into the game, then he stumbled forward and collapsed. Resuscitative efforts were begun immediately on McSherry and he was taken to Cincinnati’s University Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. He was 51 years old. The story doesn’t end there.

Marge Schott, who was the rather colorful and outspoken owner of the Reds, supposedly said, “Snow this morning and now this. I don’t believe it. I feel cheated. This isn’t supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team. Nobody feels worse than me.” Schott said she was concerned for the 50,000 fans who might be unable to attend a makeup game if that day’s game was postponed. Selfish? Yes. A veteran of the baseball game died of a massive heart attack on the field, but it was her party and she wanted it to continue.

Cincinnati’s name was derived from the German name “Zinzinnati,” and the city has a large Oktoberfest every year. Ms. Schott was banned from managing the Cincinnati Reds from 1996 through 1998 due to her statements supporting German Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. Her disqualification came as no surprise to the many German descendants living in the city and Schott sold most of her shares in the team shortly after her suspension. Marge Schott’s maiden name was Unnewehr, and it’s ironic that she inherited the Cincinnati Reds when her husband died of a heart attack in 1968, just like umpire McSherry was taken down in 1996.

This research startled me. A recent CBS News poll found 34% of Republicans say they will not be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Independents aren’t too far behind, with 30% saying they will refuse the shots. Only 10% of Democrats say they’ll abstain. Republicans are the least likely to say “yes I will get the vaccine” or “I already got the vaccine” — 42% — compared to 46% of independents and 70% of Democrats. Why these vast differences?

I have a strong hunch that Donald Trump is lurking behind the numbers. He milked the position that “it’s only a bad flu” and “there’s nothing to worry about” so much that many of his party loyalists not only believe his crazy theories about light and bleach but they have never taken the pandemic seriously. Why should we have to postpone a baseball game just because someone died? Why should I have to get a shot? Someone else can do it. There are whackos who believe the government is using the shots to “track” people or think inoculation will change their DNA. It’s all crazy stuff. Most of them don’t realize that Trump and Melania got their shots back in January.

When we get a terrible headache, we don’t sit around and complain about it, we take an aspirin or pain killer. When someone breaks a leg, they get to the hospital as fast as they can unless they’re a Christian Scientist, which is a totally oxymoronic name for a religion. It’s selfish and insensitive for anyone not to do their part in defeating this virus. Why should political party affiliation have anything to do with it?

I’m not going to say that 66% of Republicans are good people and the remaining 34% are stupid, ignorant, self-serving bastards, but I could. I’m thinking about the jacket Melania Trump wore to see kids in cages at the border, “I really don’t care, do you?” I’ve come to the realization that if you don’t want to get the shot, fine. If you get Covid-19 and die, well, read the jacket, Jack.

Had Marge Schott been more thankful about all she had, perhaps she might have been more sensitive, but that wasn’t the case. On November 13, 1992, Cal Levy, a former marketing director for the Reds, stated in a deposition for Tim Sabo, a former employee who was suing the team, that he’d heard Schott refer to then-Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Dave Parker as “million-dollar niggers.” Oops, we all know that lady karma eventually gets her say.

Schott was a long-time chain smoker and toward the end she suffered from health problems. In 2004 she had to be put on life support, a ventilator, and she died in the hospital on March 2, 2004 at the age of 75. I had to laugh when a satirical comedy website posted, “Trump campaign announces they have received endorsement from Marge Schott’s reanimated corpse!” Of course, had she been alive she certainly would have endorsed Trump.

There’s another deep irony here. Many thinking people with conservative leanings tell us that each person should have a right to accept or decline the COVID vaccine. They think it should come down to a person’s choice. While being so pro-choice on this health measure, they are the very ones who would like to deny women’s reproductive rights. They would rather decline a Covid shot and put older adults at risk than terminate a fetus. Great logic.

It’s all a matter of whether THEY want to take the risk for themselves and their families. If they don’t get the vaccine and then get sick, or if they infect their loved ones with the virus, they are not only prolonging this crisis but potentially killing those they should be protecting. It’s way more than selfish, it’s stupid and foolish.

But hey, if 34% of Republicans don’t want the vaccine, and still want Trump to be president, what possible argument could I make to convince them of their bad thinking? 81 million Americans voted for Joe Biden and he is now the president. I’m going with the majority on this one. I got both shots, and I will soon see my grandkids. If you refuse inoculation, why don’t you reserve a ventilator now? Think ahead. And please stop telling me coronavirus is a hoax. I guess you will get the shot only if someone dies right before the start of the game. It’s the game of life. Do your part or fuck off.

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