Democrats and Republicans Remain Divided As Ever Over Vaccine Laws
There’s a war outside our windows. It’s a social war that many of you never thought would see the light of day. As it’s intensity swells, some wonder if we are on the cusp of the new “climate change debate.” We may be.
The war over vaccines was always considered to be between outlier elitists and the commoners – the conspiracy theorists and science – the parents of reportedly injured children and the parents in pandemic fear of the other side. You never cared if politicians supported vaccines, in fact, you vaccinated your children. But, forcing vaccines through policy is a hard line in the sand.
Media coverage over vaccine skepticism was at one time reduced to soundbites of Jenny McCarthy shouting down the MMR shot. Or unconfirmed reports of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s avoidance of vaccines. The outrage existed. The harsh debates between both sides were always dug in. But politically, alliances were messier. The term “anti-vaxxer” was applied to no political side. In fact, an “anti-vaxxer’s” political alliance was always a crapshoot. You never knew.
That’s changed. And that could mean that the vaccination issue is reaching an apex or tipping point. In the past, the anti-vaccine movement suffered from its non-political-affiliation. Without a side of the aisle firmly supportive, any cause becomes less amplified. It can’t organize. It gets left off the debate stage. If it isn’t being debated by politicians, it’s largely ignored. No side can “win.”
The Republican party is beginning to back the anti-vaccine movement. But even that statement needs clarity. As so often is the case, politicians tend to twist context when they argue matters. Democrats are calling just about any opposition to anything vaccine-related “anti-vaxxer.” And it’s backfiring. Because common-sense people can distinguish context and complexity. The end game for Democrats is to classify the common person who doesn’t believe in mandatory flu shots as “someone who thinks vaccines cause Autism.” The media’s on-board, the problem is, America isn’t. And the Republican party has seen the light.
Before I dive in further, no, I’m not saying vaccines cause autism. I don’t love Republicans, they’ve been robbing us as long as Democrats have been robbing us. I’m arguing that Republicans realize parents want medical rights over their children, even if they do worry about anti-vaccine neighbors. And now the GOP is dug in on the issue because they realize its more 2020 campaign fuel (a lot more).
Anti-Vaccine or Parental Rights?
The term “anti-vaccine” is widely misused in the media and by politicians. The United States undoubtedly is home to numerous anti-vaxxers. These are people who firmly believe that vaccines are responsible for injuries. Some believe that the government uses vaccines to sicken the herd. Others believe vaccines are a globalist weapon.
But Democrats determine that those parents who support vaccines, just not the timeline schedule, are anti-vaxxers. Some believe that there are too many vaccines – Dems stamp them as anti-vaxxers. Some people just don’t want a flu shot – rinse, wash, repeat. This is inaccurate labeling. If someone accepts vaccines, just on a delayed or altered schedule, they hardly warrant a dramatic label. The cubicle worker that refuses a flu shot doesn’t warrant the label.
Mislabeling as political savvy gets worse when we branch out into parental rights supporters. And this is the crux of the sticky situation. Many Republicans that are called “anti-vaxxers” state over and over that they are simply for parental rights.
Take Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as a prime example. He’s stated that his children are vaccinated, but he’s vehemently opposed to government mandates. Paul is a revered eye surgeon. He earned a medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. Paul’s stance is that we shouldn’t trade our liberty for a false sense of security.
That’s not anti-vaccine, that’s merely Paul being consistent with his core beliefs. Yet, last month, CSPAN ran a headline linking Paul to anti-vaccine advocates. Sure, those against all vaccines would support a politician that opposes laws mandating their use. That’s fair. But Paul’s condemnation centers around parental rights. That’s the core competency of his argument. But it’s intentionally missed as a way to create outrage over the matter. And that’s good for no one.
Republicans Are Digging In…The Great Vaccine Divide Has Legs
Democrats are responding to media outrage over measles outbreaks by writing bills that strengthen immunization laws. Lawmakers in New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, New York, and Maine, have authored bills that remove vaccine exemptions or drastically restrict them. But those bills are facing new opposition: Republicans. In Washington state, SB 1638, which removes personal exemptions, passed 25-22. The votes went almost exactly down party lines.
Republicans are opting to support parental rights in the face of harsh criticism. And this may have massive 2020 campaign consequences. Here’s why.
