On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Paul Waldman drew a parallel between GOP activists hawking marked-up Chinese "Freedom Phones" and the anti-vaccination propaganda echoing throughout right-wing media. Both, he argued, are part of the same scam to profit off of the outrage of their supporters — and their supporters are paying the price.
"There's no telling how many Donald Trump superfans will fall for [Freedom Phones], but they're a nearly infinitely minable resource, whether the goals of the elite conservatives targeting them are economic, political, or both," wrote Waldman. "That's also the way to understand the sweeping campaign against COVID-19 vaccination that has overtaken the right. While conservative politicians and media figures are causing increased death and suffering among their own supporters, they're doing so because it serves their most important goal: Keep the machine running."
He then explained how scams run rampant throughout the right-wing political world, as conservative grifters have worked tirelessly to separate Trump supporters from their hard-earned cash.
"There's no shortage of hands reaching into the pockets of the conservative rank-and-file, whether it's scammy pro-Trump PACs making billions of robocalls to sweep up 'donations' from the faithful or Trump and Bill O'Reilly mounting a stadium tour so you can see two of America's most famous alleged sexual harassers in person," for up to $8,500, wrote Waldman. "Keeping the machine running means outrage, anger, distrust, fear and conspiracy thinking, all wrapped up in a spinning turbine of hysteria where emotion is turned into action."
According to a recent report, 99 percent of deaths due to COVID-19 are now among unvaccinated people. A survey reported in June suggested that Republicans make up a disproportionate share of the unvaccinated population.
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