Rand Paul’s vaccine trutherism is paranoid, not libertarian

Rand Paul had a bad interview yesterday.

Like, really bad.

After less than four minutes, Rand had already said that most vaccines should be voluntary, warned viewers that he had “heard of” kids developing “profound mental disorders after vaccines” and, to top it all off, shushed the anchor when she pressed him for details on his newly-proposed corporate tax holiday.

Here’s the interview, courtesy of Media Matters:

The whole ten minutes is a microcosm of everything the GOP is (or should be) worried about in 2016.

In an attempt to win yesterday’s round of the Crazy Caucuses against likely GOP presidential candidate, and current New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who made worryingly anti-vaxxer statements earlier in the day, Rand rolled the GOP’s anti-scientific paranoia, preferential treatment for corporations and good old-fashioned misogyny all into one Youtube clip.

Twitter had some fun with it, too:

But as much as anti-vaccination superstition makes people who care about civil society want to bang their heads against as many walls as they can find, some may be tempted to agree that giving parents the choice over whether to vaccinate their kids at least fits with Senator Paul’s libertarian principles. After all, didn’t you hear him say how he’s “for freedom” of all shapes and sizes?

Stop right there. This isn’t libertarianism.

Libertarianism, at its core, is the idea that society functions best when people can do what they want, keeping as many of their liberties as possible. But what separates libertarianism from straight-up anarchy is the idea that your freedom isn’t totally unlimited. Your right to move your fist does eventually end, and it ends at the edge of my nose. As long as you’re not hurting anyone you can have all the liberty you want; governments are necessary only to ensure that your actions don’t harm your fellow citizens.

And that is exactly why vaccines exist: to make sure your diseases don’t spread to others. Protecting the person receiving the vaccine is just an added bonus.

Our society has fought long and hard to make all manner of diseases obsolete, and your failure to vaccinate your kid has the potential to undo that work and put other people’s children in harm’s way. If a libertarian — especially Senator Paul, who graduated from medical school — were to ever be in favor of making something mandatory, that thing would be vaccines.

The only way for Senator Paul to square the circle and remain opposed to mandatory vaccinations is to assert, without evidence, that vaccines are in fact dangerous to those being vaccinated. And if he really does believe that, as he intimated, then why did he vaccinate his own kids?

The recent flood of GOP primary candidates to anti-vaxxer paranoia is obvious pandering to the Crazy Caucus — no one’s pretending that Chris Christie or Rand Paul really believe that vaccines are dangerous. However, it’s especially frustrating, and especially dangerous, for this paranoia to be spread by a (doctor) senator who should view this as one of the few exceptions to the rule that the government is always bad.

So, for the sake of all of our freedoms, get your kids vaccinated. There really is no choice.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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84 Responses to “Rand Paul’s vaccine trutherism is paranoid, not libertarian”

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  2. woonsocket says:

    They love to treat women as property.

  3. woonsocket says:

    Rand Paul is desperately trying to set himself off from the crowd that wants to run for president. Unfortunately, we’re not hearing any new ideas from the GOP. They keep rehashing social issues & stressing why they’re AGAINST someone or some thing.

  4. AnitaMann says:

    It’s long been my view that libertarianism is a label that selfish assholes like to give themselves for legitimacy and to cover up the fact they’re just selfish assholes. I really don’t think true libertarianism exists, not in the way they want to believe it does. If you’re living in society, you’re driving on roads, you’re consuming food inspected by someone (we hope), your taxes pay for things you and others use. If you’re living off the grid and making your own medicine and growing your own food, maybe you can be a lib.

  5. Drew2u says:

    In good health news, a $34 smartphone dongle helps test for HIV and syphillis in about 15 minutes: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/smartphone-dongle-lets-anyone-test-for-hiv-syphilis-020415

  6. Mark_in_MN says:

    You’re half right. It’s not the biblical view, but it is the far-right one. The far-right, especially the libertarian sort and those so enamored with the likes of Ayn Rand are obsessed with property. Freedom and liberty are all about property to them. So naturally, when it comes to children, they have to run home to their base presumptions. But none of that actually comes from the Bible. Some of them might suggest it is, but it’s a political and ideological projection thereon.

  7. emjayay says:

    From this Monday’s Hardball:

    DEAN: I actually believe this disqualifies Rand Paul from becoming President of the United States. If you’re a physician and you say what he just said, then you are clearly willing to override any set of facts that you ought to know.

