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Once again, in his most recent column, HD Media Regional Executive Editor Lee Wolverton overdoes it when he paints a dark picture of our current situation.

Wolverton avers that depending on social media to form our world views is a losing proposition. He is, of course, quite right, but the solution is so obvious as to require little comment: Don’t do it.

He claims that our education has been dumbed down, and, again, he has a point. But the mass of folks are further behind largely because the best of our thinkers have pushed the frontiers of knowledge so much further ahead.

Let’s stand back here and take a deep breath.

Yes, of late, science has been cast into disrepute, but this is four parts cynical manipulation and one part science working — as it has to — slowly sifting facts, finding blind allies and backing out to try again. Science (now) tells us that masking does help slow the spread of COVID-19. More importantly, science tells us that vaccination against COVID-19 works and getting vaccinated helps the person getting the shot and everyone else.

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Yes, credulousness is a problem (neither bleach nor animal de-worming medication are useful), but, by far, the main difficulty has been the politicization and weaponization of vaccination. Everyone’s clear civic duty is to be vaccinated (remember polio?). But cynical politicians have somehow convinced some that enforcement of this obvious and necessary move for the common good is an abrogation of their rights.

One mainstream U.S. political party has denigrated science — COVID-19 and climate related. One political party has made it seem that standing against inoculation mandates is a courageous position, rather than a stupid one. The leader of that one party, having clearly lost an election, has had the effrontery to claim, all objective evidence to the contrary, he actually won.

Wolverton exaggerates when he tells us all politicians are crooks, creeps, cheats or charlatans (why, one wonders, did he omit reprobates, cads, bounders and hypocrites?). Similarly, the American political system is not irredeemably corrupt.

But Wolverton’s biggest error lies in failing to identify the group that is the true source of most of the darkness he rightly laments. They are the anti-vaxxers, who keep COVID-19 alive and the economy in the doldrums. They are the vigilantes in Texas, who would harass women making difficult decisions about their bodies. They are the Christian nationalists, who would keep us in forever wars. They are the insurrectionists, who will not accept the clear outcome of the last presidential election. They are the racist right-wing militias, who keep alive ancient grudges. They are, in short, the Trump-oriented Republicans, fighting a rearguard action that has brought confusion, “darkness” and dismay.

John Palmer lives in Huntington.

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