With the recent outbreak of measles, we've heard more than enough of left-wing ideologues blaming "wacko anti-science" conservatives. Just like they reject the "settled science" of global warming, these so-called right-wing nuts are the ones that are causing the measles outbreak because they are "anti-science."
But when it comes to measles, liberals also can be anti-science wackos.
Telling is the fact that the outbreak seems to be centered in California (the moonbeam state) in the wine and cheese locales of progressivism, not the hotbed of right-wingers.
Here's one such mother, saying why she once opposed vaccinating her child, but then changed her mind:
But fear of autism was only part of the reason [Juniper] Russo didn't want vaccines for her daughter. She says at that point in her life she identified strongly with what she calls "crunchy moms" who question mainstream medicine and things that aren't natural.
"They're the ones who breast-feed and cloth-diaper and co-sleep and all that stuff," Russo says. "And so much of who I was, was being a crunchy mom. At the time I thought that if I went along with what my pediatrician suggested ... I would be losing part of who I was."
Not just the organic, all-natural moms, but left-wing icons have led some of the anti-vaccination movement. Here's James Taranto, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
The discredited hypothesis that vaccines cause autism was, after all, popularized by the liberal scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in an article for the liberal magazine Rolling Stone. That article was published in 2005, a time when that magazine was less well-known as a purveyor of fiction than it is now. It was a joint venture with the petulant leftist website Salon, which recanted it in 2011.
We need to cool down the hateful and useless rhetoric, as suggested in this Scientific American blog post, "by David Ropeik, "Vilifying Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate Their Kids Is Counterproductive."
But show me a group of parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their kids, and I’ll show you a group of parents who… care about their kids. They may also oppose vaccination because of strong libertarian, ‘get-government-out-of-my-life’ views, or because their back-to-nature environmental values lead to sweeping concerns about anything human-made. And they may share these views among the friends and neighbors they’ve chosen to live among, producing the isolated geographic pockets of vaccine hesitancy reported in a recent paper in the journal Pediatrics. But at their core, parents who don’t vaccinate their kids or who vaccinate less than health officials recommend, are only doing what good parents are supposed to do: keep their kids healthy and safe.
This is not to defend the choices they make, choices that put not only their own children but also other people in their communities at risk. Looked at from outside the homes of vaccine refusers and hesitants, it is easy to call those decisions selfish, ignorant “science denialism,” informed more by passion than reason.
No, I don't defend their choices either, and every parent should be required to get their kid vaccinated for measles and other contagious disease for the larger good of the community.
Here's some insight on why conservatives may not deserve the "anti-science" criticism in the measles outbreak, but why it could be problem for them anyway.
For information on my award-winning historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812," visit: http://www.madness1812.com