    It’s one thing for Christie to blunder his way through this and try to pander. For Rand Paul to deny his entire education as a physician, I assume he went to a good medical school and knows something about medicine, that is truly appalling and he, a guy like that should never be let near the White House.

  8. Indigo says:

    I resist calling them an aristocracy because that term offers more traditional distinction than they deserve. Kleptocrats fits the bill as things stand but really, when I think about it, the good old-fashioned American expression Robber Barons comes to mind. It’s as if we’ve flipped back to the late 19th, early 20th century Gilded Age for a rerun. Maybe it’s a haunting, Mitt Romney and his ilk might be posessed by ignorant Robber Baron ghosts.

  9. Indigo says:

    Well, that’s Yahweh for you.

  10. rmthunter says:

    But that’s the Biblical view: women and children are property. You’ll find that lurking in the shadows if you look at any of the far right dicta about reproductive freedom, education, or anything else having to do with women and children.

    And of course, the only time children have rights is when it comes to adoption by same-sex couples. Then, I guess, they have a right to spend their lives in the foster care system — at least, that’s the logical endpoint.

  11. BeccaM says:

    And so you should, Bill. I’ve seen it a few times, and it’s brilliant.

  12. BeccaM says:

    Nicely done, Mod3. :-)

  13. Moderator3 says:

    Becca, I broke the links about four hours ago. They’re quite dead.

  14. BillFromDover says:

    I’m gonna post this on every fuckin’ vaccination thread I can find:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RfdZTZQvuCo

  15. Baal says:

    But, and this is an important but, at the moment it is politicians on the right who are now taking an anti-Vax position, and I think they are mainly doing it to “piss off liberals” or to energize their base, and damn the consequences. TThe state of Mississippi actually has some of the strictest vaccination laws on the books (and they should be congratulated for that). What that tells me is that conservatives have not been historically anti-vax. If I’m wrong about that someone will correct me.

    If the Far Right (i.e. 90% of the GOP) weren’t anti-Vax before, they are becoming that way now.

    I am starting to wonder now what science they will accept.

  16. Baal says:

    Because parents don’t OWN their children. They raise their children but they don’t own them. That is so obvious I really have to question the sanity of anyone who argues against it. These parents, no matter how fanatical they may be, do not have the right to egregiously put them in harm’s way.

  17. Baal says:

    So if a libertarian wants to break the bones of their children to discipline them, that parental right would trump everything else? Obviously not. So parental rights do have limits. Putting these children at risk, and by allowing infectious diseases which should be extinct to regain a foothold (which affects everyone’s children), those are rights that I don’t think libertarians should have.

  18. BeccaM says:

    Personally, I blame the Internet, because it allows memes to travel around the globe without limit, at near light speed, without regard to the benevolence, neutrality, or malevolence of the idea.

    Sometimes it can be a good meme, like the story about the guy in Michigan who walks 21 miles a day and takes buses just to get to and from work — whose life now will be better (hopefully) because he’s been offered a car by a dealership and there’s been both fundraising and possible job opportunities for him. The good part happened because his story “went viral” — which is something that could never have happened before the Internet.

    Sometimes the memes can be ‘diseased’ or poisonous, doing more harm than good. Like the false meme about vaccines causing autism. What started with one fraudulent paper by one now-discredited researcher who’s since had his license to practice medicine revoked has grown like a cancer in the world’s information culture. It has found fertile ground among every cultural group that does not want to believe that despite the misdeeds of these for-profit BigPharma companies, life-saving medicines can be and are being produced by them. Those don’t want to believe or acknowledge that vaccines are the single most important medical invention we humans have come up with so far, in terms of reducing suffering and saving and extending lives.

    Naturopaths & homeopaths, because they believe their approach to health care is superior. Various fundamentalist Christian and quasi-Christian groups because they believe God will protect them and that accepting a vaccine is somehow an expression of faithlessness. Far-right conservatives and libertarians both who don’t want the big ole evil Gub’mint telling them what to do about anything. Far-left liberals and anarchists who don’t want big ole evil PharmCo putting anything in their bodies or those of their kids. Those prone to believing conspiracy theories are all over the political spectra.