The “anti-vaccine” movement, an all-encompassing term that intentionally misleads, was always non-political. Even states such as West Virginia and Mississippi, long regarded as two of the strictest vaccine states in the nation, suddenly have Republican-authored bills to lessen restrictive exemption processes. Republicans are calling for more attainable vaccine exemptions in the face of media outrage over measles. Is there a redder state than Mississippi? What a conundrum for Democrats. Mississippi has been notoriously strict on vaccine exemptions. Prior to California’s mandatory vaccine law passage, Mississippi was the strictest.
One of the reddest states in American history, the strictest vaccine state in America, is suddenly considering loosening up exemption laws.
Democratic strategic mislabeling is backfiring on Democrats. The consequence is red states shifting away from their traditional values. This is hardly Republican support for vaccine rights, this is the consequence of people running far away from Democrat lunacy. Every issue Democrats stroke turns into a dumpster fire. The mandatory vaccine issue is no different.
In 2015, then Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton famously Tweeted, “The science is clear: the earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids.”
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2015
Clinton’s Tweet reflected the extent that most politicians went in terms of vaccine rhetoric. While Clinton’s Tweet made her opinion clear, it didn’t bury her in political polls. She didn’t buy ads pushing vaccines.
Democrats in 2019, however, are buying ad space to warn of anti-vaccine dangers. New York Senators launched an ad campaign pushing for “acceptance” of vaccines. The bigger issue is that New York initiated the first ever mandatory vaccine bill on all people.
“I know that other politicians promote legislation that promotes vaccines, but I’ve never seen an advertising campaign favoring vaccines (from them), I’ve only seen that from public health departments,” Robert Krakow, the attorney who represents NY parents against the mandatory vaccine law, said. “This is very unusual.”
“Generally, I just don’t think it’s the role of a legislator,” he added.
Here’s the formula for failure.
As Democrats continue to mislabel, they similarly continue to embolden the group they war with. The anti-vaccine group is swelling, but only because Democrats keep dropping more and more seeds into its soil.
The working Joe that just doesn’t want a flu shot is now an anti-vaxxer. He’s voted Democrat his entire life. But now suddenly, he’s condemned by his own party. The liberty-minded folks among us that are anti-Trump are now tested by the same anti-vax term. They merely want Americans to retain medical rights over their children. They’ve said nothing about autism and vaccines.
For the first time in history, there is a true political divide over vaccines. Democrats are for mandatory vaccines, Republicans are against it. Democrats believe that someone who doesn’t’ want a flu shot, or delays the vaccine schedule, or doesn’t believe in mandatory vaccines, is an anti-vaxxer. The Republican voting base is swelling because Democrats keep widening the scope of voters.
Suddenly, voters must consider the mandatory vaccine issue. And they now see a hard line in the sand between Democrats and Republicans.
Republicans are riding a wave of parental rights protection. They realize that most Americans don’t want the government deciding which medicines their children should take. And they are willing to ride the wave, confidently, into 2020. Republicans consistently say they support vaccines, but not vaccine mandates. In Texas, the Tea Party created the anti-vax PAC in 2015. It’s stalled out, but it could see more funding as media outrage continues to deliver on the nightly news.
Some media personalities are bucking the trend. Tucker Carlson consistently features the who’s who over mandatory vaccine opposition on his prime time show.
Tucker isn’t against vaccines.
“They piled on you,” Carlson said to Kennedy in his usual disingenuous way. “Why? Why is raising questions about the safety of vaccines a no-go zone?”
Tucker is playing to the anti-censorship crowd. And it’s working.
The vaccine debate is quickly becoming the new climate change. And it’s growing via the same liberal incompetence of mislabeling. Most people believe we should temper our use of automobiles, or that flying big passenger jets contributes to some environmental degradation. But a lot of us don’t think that it will stop snowing on Mount Kilimanjaro two years ago (hint, this never happened, sorry Al Gore).
Don’t think that the world will end in 2025? You’re a climate change denier. Once you are labeled a climate change denier, you begin to experience disdain by the labeler. The labeler is the Democratic party.
This is how mislabeling backfires. It reduces an otherwise logical issue to mayhem. It becomes too inclusive. It forces people to take a side. Suddenly you’re voting for Donald Trump, a former reality TV star. That’s how these equations flush out.
