WASHINGTON — As if we weren’t divided enough, the latest partisan split is over whether to get the coronavirus vaccine. Republicans are less likely to get their shots. Why am I not surprised?

In a Civiqs survey of registered voters conducted between November and March 22, respondents were asked if they planned to get a vaccine if and when it became available. A whopping 41% of white, male Republicans responded “no.” By contrast, only 2% of white male Democrats said they wouldn’t get a vaccine.

The divide is clear with Black voters, too. Among Black male Republicans, 32% said no dice. Only 7% of their Democratic counterparts said they’d decline the vaccine. Among male Latino Democrats, only 4% said no; among male Republican Latinos: 45%.

Women tend to be more sensible about health issues, but not, apparently, if they’re Republican. While only 5% of all Democratic women said no, 46% of Republican women said they’d refuse the vaccine.

Reasons for this resistance vary according to age and education for seemingly obvious reasons. The young think they’re invincible — or at least less likely to die of COVID-19. The better educated tend to place greater faith in science. The best educated also tend to be more liberal, according to the Pew Research Center.

Thirty years ago or so, Republicans were the better-educated voters, while Democrats were the party of the working class. In 1994, 54% of college grads leaned Republican, compared with 39% Democratic. Today, the inverse is true. Not only have the GOP and its media mouthpieces cultivated skepticism of science, as well as of higher education, but also they’ve embraced — even glorified — willful ignorance in the service partisan advantage.

Desperate measures, I reckon.

William F. Buckley, who popularized conservatism with anything but a common touch, has surely turned a few thousand rotations in his grave, notwithstanding his expressed (and oft-quoted) preference to be governed by the first 2,000 names in the telephone directory rather than by the Harvard University faculty. All Buckleys (and I’ve known several) are clever with words, but they’re also dripping with ivy. Of course, WFB was a Yale man.

This isn’t to suggest that people without a higher education aren’t often as intelligent as the next guy. Of course they are. We all know brilliant, wise people who never set foot on a college campus, which is what Buckley was getting at.

What does it tell us that nearly half of Republicans are skeptical about a vaccine that millions of people are desperate to receive? My educated guess is they’re simply stubborn and don’t like the nanny state’s insistence on masks and injections. I personally know quite a few of these folks and when asked about the vaccine, most will say, I’m going to wait and see what happens to everybody else before I get one. Never mind that then-President Donald Trump pushed for rapid development of the vaccines and received one himself.

It doesn’t help anyone — Republican, Democrat or otherwise — that signing up, usually online, requires so much time, patience and commitment. It took me several days of multiple daily attempts to finally nail down an appointment 30 miles away. I’m convinced that my husband — white, male and Republican-ish, for what it’s worth — would still be unvaccinated if I hadn’t made all the arrangements for him. The already-disinclined are hardly likely to rethink in the face of such hurdles.

To those waiting your turn, I won’t say it was nothing. I received the Moderna vaccine through CVS and can’t complain about the delivery system, which was well-choreographed and organized. The first shot left me with a sore arm for two days. My second shot was another story. When I awoke the next day, I felt the screams of every fiber in my body and was too exhausted to move. Ten hours later, I was fine.

That’s it. A few hours of bed rest — plan for it — is nothing compared to near-95 percent protection against a potentially deadly and highly contagious disease. No one should want the full-blown version of what I experienced. If you refuse the vaccine and catch COVID-19, I feel for you. Not only will you wish you had made a different choice, but you’ll also have only yourself to blame. Some might call that dumb.

Kathleen Parker’s email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

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