    Basically, all it took was for people to either be open to doubting science or flat-out rejecting it in the first place. Or wanting to reach a desired outcome and basically just mistaking “Google + keyword search” for medical research…which led them to others who felt the same way. And suddenly we have GroupThink in full virtual-mode operation.

  19. BeccaM says:

    I saw, thanks. I’m fine with leaving his comments up if that’s what you want to do. Maybe nix the links though? Just a thought, totally up to you folks of course.

  20. BeccaM says:

    Looks like I spoke too soon, below. Thanks Mod4. I tried to change my own tone to be less antagonistic, but he wasn’t having it. He seems to have come here looking to pick a fight and for whatever reason thought I’d be an easy mark.

  21. Moderator4 says:

    He is banned, BeccaM.

  22. Moderator4 says:

    I think that you are done here, Notes on Liberty. You are so new that you apparently have not yet learned that ad hominem attacks and insults are frowned upon.
    Good-bye.

  23. BeccaM says:

    After this, I’m done trying to say anything to you because you’re not interested in communicating politely and have nothing but anger and insults in your heart, which really is tragic because it means you’ll never see something from someone else’s point of view.

    The string of personal attacks, if they continue, will likely lead to your commenting privileges being banned here…. if they aren’t under consideration already by the moderators, who not only frown on blog-shilling, but also the other thing you just admitted, that your Disqus account is shared. That’s a major no-no, too, and could very well constitute a third strike.

    You have a good life now, son, and try to remember that not everything needs to be met with rage, insults, and spite. Anyone ever tell you how it’s easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar? You won’t persuade with hate.

  24. Changing the subject is another fallacy.

    You Leftists are all the same: authoritarian at heart, and soft in the head. By the way: I’m not Brandon. This is a group account for a group blog.

    We do this for security’s sake, of course. Leftists, when they are not strawmanning those they hate, or changing the subject of an argument, have been known to engage in witch hunts.

  25. BeccaM says:

    Goodness, you’re insecure, Brandon, lashing out like that. That’s most unfortunate you feel the need to behave so rudely and I feel sorry for you.

    By the way, shilling for your own blog is frowned upon here.

  26. Sticks and stones will break my bones…

  27. Jesus, you are as dumb as you appear. How on earth does a comment like “The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own their children” equate to “their position is that children are for all intents and purposes chattel property belonging to their parents or legal guardians”?

    Only a dogmatic, authoritarian fool could commit such a fallacy and think himself in the correct.

    Are libertarians more intelligent than conservatives and liberals?” The short answer is “yes.”

  28. Liberty5 says:

    Note that the school age vaccinations in the extremely left-wing Marin
    County above San Francisco, have some of the lowest rates in the United
    States. There seems to be people on both the left and right who suspect
    the safety of vaccinations. On a scientific level, vaccinations are safe
    and have saved millions of lives. It is a modern miracle. But then why
    do so many people across the political spectrum take a skeptical view?
    Probably the biggest reason is that since the government continuously
    lies about almost everything, many in the public cannot believe that
    they would ever tell the truth.

  29. BeccaM says:

    I’m flattered by Karl’s compliment, but you and I both know that any such screenplay written, if it achieved any kind of notice outside of these here blog comments, would probably be met with death threats…

  30. Jon Green says:

    The patriarchy in one comment.

  31. BeccaM says:

    I don’t need a straw man. Rand Paul helpfully said exactly those words “The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own their children” — and don’t be an ass, I’m probably old enough to be your grandmother, sonny-boy.

    Take your trolling elsewhere, I have no patience for your sort.

  32. BeccaM says:

    Plutocrats. Oligarchs. Kleptocrats. Filthy rich bastard aristocracy. Take your pick.

  33. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, I found that incredibly creepy and revelatory at the same time. Apparently Paul’s ‘libertarian ideal’ is one where you instantly transform from your parents’ chattel property into an adult with the right to own minors. It’s clear though he sees children as nothing but property, and his only problem with who’s doing the ‘owning’ part.

    It’s odd though how he can be so insistent on this, but turns right around and insists that women’s uteri don’t actually belong to the women carrying them around.

  34. judybrowni says:

    Uh huh.

    Because Al Gore would have totally ruled like Bush: including the Iraq War — ever notice how the US has never been involved in a war in an oil country, except with an oil family Bush as president?

