The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

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.

Comments on: "Please find a way to explain anti-vaxxer politicians to me!" (3)

  1. accidently found you, looking to support the other doug hughes protesting the indecent amounts of money in campaigns. You know what ? now that I did find you, I just want to give a comment about vaccines. I’m a liberal. working class blue collar democrat. Have Nothing in common with these two politicians, Except the issue of vaccines. You mentioned selling of medicines for the diseases which vaccines prevent. It’s a lot of work but please look into the issue, not just sound bites about the crazy anti-vaxxers. Research the diseases themselves. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry, every new vaccine Big Pharma comes up with, we are just to follow, don’t ask questions. Look deeply into it, it isn’t as slam dunk as it seems. Thank you for your time

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  2. Jo Randolf said:

    Doug,
    It’s pretty odd to classify “antivaxxer” as being a conservative notion. According to liberal Slate magazine:
    “It is indefensible to spin this as a problem for Republicans,” wrote Mollie Hemingway, senior editor for the Federalist, pointing to the prevalence of vaccine skeptics in liberal enclaves like Marin County, California, and the presence of the same in liberal magazines like Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, and Salon. Her colleague, fellow senior editor David Harsanyi, went further, listing “five ways liberals ignore science,” from anti-vaccination and anti-genetically modified foods dogma, to global warming “alarmism,” fracking, and a whole host of parascience beliefs. “Among those who do believe extraterrestrials are hanging around, 69 percent are Democrats, a far higher number than Republicans,” he writes, citing a 2013 poll from YouGov and the Huffington Post. “Democrats were also significantly more likely than Republicans to believe in fortune telling, and about twice as likely to believe in the astrology.”

    The Democratic Party has long made common cause with prominent people who thought vaccines caused autism, two in particular stand out. The first person is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who published an influential article in Rolling Stone and the progressive website Salon back in 2005 tying vaccines to autism. It was so inaccurate that both publications retracted it several years later. But the damage had already been done. Because of widespread misinformation from celebrities like him, to this day, millions of Americans falsely believe that vaccines cause autism.

    The second person is President Barack Obama. On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama said , “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

    The only reason Democrats are considered the “pro-science” party is because the media and evidently you, Doug, have decided to give them a free pass on scientific issues.

    Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/09/10/are_democrats_really_the_pro-science_party_115367.html#ixzz3XRb22HES

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