In this age of hate and derision, we are often told that no matter the case, no matter the circumstance, and no matter the damage done by words and actions, we must strive to forgive, understand, and sympathize with the individual who espouses dangerous ideas.
Easy to say, but in practice, when it comes to those who have swayed others to not be vaccinated, and are thus opening the door to massive infections and the possibility of hurting or even killing someone, we find ourselves vexed at the crossroads.
We find ourselves at the story of Conservative radio talker Phil Valentine in Tennessee, who when this commentary was originally written, was diagnosed as being close to death. An avid denier, who may be claimed by the very virus he railed against being protected from.
Not long after, Valentine died from COVID19.
There were, of course, those who mourned his loss. A Facebook post from the Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party was, perhaps, the most eye-opening.
Not one mention, of course, about how terrible Valentine died, nor how in his last days he had turned away from his delusional and uninformed lies about the virus and the vaccine, begging people to take the shot. Adding this to any post of this nature, from the individual it originated from, would simply be against the political wishes of Tennessee Republicans.
Do you feel sorry for him? What about his family, his friends? And if you do sympathize, what about the untold number of easily-led people he swayed to also avoid the COVID19 vaccination, who may themselves be deathly sick or passing it on to those who could die from their negligent decision?
Before you make the call, here’s a chapter from my show, “Free 4 All”, where I and my guests discussed this very issue in exceptionally candid and, without questions, controversial terms.
I’m not ever going to back up from my assertion on this issue. What Valentine and others have done, in my educated opinion, is not merely yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater, but they brought in the gasoline, the torch, and doused everyone with it before lighting the match. It is irresponsible, arrogant, propaganda-laced, dangerous and potentially deadly.
What about that “milk of human kindness” we are told is important to balance life for everyone?
Personally, I don’t see my opinion as hateful. I find it based on science and evidence. I DO, however, feel sympathy for his family, those he leaves behind, those who fell for his rhetoric and could be saddled forever caring for someone who did everything they could to avoid protecting their own health, and the people who will suddenly begin to understand how badly they were conned into inaction.
Having an opinion is what talkers such as Valentine are paid for. They are also, in this age of opinionated programming, rewarded handsomely to create what I have deemed “contrived controversy”, turning something that should not be in question whatsoever into disinformation, misinformation, and holds the potential for being dangerous.
Where do we draw the line as rational people when it comes to those who use their pulpit and power to the detriment of others?
Pouring the milk of human kindness is always a preferred option. However, in those cases where the milk has already soured, better to throw it out and take issue with the person who sold it to you in the first place.