Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Strange Phenomenon in the Anti-vaccine World

It has been a matter of faith in those who took an interest in anti-vaccine lunacy, including, I must confess, myself, that this movement existed primarily among left-leaning people, providing a convenient counterbalance, in the eyes of the everybody-does-it crowd to the dozens of certifiably idiotic conspiracy theories and fantasies that are the very stuff of life of the right.  But lately a lot has been happening to challenge that notion, or at least suggest that there is a major change going on in who buys into this malicious fantasy.

All of a sudden, we are seeing all sorts of right wing figures championing this cause,or at least insisting that not vaccinating children is a legitimate choice.  Rand Paul, for example, or Chris Christie, who is constantly touted as a rational Republican.  Fox News of course has jumped on the bandwagon.

I guess this shouldn't be surprising, given that this paranoid conspiracy theory fits neatly into the anti-government and anti-science mania that has become such a central part of Republican doctrine the last few years.  But, I still am surprised, and all I can say is that, if they want to own this malignant and idiotic campaign against public safety, they are welcome to it.  Of course, no matter how many Republicans (and no Democrats) actively stir up this mess, the press will still have to report it as a progressive phenomenon, because let's face it, "both sides do it," and other than this, there really isn't much on the left side to balance the raving madness of the right.


An additional note:  I just noticed the results of this Pew poll, which I am mentioning for obvious reasons:

"A new Pew report has some interesting revelations on how vaccine beliefs break down along party lines. The poll found that 1 out of 3 Republicans and Independents said the decision to vaccinate should left for parents to decide, as opposed to 1 out of 5 Democrats."

The article notes that a similar poll conducted in 2009 showed little difference between the parties. Thanks so much, Republicans, for seeing to it that every idiotic conspiracy theory belongs to you.

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