When the smartest man in the room feels compelled to tell you he's the smartest man in the room, perhaps he isn't the smartest man in the room after all.
Enter Aaron Rodgers, self-proclaimed critical thinker who determined by "hearing what people said" that the Covid-19 vaccine was not for him, but still maintained he had been "immunized," apparently by some drugs available by prescription only. Immunized, of course, is basically a synonym of vaccinate, and for us non-critical thinkers, that was good enough. After all, why would someone lie about a situation that jeopardized the health of so many others?
And he didn't lie, O fellow non-critical thinkers. We just didn't ask the right question. We didn't specifically ask if a needle containing an immunization was inserted into his arm. Stupid us!
I seldom write about sports because fans are fans and don't have their heads turned by logic. But this is not about sports: This is about the current state of the American psyche, about a country filled to overflowing with people smarter than doctors, smarter than climatologists, smarter than teachers—basically smarter than everyone except the "experts" posting claptrap on social media.
Like Joe Rogan, for instance, Aaron Rodgers' friend, and apparently, medical advisor. Now Mr. Rogan is a popular podcaster with opinions on everything, some of them presumably valid. And so it was Joe Rogan, the comedian, whom Rodgers turned to protect himself and those around him. Rodgers asserts that his anti-vaccination decision involved a lot of study in the offseason, "much like the study I put into hosting Jeopardy!" he says. All that contemplation—all those avenues open to a multi-millionaire—and he decided to entrust his health and that of those in his immediate circle to an entertainer. Ah, to be a critical thinker.
In his truly insufferable explanation (it's worth reading it all), Rodgers expresses fears of sterility and heart ailments unsupported by scientific studies. I suppose they were performed by scientists, but who knows if their competencies included critical thinking? According to the CDC, blood clot issues with low platelets occur at a rate of about seven per one million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, it is even rarer. Based on current figures, the chances of Aaron Rodgers dying from Covid-19 are more than twice that, and those figures do not factor in long-term health issues that result from the virus.
Of course Rodgers dives head-first into absurdity when he quotes Martin Luther King, Jr. claiming we "have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense." His referencig MLK is akin to Marjorie Taylor Greene referencing Eleanor Roosevelt. It's sad, laughable, and in the end, repugnant. Dr. King was speaking for the advancement of all mankind; Rodgers, for the advancement of Aaron Rodgers.
And his "woe is me" attitude about the "woke" people coming to get him is arrogance at its most unbound. We're not "woke," when we call selfishness what it is, and we are all damn tired of the pandemic and of people who don't feel it's their job to end it.
Maybe when a person earns that kind of money (Mr. Rodgers is is in the second year of a four-year contract extension worth $134 million), the rules no longer apply. If he feels that way—if the arrogance of wealth has dictated his actions—he would not be the first. But blaming us for blaming him is a novel approach.
No doubt he has fans all over Wisconsin praising his individuality and courage. And maybe his teammates will forgive him for putting them in jeopardy. He is, after all, their meal ticket to the playoffs and maybe the Super Bowl. But here in the real world, we just passed 754,000 Covid-19 deaths—most experts put the number at over 900,000—and neither figure takes into account the survivors with chronic bothersome, and sometimes disabling, conditions.
Rodgers' position allows him to circumvent the world where men and women are being vaccinated as a requirement for employment. Many of them don't like it, but many realize that they are doing something for others as well as for themselves. One would think the smartest man in the room—and a critical thinker to boot—would understand that, but apparently, Aaron Rodgers' world vision is limited to picking out receivers on a football field. The rest of us will have to fend for ourselves.