    Or noticed how, over the past century, the U.S. economy takes a nose dive into a depression/recession after a term or two of a Republican regime, and is then brought out of that dive under a Democratic government?

    You’re asleep at the wheel: Have fun electing Jeb Bush! I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the again shattered economy and war in an oil country, among other joys.

  35. No, that’s a straw man fallacy.

    Try again little girl. And don’t forget who you are talking to.

  36. Mark_in_MN says:

    In the video, Rand Paul said that “The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own their children.” Ugh! No. Children are not objects of ownership or which can simply be toyed with at the whims of their (sometimes self-absorbed or ideologue) parents.

  37. Indigo says:

    Actually, Becca’s just reading the Bible for what it says.

  38. Indigo says:

    I agree but I have no idea what alternative phrases we can use. Any thoughts on that?

  39. mirth says:

    It seems like we shouldn’t have to keep saying this, but obviously we do.
    So, thanks.

  40. BeccaM says:

    Meaning their position is that children are for all intents and purposes chattel property belonging to their parents or legal guardians.

  41. caphillprof says:

    I think we are far, far beyond taking academic definitions of terms like “conservative” or “liberal” or “libertarian” or “socialist” or “communist” and making modern day arguments unless we have no interest in being at all persuasive. Few if any of our extant politicians fit any of the classical definitions. They are defined mostly by what the do and only secondarily by what they say.

    We could spend all year trying to find a politician on Capitol Hill who is pursuing the public interest and conforming to any classical definition.

  42. Demosthenes says:

    Sen. Aqua Buddha’s brain has been irreparably damaged by smoking too much weed in college.

  43. karlInSanDiego says:

    Um…amen? You should write a screenplay with this areligious rant. I mean that in the most sincere way. It’s enlightening to see someone tear the bible a new one.

  44. BrandySpears says:

    Hogwash. Libertarians still believe that parental rights trumps all.
    http://reason.com/archives/2014/03/25/should-vaccines-be-mandatory

  45. BeccaM says:

    Yeah… and short-sighted morons like Senator Tillis would just as soon those restaurants never be inspected at all. At least with the closures, not as many people will get sick.

    You’re right though, the municipal health departments are underfunded and, sadly, often prone to corruption. “Here’s a hundred bucks if you overlook the rat droppings under the shelves…” Or worse, “Gimme a hundred bucks or else I’ll find rat droppings somewhere in here…”

    Still, it’s way better than nothing. But I’m with you: I wouldn’t go back to a place that’s been shut down.

  46. Naja pallida says:

    Well, I don’t know, I’ve gotten food poisoning twice at a certain casual family dining restaurant chain that shall remain nameless, and I’ve never gone back since. The market worked, obviously… that I didn’t die, that was just icing on the cake!

    If you take the time to read the restaurant health reports section of your local newspaper, assuming they even have such a section anymore, you find out quite quickly that municipal health departments are horribly underfunded, undermanned, and often don’t manage to actually do anything about problem restaurants until well after they’ve already been a public health hazard for some time. And even then, what they are capable of forcing a restaurant to do is usually just a band aid.

    There’s a local buffet place here that is closed probably 10 days out of every month because the health department shuts them down for cleaning. Then they reopen, pass a cursory inspection, and just repeat the cycle all over again. The ridiculous part is, people still eat there! If I ever pulled up to a place that had a ‘Closed by the health department’ sticker on the door, I would never ever return there, but apparently some people don’t care. Cheap food is more important than their health.

  47. mirth says:

    Perfect pic.

    The time is here to precede the names of these fools with Traitor and to be specific in the charge, such as: Traitor to our national interests Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Every damn time we mention them. But, oh boy, it will necessitate casting a very wide net.

    BTW: A very good book about Typhoid Mary is Fever, by Mary Beth Keane.

  48. BeccaM says:

    That’s because as a political philosophy, libertarianism is as unworkable and unrealistic as communism (in that it ignores human nature) and as self-destructive as capitalism (because the greedy bastards will always try to grab all the toys).

    I’ve always considered it an interesting notion in some contexts, most notably the failed ‘War on Drugs’, but also in arenas such as the right to end one’s own life or to control one’s own reproductive organs. The fact it’s incredibly hard to be totally consistent in such a belief is why we have idjits like Rand Paul claiming to espouse libertarianism, immediately followed by proposals to limit people’s rights or to enable the powerful to trample on the rights of the ordinary citizens.