The Democratic party has a bad habit of going too extreme at all the wrong times. And they are doing it again. Vaccines are worth public discussions. But we can’t have these discussions when over half our population is being shouted down with misdirected, strategic labels.
The Republican Strategy Is Simple: Vote Dem, Be Forced To Vaccinate
Imagine a world where the state forces you to vaccinate. Or the state removes your rights to guns. It’s all conspiracy theory until it isn’t. The reckless Democratic party plays their initial hand well. When Republican voters claim things like “gun grab” or “forced vaccinations,” the Democratic party paints them as conspiracy theorists that we should disregard.
In the early discussions, the strategy plays well.
New York mandates vaccines for all citizens in specific Burroughs. Senate Bill 5062 would have banned all magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds (that’s most every standard gun type). Suddenly, people feel lied to and deceived. This leads to distrust and emboldens those “conspiracy theorists” to leverage new theories.
Americans keep waiting for a Democrat to rise up and find the middle. But with each passing day, such an event seems less and less likely.
Parents Choosing Homeschool Options More Than Ever
The result of more stringent mandatory vaccine policies is increased homeschool rates. In 2010, there were 2 million homeschool students in the United States. In 2016, the number rose to 2.3 million. We can’t blame mandatory vaccine laws alone, many parents are choosing to homeschool based on a variety of influences. But it is difficult to argue that parents aren’t opting out of public schools as a way to avoid these laws.
But now the media and politicians are attacking homeschool families. Just last week, Fox News published a piece titled “‘House of Horrors’ child abuse cases reveals how offenders nationwide use homeschooling to hide their crimes.”
The article focuses on several recent high-profile child abuse cases. But these cases are the exception rather than the rule.
One of the primary cases the article focuses on is the horrible case of David and Louise Turpin. The California couple held their 13 kids hostage and regularly abused them.
“Imagine if the Turpins had at least an annual check,” Coleman said, referring to the California parents, David and Louise Turpin, who last week was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. “There’s no way they could have been seen by a doctor or a certified teacher and skated that long.”
This reads reasonably at first glance. But a problem arises when Coleman says medical records are the essential driver in potential home reviews.
“We’d like to have medical records required of families who homeschool and have standardized tests or portfolios reviewed by teachers, or doctors, or counselors, social workers, or clergy, each year,” Coleman said. “Then we can notice if there’s something egregious.”
Would they only look for abuse? Or would they monitor the status of chickenpox or flu vaccines? In the U.K, one town is creating a homeschool registry.
This is where voters may get uneasy about government intervention into homeschooling.
Always know your homeschool state laws before making the decision to pull your child from school. In the
Democrats and Vaccines: 2020 Candidates – Strangely Absent From Mandatory Chatter
It’s important to distinguish between those who promote vaccines for health purposes and those who push for mandatory vaccine laws. I don’t believe those pushing for vaccines as a benefit to society suffer political consequences. In reality, Republicans are promoting the same idea. The fallout comes from those who push for mandatory vaccinations. Democratic Presidential candidates are eluding the mandatory issue. They’re allowing the radicals in their party test the waters.
But at some point, they’ll be asked point blank over mandatory vaccines. Will they shun the radicals in their party?
Elizabeth Warren and Vaccines
Warren hasn’t stated her position on mandatory vaccinations, but like most of her policies, she wants tax payer funding and universal access.
“When the polio and measles vaccines became available for the first time, parents lined up to make sure their kids would be protected,” Warren said at a congressional hearing in 2015. “They’d lived in a world of infectious diseases that destroyed children’s futures, and they desperately wanted to leave that world behind.”
“The more we do on the front end to ensure that everyone gets access to vaccines, the less we’ll see individuals contracting hepatitis A, measles, whooping cough, and all of the other vaccine-preventable diseases. We must make sure there is robust public health funding so people have access to vaccines,” Warren said.
Kamala Harris Supported California’s Mandatory Vaccine Law, SB277
Harris is reportedly in favor of mandatory vaccinations. The assumption is based on her office’s support of SB277. She’s yet to make her own definitive statement. Her spokesperson said, “She thinks people should get vaccines.”
Bernie Sanders Likely Supports Strict Vaccine Laws
When asked about whether or not he supports mandatory vaccinations.
