When I was growing up, it used to be the liberals who were anti-war. I still remember when the liberals were the ones decrying the neocons’ wars for oil, as well as the CIA’s black sites and torture facilities.
But then, when Trump came around, and the Intelligence Community tried to overthrow him, the liberals flipped on a dime and became the biggest FBI/See Eye Yay/Pentagon Stans out there. It became un-American and borderline treason to say anything negative about the Intelligence Community. The same people who despised the FBI/See Eye Yay back in the 2000s are now calling you a Russian Asset for not showing sufficient reverence and deference to the Intelligence Community.
I also remember when being anti-vax was a leftwing thing, not a rightwing thing. This article from 2015 castigates rich, white Californians as the core demographic of the anti-vaccine movement. Another article, this one from 2014, found that blue Oregon–home to Portland of course–was the most “anti-vax state” and concluded that being anti-vax was primarily a leftwing phenomenon.
This article in Mother Jones, from last June, noted how the anti-vaccine movement has historically been leftwing:
Back when I started covering the anti-vaccination movement more than a decade ago, the loudest voices came from politically liberal, mostly white, and affluent enclaves—think famously hippie places like Marin County, California, or Boulder, Colorado—where parents worried about the side effects of what they perceive as toxins in vaccines. Anti-vaxxers in these places tended to pride themselves on the purity of their lifestyles—they bought organic groceries, railed against genetically modified food, and were suspicious of the electromagnetic waves emitted by cellphones. In a 2012 Parade magazine article, Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, described anti-vax clusters as places “where parents are often focused on being environmentally conscious and paying close attention to every aspect of their children’s development.”
It feels like things have completely flipped.
Conservatives used to be the ones who blindly trusted the government and big businesses and sneered at anyone who didn’t think the same. Conservatives were the ones who loved to call people pinkos and communists and traitors for not supporting the wars or for questioning the integrity of the IC, or for not wanting to be vaccinated.
I remember. It wasn’t that long ago.
Hell, not even a year ago virtually every prominent Democrat was outspokenly against the Covid vaccine:
Now, while it is undeniable that being anti-vax has historically been a leftwing thing, this is not to say that it no longer is entirely. While it might seem from the media and from blue checks on social media that the left has completely flipped to becoming militantly pro-vaccine, that may not be entirely true.
Sure, the media is hardcore pro-Vaccine™ now, but the media just does whatever the Democratic Party wants. The media is staunchly pro-Democrat, but not necessarily reflective of the views of your average leftist. On Christmas, the New York Times, perhaps as a result of a slip-up, ran this headline along with this picture:
That would be a guy with a Bernie shirt holding a sign that says “VACCINES KILL.” Not exactly in line with the conventional wisdom on who exactly is against Covid vaccines in this country, is it?
Still, though, I think it’s safe to say that much of the left has done a complete 180 on the matter of vaccines.
And also on the matter of Big Pharma, too.
In 2019, just before the pandemic hit and turned the whole world upside down, Gallup conducted a poll and found that the pharmaceutical industry had the lowest favorability ratings of any business sector in the US:
Big Pharma had a -31 net favorability rating, which was the worst of the worst. It was even worse than the federal government!
Americans in mid-2019 hated Big Pharma more than anything else.
Here’s how Big Pharma polled over time according to Gallup:
In 2013, Big Pharma actually had a +4 overall net favorability rating. But by 2019 it had sank all the way down to -31 net favorability.
For much of the 21st century, the two Great Satans for the left have been Big Oil and Big Pharma, but that is not so much the case anymore.
Gallup’s most recent poll on the various business sectors shows an improvement in the image of Big Pharma, although it is still underwater:
Big Pharma is now -20 as of August 2021, after being -31 in August 2019.
Now you’re treated as a nutcase if you simply say, “I don’t trust Pfizer.”
How dare you not trust Pfizer!?
Criticizing Big Pharma is now seen as right wing conspiracy theorism.
It’s just interesting to see how things have flipped so dramatically in such a short amount of time.