Vaccinations: Liberals Claim Parents are Not Qualified to Decide

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The recent measles outbreak has touched off a firestorm of controversy over the issue of childhood vaccinations. The controversy pits parental-rights advocates on one side against government-control advocates on the other. Those opposed to vaccinations claim that parents have the right to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children. Those who favor vaccinations are trying to cast the question as a public-health issue in which the government has the right to force parents to vaccinate. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, make sure you understand this one critical fact: The debate is not about public health, it is about government control.

First some background. Just the fact that we are having a debate over government coerced vaccinations versus parental rights shows how far to the left our country has tilted. I am old enough to remember when every kid in my neighborhood got the measles. Measles outbreaks were a common and accepted part of life when I was in elementary school in the 1950s. There was nothing controversial about measles—they were just a fact of life. But in today’s environment of government control and coercion, refusing to have a child vaccinated is being treated like child abuse. In fact, it is no exaggeration to suggest that the time is coming when government officials will forcibly take custody of children whose parents refuse to have them vaccinated, regardless of why they refuse.

Interestingly the controversy is not of the typical liberal/conservative variety. Rather, it crosses over all political, social, economic, and religious lines. People of all stripes can be found on both sides of the issue. Consequently, advocates of government coercion have had to find non-political arguments to support their opinions; arguments that do not breakdown along traditional political lines. Said another way, government coercion advocates cannot simply label opponents of vaccinations right-wing kooks, bigots, or racists as they are prone to do when debating other issues.

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