“Obviously, vaccinations work. Vaccination has worked for many, many years,” Sen. Bernie Sanders told The Daily Beast. “I am sensitive to the fact that there are some families who disagree but the difficulty is if I have a kid who is suffering from an illness who is subjected to a kid who walks into a room without vaccines that could kill that child and that’s wrong.”
In 2004, Sanders argued with an FDA representative when he contended that flu vaccine shortages were harming people’s health.
Amy Klobuchar Supports Universal Flu Vaccines
She’s yet to dig in on the issue of mandatory vaccines.
“Last year’s flu was the worst we’ve seen in years and with the next flu season starting soon, we have to be prepared,” Klobuchar said. “The Flu Vaccine Act will support critical research at the National Institutes of Health to finally develop a universal vaccine so Minnesotans and all Americans can be better protected from all variations of the flu.”
“Flu shots are already available for the coming flu season, and we need to make funding available for a universal flu vaccine to end of this viral scourge,” Markey said. “Increased federal investment in a vaccine will help predict the right strain for the next season, produce a more optimal vaccine, and protect all Americans against all strains of this virus. I am pleased that we continue to invest in a flu-free future.”
Joe Biden Largely Absent From Vaccine Debate
He’s muttered very little over the issue.
“I look forward to the day when your grandchildren and my grandchildren and their children show up at the office to get their physical to start school and get a shot for measles and they get a vaccine that affects significant causes of cancer,” he said while discussing the Cancer Moonshot coalition in 2016.
Pete Buttigieg and Vaccines
Buttigieg believes strongly that states should have the option to enforce mandatory vaccine laws. He believes that religious and personal exemptions should only be allowed in states not facing a public health crisis. But, he doesn’t define “public health crisis.”
“The law of the land for more than a century has been that states may enforce mandatory vaccination for public safety to prevent the spread of a dangerous disease. Pete does support some exceptions, except during a public health emergency to prevent an outbreak,” a spokesperson stated on his behalf per Buzzfeed News.
“These exemptions include medical exemptions in all cases (as in cases where it is unsafe for the individual to get vaccinated), and personal/religious exemptions if states can maintain local herd immunity and there is no public health crisis,” the spokesperson said.
“Pete believes vaccines are safe and effective and are necessary to maintaining public health,” the spokesperson said. “There is no evidence that vaccines are unsafe, and he believes children should be immunized to protect their health. He is aware that in most states the law provides for some kinds of exemptions. He believes only medical exemptions should be allowed.”
Beto O’Rourke and Vaccines
The Democrat party has high hopes for this former Texas’ 16th congressional district rep. O’Rourke says that his children are vaccinated but stops short of pushing for mandatory bills.
“The evidence is clear and there is wide agreement among doctors and scientists that vaccination is the best course for our kids and our communities,” he said. “Beto and Amy have chosen to vaccinate their three children because they believe it is important to ensuring our country’s children are healthy, safe, and secure.”
“I know just about as much as any parent. All three of my kids are vaccinated,” O’Rourke said in a video posted by the group. “I know that this is an issue that some people have a difference of opinion on. I’m not as informed as I should be to give you a thoughtful answer.”
The Democrats Can’t Separate From Radicals
While Democrat party Presidential candidates may intentionally dodge the issue of mandatory vaccines, they’ll be dragged down by the radicals in their party. This is the same play they make on issues of gun bans. While their radicals support gun bans, Presidential candidates tend to say “gun control” and leave the meaning of that rather ambiguous.
But the radicals within are growing. And traditional Democrats are being pushed to make hard decisions. Democrats nationwide are voting down the party line in favor of mandatory vaccination laws. These 2020 candidates aren’t going to be able to shake that stigma. And Republicans are going to cash in at the polls next year.
Donald Trump is likely to win huge again next year. There is little doubt that a hyper-fueled economy will represent a big part of that. But it is difficult to ignore the Democrats’ inability to find the middle. A middle-ground candidate offers Dems a great chance at voting Trump out. But Republicans should rest easy, Democrats have shown no aptitude for this strategy.
Instead, they continue to move to increase their voting base. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders are now supporting allowing prisoners to vote, including the Boston Marathon bomber. Rather than go moderate, they’ve chosen to go more radical. And this means few parents will trust any of these candidates with their rights.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.