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Who decides whether a child gets a vaccination or not?  Parents or the government?

The issue has re-emerged or sorts because there has been an outbreak of measles at Disneyland, and, of course, it has been politicized.  The brouhaha escalated Monday when Chris Christie, for some reason or another, was in London, and was asked about his feelings regarding mandatory vaccinations.  Christie suggested that people should have a choice as to whether or not they vaccinate their child.

There is no vaccination for criticism

Almost immediately Rand Paul chimed in, supporting Christie’s position.

It didn’t take too long before people targeted the GOP candidates for being “deniers” of “science” and out of touch with the modern world.

Consider, though, that in 2008 Barack Obama said pretty much the same thing as Christie, and Hilliary Clinton has made statements in the past that show she supported parental choice on vaccinations–click here for article.

Why would candidates Obama and Clinton support choice?  Because this is not a left or right issue.  There are people on the right who fear the government in this way—such as General Ripper and his “precious bodily fluids” in Dr. Strangelove; there are people on the left who fear vaccinations as well—such as crunchy granola mama types or celebrity Jenny McCarthy.  The real question is, why would now President Obama and Clinton both sound so certain about the governments role in mandatory vaccinations now?

The answer is not a conspiracy theory–the answer is politics.  Crunchy mama types will vote for the democratic candidate in 2016 regardless of his or her stance on vaccines.  Independent voters will not care so much about the issue, but they will be influenced by attacks on GOP’ers as ‘science deniers’ and ‘fringe’ thinkers.  Never mind that it was GOP governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry who made the most controversial vaccination decision in a generation when he made it mandatory for 11-12 year old girls to have the HPV vaccine in Texas–click here for article.

We need to be sensible about the issue and public policy.  Only a fool doesn’t vaccinate their children against deadly diseases.  However, the issue is about control.  I cannot conceive of any society that calls itself free mandating that anybody inject anything into their body.  It just seems inconsistent with the values of liberty.  We also have to be concerned about the ever present slippery slope.  Today it is measles.  Next year it is an AIDS vaccine.  In a decade it will be vaccines that prevent daydreaming.

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