So now, in the year 2015, we’re actually debating about whether or not we should vaccinate our kids, or to be more nuanced, whether people should be compelled by law to vaccinate their kids, as my Libertarian friends maintain. But, well, this discussion really misses the point. The really, important, salient point. That being it’s the year 2015, and we’re actually having a fucking “debate” about whether people should be compelled to vaccinate their fucking kids against once eradicated diseases.
Let’s forget for a second that arguing about the “right” to decide whether to vaccinate your kids or not, (if you say have been educated to even the very basics of germ theory and the history of what pathogens do to people throughout the history of mankind), is a lot like arguing about whether you have the right to allow your kids to bathe and drink from open sewers.
Sure, you can make to me what you think is a compelling argument based on your strong belief in government overreach, but at the end of the day you’re arguing for the right for dangerously stupid and/or insane people to have the right to put their children, themselves, and the public at large in mortal danger. There’s no getting around that reality, and it falls apart when other matters of common sense come in to play.
But, recent events really highlight how politics (and unrequited arrogance of American exceptionalism) vs. science is a battle science has lost, and to that end, we all lose, and will lose big. The anti-vaccer movement, which was born and bred of bad science (i.e. one completely debunked study with a sample size so small and methods so questionable it would have been laughed out of an entry level undergrad research methods class, yet managed to get published) and is now championed by scientific heavyweights such as Jenny McCarthy and Rob Schneider, is a thing in this country, because of course it is.
This wasn’t a left-right issue a few years ago. In fact, as most liberals will tell you, it was other jackass “liberals” who were championing the anti-vaccer cause, including a Rolling Stone article by RFK Jr. which cited bad science and a government cover up. But then just this past Sunday, President Obama stated unequivocally that parents should vaccinate their kids, and that the science was “pretty much indisputable.” Not sure what the “pretty much” bit was about, but you know, fucking politicians.
Well, we have a 2016 GOP primary fight heating up, and shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.. if Obama says the sky is blue, you better keep up with the god damn Joneses and find a way to make it red, buddy. How else might you explain Chris Christie stepping in it while in London and blowing an anti-vaccer kiss Jenny McCarthy’s way? And shit, if Christie’s gonna go there, the good Dr. Randerthan Paul better get it on the act, pointing out begrudgingly that yea, vaccines are good and he swings that way, but look out.. it might make your kids retarded!
This of course is an old trick to fool the stupid. Confuse correlation with causation. (the media looooves this trick, by the way). it’s easy.. try this. Tell your mouth-breathing neighbor that 43% of American males that drink tap water will develop cancer in their lifetime. You won’t be lying. We all drink tap water (most bottled water is just that, chemically treated), and 43% of American males will develop some type of cancer in their lifetime. Now watch that dumbfuck next door run out and stock up on Evian.
Therein lies the problem, and the danger of Christie and Paul and some others getting into this game. It’s not that people are just too stupid to grasp the intricacies of science. It’s that they are often too stupid to even understand the basic tenets of the scientific method, or even the very basics of the dictionary definition. It’s why there’s no point in trying to “debate” an evolution denier (see Marco Rubio pic at top) when said person probably doesn’t even understand the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. This rejection of even the basic understanding of science and scientific consensus goes light years into fooling people into thinking Climate Change is still “debatable” as well. That, or fuck science altogether, ’cause it’s a partisan thing.
The danger is that the Obama-hatin’ right will go to great lengths to refuse and reject anything associated with Obama or the left. If Obama wanted to troll these people, he could hold a national address stating that Americans should continue to breathe oxygen. Inevitably you’d find some folks in the south that would try to breathe sulfur dioxide, with someone from the 2016 GOP field inevitably giving them the thumbs up to try that in their lungs.
Now, maybe I am going a little overboard and I should point out that even the unctuous Ben Carson and most of Fox News has pointed out how unfathomably stupid giving credence to the anti-vaccine movement is. But if there’s been one side of the left/right polarization that has given the finger to science and reason and has a group of sycophants who like to roll with that attitude (usually for bible-thumpin’ reasons) it’s been the right. So if there was to be a massive new movement of anti-vaccholes outside the small enclave of mostly California neo-hippie new age raw food enema types, it would be a group of paranoid right-wing “keep your damn government hands off my right to let my kid get smallpox and die horribly” folks. And that’s why I think guys like Dr. Rand should STFU and stick to their usual shtick, like belonging to groups who advocate that HIV doesn’t actually cause AIDS.
I mean.. what could go wrong?