    I’ve long been interested in studying all the different political systems and philosophies that have been developed across human history — this is just one of them.

  49. Naja pallida says:

    Except the next thing they complain about is the requirement of a sign. The same way we’re not allowed to know what is in our food with appropriate labeling, or how in Texas the citizens are not allowed to know that there are highly explosive chemicals stored fifty feet from their child’s school. Anyone who uses the “market forces” argument is a sad and pathetic joke, who is living in a fantasy world and shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, or probably even be allowed out in public without adult supervision.

  50. nicho says:

    I don’t know what you mean by “honest libertarian.” I have never heard anyone explain or propose a coherent political philosophy that could be identified as libertarian. Usually, you just get a lot of vague statements about big government, low taxes, and keeping the government off our backs. But none of it coheres. It’s just a lot of talking points kind of mashed together. If you press, the other person usually becomes agitated and the talking points become faster and more furious — and any semblance of coherence goes out the door.

  51. BeccaM says:

    This might help you and takes less than five minutes to watch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuiHFg_nfnE

  52. BeccaM says:

    Or German Measles (aka Rubella).

  53. BeccaM says:

    This one requires the Picard double face-palm.

    http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/175/315/PicardDoubleFacepalm-1.jpg

    I’m guessing this moron never heard of Mary Mallon (aka Typhoid Mary) nor the main reason why she kept spreading typhus: Besides being an obstinate woman who hated being told what to do, she also repeatedly said she saw no point in washing her hands after using the chamberpot or toilet. She infected 53 people during her career as a cook and killed three.

    Then there’s our old friend and frequent cause of food poisoning, Escherichia Coli

    But hey, why have restaurant health inspections at all? Spoiled food, rats and mice all over, cockroaches in the meals — surely the market will take care of that once the projectile vomiting and non-stop diarrhea begin afflicting dozens!

    Hey, let’s import some of that nummy Chinese sewer sludge-oil! Why should restaurants be banned from using it — the market will take care of that, too.

  54. Nothin’ like some good ol’ fashioned Amurrican Pertussis, by God!

  55. You are missing something, namely the herd immunity effect.
    The concept of herd immunity, in a nutshell, is that once a significant portion of the population is vaccinated against a disease (somewhere around 83%), it helps to protect people who cannot get vaccinated for certain reasons (rare allergy, depressed immune system, etc) by having more people capable of beating the disease by dint of already having been exposed to it via their vaccines.

    I hope that helped, and feel free to ask more questions if I wasn’t clear about anything.

  56. Baal says:

    Somebody else noted that the GOP freakout over Ebola stands in marked contrast to their lack of concern over diseases that are millions of times more contagious — but not “African”.

  57. mirth says:

    Today, from The Washington Post:

    “Once we’re done debating whether children should be vaccinated, we can move on to other pressing public health questions, such as whether eateries can force their employees to wash their hands after they use the bathroom.”

    Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) doesn’t think so.

    “I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says we don’t require our employees to wash our hands after leaving the restroom. The market will take care of that.”

    (Article writer Colby Itkowitz asks: Is requiring a sign not a regulation?)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2015/02/03/the-next-public-health-debate-hand-washing/

  58. BeccaM says:

    It’s also to keep you from infecting others.

  59. BeccaM says:

    As I noted in a comment below, honest libertarianism also requires an acceptance that one’s rights end where someone else’s begin. (And you’re right: The ‘personhood’ of the legal business arrangement known as a corporation is an abomination; even a non-libertarian can recognize this.) And this whole vaccination mess is an object example.

    The asserted position is people should be free to choose how and whether to vaccinate their kids. First of all, children are supposed to be a responsibility, not property, which is why we have Child Protective Services organizations and laws banning both child abuse and the withholding of necessary medical care. And secondly, if that child or teen becomes sick, they’ve become walking infection factories, violating the right of others not to be exposed to these potentially crippling or lethal diseases.

    What they’ve labeled “libertarianism” could more accurately be termed “kleptocracy.” A system of government that exists to protect and increase the wealth of the ruling class at the expense of the wider population.

  60. nicho says:

    Here’s one way of looking at it

  61. 2karmanot says:

    Thanks, Got It

  62. dommyluc says:

    I sincerely hope that this is the hill that Rand Paul and his other science-denying shit-for-brains motherfuckers are willing die upon. I really, really hope it is.

