Recently Chris Christie and Rand Paul made some comments supportive of the anti-vaxxer “movement”. This is really gives me pause.
These two are also both in the climate change denial camp. I always assumed that climate change denying politicians only did so because they receive money from climate change denying businesses, and/or pandering to the climate change denial demographic.
You see, I honestly picture politicians as being quite smart and savvy. (I’m not sure whether this is cynical or optimistic of me.) They have to be smart to weasel their way into power. It takes a degree of brilliance to convince the masses that something which is economically bad for them is actually somehow good for them. You’ve got to be sharp to pander effectively to a constituency without actually doing anything for them. You’ve got to be intelligent to find every way to increase your, your friends’, and your corporate overlord’s power and wealth without inciting the population to rise up with pitchforks and torches.
In other words, I have a hard time believing that politicians are actually dumb. I figured they actually believe in climate change, they just have a strong incentive to deny it and legislate against it. I figured they knew it was dumb to disallow scientists from advising the EPA.
But this anti-vaxxer situation makes me wonder if these politicians legitimately don’t understand science. Where’s the political advantage? The anti-vaxxer community can’t be nearly large enough to risk pandering to. And where’s the financial advantage? It’s not like Big Pharma is going to advocate for making less money.
Perhaps that’s it. If more people get sick with preventable illnesses they’ll be able to sell more medications, thereby making more profit? (Perhaps I need to make a tinfoil hat?) This doesn’t pass the smell test.
They only option I am left with is that these two politicians at least actually are scientifically illiterate. They must legitimately not understand the scientific method, how it is used test theories, find evidence, and draw conclusions. You can’t scientifically say that there is no climate change because it gets cold in winter. The evidence doesn’t match the theory.
If these two jackasses are representative of any significant portion of politicians, then we are all well and truly fucked. I for one, will require a lot of pandering to convince me it’s somehow good for me.