In an interview with France’s Le Parisien newspaper, Macron shared his thoughts about France’s unvaccinated population. He did not mince his words. “The unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off,” Macron said. “And so, we’re going to continue doing so until the end. That’s the strategy.”
The English translation hardly does the comment justice. In French, the verb he used is “emmerder,” which means, quite literally, to cover in excrement. The ire is difficult to translate, but in French it is crystal clear — clear enough to have launched an entire polemic after the interview published last Tuesday.
Just how should the crapping-on of the uncouth unvaxxed take place? McAuley doesn’t say much other than the typical vaccine passport nonsense, but it’s striking how he pats Macron on the back for setting “a fine example for other world leaders to follow in refusing to kowtow before ignorance or honor selfishness.”
Really? Imagine the outrage here in the U.S. if a politician — especially one on the right — said that he or she wanted to s**t on a certain segment of the population for any reason. It would go over like, well, a turd in a punch bowl.
Macron’s inartful wording notwithstanding, it should be none of his or McAuley’s or any other person’s business whether one is vaccinated against COVID-19 or not. No government official or writer who believes in freedom (or even pretends to) should call for the otherization of anyone over a medical decision.
Let’s play another “what if” game? Imagine how an op-ed calling for treating women who have had an abortion like personae non gratae would be received. Not too well, I bet.
I don’t like it when I can tell that someone has had too much plastic surgery, but I’m not calling for society to ostracize them.
What’s next? Flu shot passports? Should we bar the obese from entering restaurants? How about forcing those who haven’t had their colonoscopy to work from home until they’ve made their doctors’ appointment? The list really goes on and on, and we can go pretty far down this road if we let our imaginations run wild.
No civilized government should otherize anyone for any medical decision that he or she makes. Everyone who suggests doing so should be ashamed of themselves.
The way I see it, James McAuley and Emmanuel Macron are full of what Macron wants to figuratively cover the unvaxxed with. It’s gross, I know, but so is the sentiment behind it.
Paul McCartney was right when he sang, “You used to say, ‘Live and let live.’” Societies don’t live and let live in the era of COVID, and that’s a shame.
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