Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

Way back in 1729, Irish cleric Jonathan Swift published a satirical essay to mock British attitudes toward the Irish poor. Called “A Modest Proposal,” it opined the Irish might improve their lot by selling their children as food to rich Britons. 

It was an absurd argument but it made the point about poor British treatment of the Irish.

Fast forward to modern-day South Carolina, a state with one of the nation’s highest rates of COVID-19. Here’s an immodest proposal: Republicans should continue to moan and groan about wearing masks and getting vaccinations because it will harken a Democratic rise to power. Then, maybe S.C. Democrats will show some vaccine leadership, instead of what we’ve got — the continued politicized kowtowing to a former president’s failed agenda. 

Yes, this too is an absurd argument. But doesn’t it have the bitter taste of possibility as the relentless delta variant shows no mercy and doesn’t infect based on politics?

Right now in South Carolina, anti-vax Republicans, including too many leaders in the state General Assembly, are among the loudest who scream the need for freedom from mask and vaccination mandates. But if rank-and-file Republicans continue to listen to this garbage, and resist vaccinations, Darwinian logic and common sense dictate the destiny they will chart: A higher rate of death, which will lead to fewer Republicans and, in turn, a higher percentage of Democrats. With more than 10,000 deaths in the Palmetto State due to pandemic, fewer Republicans in the voting pool could lead to changes ahead.

Doesn’t it make more sense to just get the jab, which, despite protests of conspiracy theorists, is viewed by scientists as safe and effective? Just last week, MUSC Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Scott Curry said there’s a rise in breakthrough infections among those who are vaccinated, but they face a much different fate than the unvaccinated: 

“There’s a big difference between feeling like you have a cold for a few days from a breakthrough infection versus being on a ventilator if you’re unvaccinated,” said Curry. “If you don’t want to risk being on a ventilator, I suggest you get vaccinated.”

Vaccine resisters should heed the Sept. 11 message of former President George W. Bush at a memorial service to
the heroes of downed Flight 93 in Pennsylvania:

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks,
I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures.
So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to
anger, fear and resentment.”

Bush called on Americans to unite again like the passengers on Flight 93 who, in the face of evil, put their country before their lives by making sure the jet wasn’t used as another airborne bomb.

“These Americans were brave, strong and united in ways that shocked the terrorists — but should not surprise any of us,” the former president said. “This is the nation we know. And whenever we need hope and inspiration, we can look to the skies and remember.”

If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, get the shot. Don’t let today’s divisive, anti-American politics win.