  63. BeccaM says:

    Indeed, most of their positions seem to be characterized by “Laws for thee, but not for me.”

    And the cognitive dissonance is boggling. Vaccines apparently should be optional, even though it’s a major public health issue affecting millions, but women shouldn’t have the option of ending a pregnancy or even the option to use contraceptives to avoid becoming pregnant. Anti-gay types want the right to discriminate against gay people…but gays are to be denied the right to participate in civil marriage or to adopt or even just to be an out-of-the-closet gay person. Fossil fuel companies are to have the right to drill and frack everywhere, without limit…but people don’t have the right to have clean water or air. Or there’s this story I’ve been following over on dKos: A guy has a right to create a public safety hazard by dumping a pile of sand and a couple wooden pallets and labeling it a ‘gun range’ — but the neighbors don’t have the right to neighborhood free of gun fire taking place at any time of the day or night, with bullets being fired into a shoddy and unsecured pile of sand, less than 10 feet away from a child’s bedroom window.

    Basically, it’s a form of personal libertarianism where they get to do whatever the hell they want, but nobody else is granted the same latitude.

    I’d suggest that any would-be libertarian who doesn’t acknowledge that their rights end where someone else’s rights begin (the classic “your right to swing your fist ends at my nose” example) is being philosophically dishonest. Or is just a hypocritical dunderhead. Or both.

  64. nicho says:

    I just meant that kind of liberal crowd that would rather vote Green than Democratic.

    So, you mean people who see the current political system for the sham it really is. And that Republican and Democrats, when you strip away their masks, are both working for the same end — corporate dominance.

  65. nicho says:

    It’s exactly the other way around.

  66. nicho says:

    The problem with trying to explain things in terms of “libertarianism” is that libertarianism, as espoused in the US today, is completely incoherent. People call themselves libertarianism, but can’t really tell you what that means. They mumble some jumble about big government, etc., but even that rant starts to fall apart if you pursue their line of thought.

    Theoretical libertarianism, from the political philosophy point of view, was a failed project. It was utopian, at best, and totally unworkable. For one thing, it required that the original goods in a society had to have been distributed fairly and that all subsequent transactions had to be fair. That’s just insane.

    Currently, “libertarianism” has been sold to the masses by the corporatist, but mainly involves lower taxes on the rich, no government regulations to protect the people, and no way for the people to seek redress of grievances.

    A true libertarian would first and foremost, require the disbanding of all corporations — or at least subjecting them to the rules of corporations that used to apply. We used to have a small government and low taxes. Then, the corporations propelled themselves into a prominent place, and government grew as a countervailing force to protect the people. Making government smaller without neutering corporations is nothing but suicide.

  67. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, you’re missing a lot. Not everyone can be vaccinated. And vaccines don’t work equally well for everyone. In addition to protecting myself from measles and various other diseases, I am slowing down the progress of those diseases. Not only won’t I get them but I also won’t pass them along to people with compromised immune systems (people on chemo for example or with various auto-immune disorders or those with HIV). It’s called herd immunity. If a vaccine is 90% effective that means that if I am immunized there’s only a 10% chance I will pass it on to the next person. If they are immunized that means 90% of 10% of them passing it on and on and on until we reach a number that might as well be zero very quickly. So yes, it is about the community and not just each of us as individuals.

  68. Houndentenor says:

    That was probably a bad reference. So far as I know Moore has no connection to anti-vaxxers. I just meant that kind of liberal crowd that would rather vote Green than Democratic. That’s also just a personal observation. I know several of these anti-vaxxers and they all seem to be the crowd that is well beyond mainstream liberal and prone to conspiracy theories about big pharma.

  69. just_AC says:

    My thought, and I could be wrong, is that you get vaccinated to protect YOURSELF from getting the sickness/disease. You don’t get vaccinated to protect someone else. Am I missing something here?

  70. Naja pallida says:

    That’s because most of the people labeled as libertarians aren’t. The Paul’s most certainly are not. The majority of Rand Paul’s voting record is lock-step Republican, with only a few outliers – most of which have to do with things like war funding, which he’d rather just funnel to different corporate masters. Hypocrite is about the best possible term to describe his political positions.

