As the vaccination debate heats up, much of the liberal media is trying to paint the anti-vaxxer movement as a purely right wing phenomenon, it’s clear to me that this is a controversy that cuts across ideological lines. I’ve seen some very smart and progressive people pushing the Vaccinations Are Evil line. It’s for this reason I’m going to try to take this seriously while explaining why I think they are wrong and this has potential to become very, very dangerous.
The main thrust of the argument is this: Do you trust Big Pharma? If the answer is no, you need to be against vaccinations. How can we allow greedy corporations the power to inject substances into helpless children? And from there it gets into all the “proven” research — research that’s been suppressed by the all-powerful pharmaceutical companies and their toadies in the government that claims to prove links between vaccinations and everything from autism to low IQ to cancer.
But let’s try a little critical thinking on this. Do I trust Big Pharma? That’s easy! No, of course not! Moving on…
How does it stand to follow from that answer that I think vaccinations are dangerous? I think one can distrust Big Pharma and still chose to believe study after study which conclusively demonstrates that the dangers of vaccinations are miniscule compared to the horrors of the resurgence of epidemics of diseases that have been all but wiped out of existence.
If one is to live their life in a capitalist society, one will occasionally have reason to do business with wicked multinational corporations that do great evil in the world. Pharmaceutical companies are way up high on that list! How many people who are attacking vaccinations would eschew antibiotics if they had pneumonia? My husband could stop taking insulin for his diabetes in protest of Big Pharma but that decision would leave him dead sooner rather than later. I don’t think that taking necessary medication makes him a sell-out, I think it makes him sane.
Modern medicine saves lives. Before the rise of modern medicine most people didn’t live past 40. I say this as someone who has had horrible experiences with most doctors and have had occasion to witness first-hand the sleazy business practices of the pharmaceutical industry. None of that takes away from the fact that at some point, almost all of us will need to take some medicine for illness and that medicine will help us stay alive.
I understand why people fear government interference in how they raise their children. The biggest reason I didn’t want to have children was because I didn’t want to invite the kind of scrutiny into my life that having children all but guarantees. I feared the government coming in and saying “Oh, you smoke pot so you’re an unfit parent.” or “You write plays with sexually explicit content so you’ve exposed your children to pornography.” I didn’t want to allow myself the vulnerability of giving my heart to children that the state could come in and take away from me.
But where vaccinations are concerned, it’s not just your own child’s life you’re taking chances with and that’s what I find the most upsetting aspect of all of this. I’ve seen a meme over and over again (shared by some very smart people who I respect) that says “If you trust vaccinations so much, why are you so scared of my unvaccinated kid?” Well wait a damn minute here — your unvaccinated kid is putting children who are unable to get vaccinations due to already low immune systems in danger! And if more and more children stop getting vaccinated, how long before diseases that were thought to be long gone resurface? This is a dangerous game and it’s being played out by citing the worst kind of pseudo-science out there spouted by people who have no reason to be trusted as public health authorities. Jenny McCarthy is not a doctor! She’s famous for having nice tits! I’m sorry if that sounds like slut-shaming ’cause there’s nothing wrong with becoming famous for having nice tits, but there is something wrong with becoming a trusted medical authority off those credentials!
To me, being a real progressive means you put the good of society over your own personal needs and wants. This call to stop vaccinating your children puts those ideals aside in favor of superstition that leads to fear and loathing of life-saving medicine and a casual willingness to sacrifice the health and safety of every person out there who isn’t your own kin. It’s not okay and I fear that if we don’t reverse this course we’re heading for an epic disaster.
–Submitted by Rose Roby