The closer I look at the right wing media and politicians, the more I believe their end game really is Dickensian squalor. They clearly long for the days when industry was unregulated, and the poor were numerous, expendable, and powerless. But they’ve finally stumped me. Today, Rand Paul (M.D) claimed, “I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders [!] after vaccines.” Glenn Beck comes out against vaccines because he’s “done [his] homework,” AND compares the backlash against the anti-vaxxers to the persecution of Galileo by the Church(!!). A doctor (!!!) appearing on Hannity asserted that “No one gives their kids all the scheduled vaccines.”
So here’s my question: WHY? Why are they making THIS a right wing talking point – and it absolutely IS one. This kind of coordinated messaging – from Chris Christie to Rand Paul to pundits and their guests – doesn’t happen by accident. But why? Why are they going beyond the laissez-faire “parents should control medical decisions regarding their children” and straight for “Measles is no big deal and no one vaccinates and PROFOUND MENTAL DISORDERS, I’ve done my homework!” INSANITY? Why are they suddenly *actively trying* to convince people that vaccines aren’t to be trusted?
I’ve assumed all along that their motivations are always greed, a racist hatred of our president, and a fear of long term progressive gains (see above, re: greed). They’ve convinced the working poor to vote against their interests, they’ve brainwashed labor into being anti-union. They’ve monopolized wealth in ways that would make the robber-barons of old blush. They’ve done everything they can to keep gender equality out of reach. They’ve militarized police, made inner cities war zones, and created a cult of worshipping “Our Troops,” while completely neglecting the men and women of the military. But in each one of these horrific cases, I’ve understood WHY. Greed. The constant need to have all money find its way to the pockets of the hyper-wealthy. But how does anti-vaxxing feed that beast? Does Halliburton have a patent on measles meds it hasn’t been able to capitalize upon? Or is disease just another way of sowing discontent and distrust as a way of keeping progressive change at bay? Is the idea that a sick and divided populace won’t work for change? I honestly don’t know. But this ain’t right, and it isn’t happening by accident. The embrace of anti-vaxxerism by the right is part of a plan, I’m sure of it. But what’s puzzling me is the nature of their game….