  71. Naja pallida says:

    Rand Paul has been an active member of a lunatic conspiracy theorist medical group since he was in med school. This is a guy who had to start his own medical accreditation board, with himself and a couple friends controlling it, because the actual national medical boards didn’t think he was qualified. He isn’t ignoring his training, he isn’t even pandering, he really is simply just this crazy.

  72. 2karmanot says:

    Explain the Michael Moore’s part—–I’m curious.

  73. BeccaM says:

    The Yahweh of the Old Testament is a deity who loves smiting, violence, and outright genocide when it suits his whims. He tells one people to go kill another group of people down to the last, including their kids. He sends bears to kill another bunch of children for making fun of his prophet’s baldness. He destroys entire towns for supposedly being 100% filled with wannabe angel-rapists (no matter how improbable that is), but saves a guy who gets blackout drunk and his two rapey daughters. He’s down with killing the firstborn of everyone who isn’t his Chosen People, including those of slaves who could not possibly have done anything to offend him. And not only did he allegedly drown the entire world, saving just one family, the deity described in Revelations is pretty clearly getting back to his roots of being one angry world-destroying mofo.

    The Bible humpers just love all this righteous violence and mayhem because it speaks to their brains’ limbic systems and their adrenaline glands. The notion of other people being punished forever while God’s chosen few enjoy bliss forever gets ’em all wound up.

  74. Baal says:

    The thing I fear the most is if this issue is politicized—if even more right
    wing politicians decide this is an issue that resonates with their
    “base”–then even more people will stop vaccinating their kids in order
    to “piss of liberals” and infectious diseases that should be extinct
    will re-emerge. This affects everyone. Rand Paul has decided this
    is the road he wants to follow. Like the NFL, the GOP is a “copycat league”.

  75. Baal says:

    Nicely put.

  76. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, Luddite Know-Nothing-ism is just their brand these days because it’s one of the easiest ways to sell idiocy and make the rubes vote repeatedly against their own best interests.

    Some of them truly are a stupid as they seem — like Louie Gohmert, for instance. Or as whacky, like Michelle Bachmann. But it’s worth noting they rise to the level of their particular incompetency, but ultimately are proven irrelevant no matter how hard they try. Some like that Alaska ex-demi-governor simply implode after a while.

    But a lot of ’em are smarter than that, and the persona they’ve adopted is quite deliberate. I actually believe the ones who’ve been Rhodes Scholars and achieved advanced degrees are, for the most part, nowhere near as crazy or stupid as they make themselves out to be. Nor the ones who’ve managed to rise and then to hang onto power despite setbacks (e.g., Christie, Walker). But they have to pander to a particular segment of their base, and so lying comes easy to them, as does the criminal sociopathy of suggesting there’s nothing wrong with decisions that’ll get people killed.

  77. Indigo says:

    It’s manipulative ethics based on the assumption that whatever works to advance the agenda or make a profit is ipso facto moral. Some people call it opportunism, others remember old sayings along the lines of “the end justifies the means.” In my ‘umble zen Buddhist practice, misrepresentation is just one of many forms of lie that come nowhere near the Buddha’s exhortation to practice Right Speech.

  78. Indigo says:

    For some reason, Zoolander comes to mind:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilcRS5eUpwk

  79. heimaey says:

    Calm down here Kelly- you know like a good woman should.

  80. Baal says:

    They are not forgetting and they are not repressing. They know better. They just don’t care. They lie. They are willing to say anything no matter how harmful to advance their own personal ambitions. This issue makes it more clear than almost anything else.

  81. UncleBucky says:

    Quiverfull. It just sounds so wholesome! Meh.

  82. emjayay says:

    What is it about being a modern Republican that makes medical school graduates completely forget or repress all their medical training? Kind of like Bobby Jindal being a Rhodes scholar, and then expressing only brain dead ignorant know-nothing Christian Fundamentalist platitudes.

  83. Houndentenor says:

    I’m trying to think of a Libertarian who doesn’t buy into one kind of conspiracy theory nuttery or another. Thinking…. Sorry, I got nothin’. I know quite a few an every one of them has their own pet paranoid theories about the government. (I’m sure there’s an exception. There always is.)

    I have to say, I am rather stunned by this turn in GOP politics. I associate anti-vax nuttery with the Whole Foods/Michael Moore crowd. Obviously that generalization, like so many others, was wrong as I am now learning how many of these vaccine nuts are home-school Quiverfull types.

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