Okay … the whole “anti-vaccination” issue just got weird.
Suddenly the mainstream media has become very interested in Republicans who have argued that vaccination is a personal choice and should not be mandated by law. So far, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and libertarian Rand Paul have publicly expressed that viewpoint. Hillary Clinton’s handlers responded Monday by Tweeting, “The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork.”
Like clockwork, the New York Times attempted to link the recent Disneyland measles outbreak to the GOP’s assumed hostility to science – “The vaccination controversy is a twist on an old problem for the Republican Party: how to approach matters that have largely been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by conservatives.”
It’s a strange tactic, particularly since the presumed Republican candidates have had little interest in this issue. Then again, they had little interest in the issue of birth control until George Stephanopolous decided to make it the focus of an early Republican debate in January 2012. Out of Stephanopolous’ planted question grew the imaginary issue of a Republican “war on women” that many believe helped Barack Obama win election. In politics, anything that works once is worth trying again.
But will the vaccine controversy help or hurt Democrats? Trial lawyers have earned a fortune suing drug companies for all kinds of side effects, real and imaginary, that have been attributed to drugs and vaccines. They are, almost without exception, loyal financial supporters of the Democratic party. And the demographics of anti-vaxxers seem to show concentrations among 20-something hipsters and 30-something upper middle class bourgeois/bohemians – the same people who eat organic gluten-free vegan, dutifully tend herb gardens, own a composter, and drive a Prius. Not exactly poster children for the GOP.
And in an attempt to appeal to this rather large segment of the urban Democratic base, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cited possible links between vaccines and autism, and pledged to increase Federal funding for vaccine research during the 2008 presidential campaign.
But I have to wonder if there isn’t a deeper reason for Democrats trying to pin the vaccination issue on Republicans: immigration. Stay with me on this …
The recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland, which has sparked a significant amount of fear over the dangers posed by unvaccinated children, has been linked by the CDC to a primary infection that most likely came from overseas. It would be a stroke of political genius for Democrats to use the Disneyland incident to pin foreign-linked disease outbreaks on Republicans, via a handful of GOP candidates who endorse the rights of parents to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children, rather than face responsibility for a far more likely cause – sloppy open-borders immigration policies that have allowed tens of thousands of unvaccinated children from Central and South America to enter our country illegally.
Need I remind everyone that Enterovirus D68 mysteriously spread across the US last year following the mass influx of tens of thousands of immigrant children who were secretly housed, transported, and eventually settled around the country? Or how Democrats desperately tried to avoid the subject of open borders after several cases of ebola turned up in the US last fall?
Maybe I’m just paranoid. But as a famous man once said, “Paranoid means you’re aware of only 10% of the problem.”