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Your right to be an idiot is sacred

The Village Explainer
Your right to be an idiot is sacred
By Dan McGarry • Issue #69 • View online
The Village Explainer is a semi-regular newsletter containing analysis and insight focusing on under-reported aspects of Pacific societies, politics and economics.
In this issue, we talk about the decision not to vaccinate.

Supe faked his immunisation records, too
Supe faked his immunisation records, too
Okay, so you don’t want to get the stick. That’s your right. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
In fact, we’d all prefer you didn’t explain.
You may have religious reasons. You may have done your own research. You may be convinced that there is a global cabal of rich white men orchestrating events just so they can place a remotely monitored surveillance mechanism on your body.
(That last one’s true. by the way. It’s your phone. Ditch it while you can. Please.)
But here’s the thing: Your choice was your own. It was not shared by most people. And you can’t make them share it.
If you’re going to wilfully and knowingly join a minority who’ve been advised that they’re placing themselves and their loved ones in unnecessary danger, don’t expect us to thank you.
Don’t expect us to go out of our way to accommodate your choice either. You chose your path. Let us choose ours. We get to choose who we do business with and who we don’t. Choice cuts both ways.
You should know this. You did the research. You read up on this. You know your rights. So stick with them.
Don’t go for half-measures. Accept that the right to choose also includes the right to distance you from others who choose to live safely.
You didn’t gripe about the dress code at the night club, even though that was far more discriminatory, and for far pettier reasons. You rolled over when they banned smoking on the premises.
Well, if we can ban smokers, we can ban you.
Yes, it’s your choice. Just like smoking, alcohol consumption, driving, white water rafting and any number of other risky activities.
So please, do what you like with the vaccine. But don’t pretend that your choice doesn’t have consequences.
You can argue for your right to keep the temple of your body pure. Whatever. Nobody’s seriously questioned that, except for a few overzealous twits whose understanding of human rights is as poor as your understanding of science and medicine.
But the fact you were entitled to that choice doesn’t automatically make it the right one. The right to choose implies right to choose wrongly.
Doesn’t that make you pause? Even for a second? Are you absolutely sure you’re on the right side of this?
'Are we the Baddies?' Mitchell and Webb
'Are we the Baddies?' Mitchell and Webb
Just because you didn’t get vaccinated doesn’t mean nobody else should. In fact, your ardent exercise of the right to choose should make you the staunchest defender of people’s right to get it.
You’ve done your own research? Good for you. So did we. How the frickety-frack do you think we came to the decision to get vaccinated early and often?
We did our own research too, you numpty.
So great. You did a research. You made a choice, just like we did. So maybe research this: why did the overwhelming majority of people, reflecting on the exact same subject that you’re so exercised about, come to the opposite conclusion?
You barrage us again and again with your, er, evidence, and still we persist in choosing differently. At what point are you going to stop arguing and just accept that our mind’s made up? We did that long ago with you.
We respected your choice. We respected it even though it galls us to know you’re deliberately endangering the people around you. We respected it even when it led you to knowingly endanger your children (and ours!). We respected it even when we knew it would lead to additional healthcare costs. We respected it even though we knew it was stupid and wrong.
So how about you respect the fact that you’re just one of a shrinking minority who’s already been indulged exactly as far as the law allows?
How about you leave us out of your dramas, and accept that we most definitely want to leave you out of ours?
How about that? Could you choose that too?
Thanks, now here’s your breakup song:
'20 Dollar Shirt' by Graham Cromwell
Did you enjoy this issue?
Dan McGarry

The Village Explainer is a semi-regular newsletter containing analysis and insight focusing on under-reported aspects of Pacific societies, politics and economics.

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Dan McGarry - Port Vila, Vanuatu