[Note: I removed this initial post from RedState.]
What the hell happened yesterday on Twitter? Conservatives fell apart, exposed as hypocrites and justifying every belief that progressives and the mainstream media have. Conservatives are all about freedom, liberty, choice of the individual and then someone dared challenge the notion that not everyone has to get vaccinated. The conservative world fell apart. Tweets accusing parents of being baby killers, child abusers…it was unbelievable. Safety of the herd! Social contract! Twitter scientists asserting that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism because #Science!
When I expressed my challenge of working to reconcile what I know is right for my family to vaccinate, against the backdrop of freedom to choose for oneself, I was mocked, shamed and told to sit down and shut up. One “conservative” jumped into my TL to tell me to “just get the dam [sic] shot”. Another conservative questioned whether I would report child abuse when I saw it. Ummm…yes. However, believe it or not, keeping your children from getting vaccinated is NOT child abuse or else Africa has a whole continent of them.
“You don’t have the right to give me polio!” True. If I walked over and inject you with the polio virus, I should be punished for it. And the illegal alien who has never seen a vaccination needle and has no idea he/she is carrying polio? Isn’t that what vaccines are for? When I chose to get my children vaccinated, I was only thinking of them. I do not feel a responsibility to the herd. That is, in my opinion, a nice outcome but it’s not an expectation I hold. I wasn’t raised to believe that the world is a clean, nice, disease-free place.
“You can’t just drive crazy on the road & put my life in danger! Social contract!!” Actually, yes…yes I can. I can drive like a maniac on the road. I can easily make that choice. I may be breaking the law but I can still do it until someone or something stops me. The notion of a social contract is a Western idea. I’ve never done it, but the stories I hear about riding in cabs in China and India sound the opposite of a “social contract”. I don’t run stop signs because I choose life. I don’t assume the other guy is automatically making that choice but I do take a calculated risk that he’s not going to speed up quickly after he’s started decelerating as he approaches the stop sign. I’m fascinated with people who run on the road. Why do they assume that people will a) see them, and b) see them? How many people are driving while smartphoning? My greater assumption in driving or flying or anywhere else is that people are self-serving self-preserving folk who want to stay alive but not all of them, so I must stay vigilant.
The worst outcome of this nonsense has been how closely the pro-vaccine people sounded like gun control advocates. “General public safety.” “Think of the children.” “Look at the data.” “You are putting my child at risk.” The shrieking. The panic. The lecturing. The condescension. The eye rolling. Very few people were willing to agree that vaccinating a child is a choice that every parent is free to make. No one really wanted to hear that.
No country can guarantee your safety. From the meltdown I saw yesterday, it seems conservatives really didn’t believe that was true. Vaccines are not a magic shield. Even if you get your child vaccinated, it doesn’t magically protect them from getting sick or worse, contracting the precise disease they’ve been vaccinated against.
If this sounds familiar, it should. No one can keep criminals from getting guns. Even if we mandated that every person in the entire world was vaccinated, it wouldn’t completely eradicate anything. We don’t control polio or Ebola or Hantavirus or even influenza.
I got my children vaccinated. I think everyone should. However, if someone exercises their right to choose differently, I will respect that….probably from a distance.