The Growing Right Wing Fascination with Quackery

The Growing Right Wing Fascination with Quackery February 4, 2015

GOP Senator: Don’t Force Employees to Wash Their Hands after Using the Toilet

This genius has no problem with the state forcing Starbucks to put up signs informing customers that their food preparers might be seasoning their food with fecal flecks, just with making sure they don’t season their food with fecal flecks. The market, it is explained, will deal with it.

Glenn Beck: Anti-Vaxxers are being persecuted like heretics “in days of Galileo”

Accessory to murder with very nice sweater stands tall for defiance of common sense to make sure that fools have the right to endanger young, old, and immunocompromised for no good reason.

Rand Paul repeats completely debunked claim that vaccines cause mental disorders

I mean completely debunked, as in 75 studies show no link between vaccines and autism and only one–a fraudulent study–has claimed a link.

“But Paul is a doctor!” Right. An ophthalmologist–who knows nothing about immunology and whose remarks are driven, not by any medical expertise but by the fact that anti-vax nonsense is becoming more and more popular with a discernment-free conservative based with an inerrant attraction to quackery, a kneejerk libertarianism blind to the common good, and a silly populist pride about anything opposed to expertise in science.

Chris Christie also senses this change in the wind, which is why he is in the news as well, irresponsibly giving aid and comfort to anti-vax woo woo in the middle of a growing measles epidemic. And this only a few months after he issued draconian quarantine orders to people with no evidence of ebola in order to placate the panic-stricken “execute ebola victims” right that, with Ann Coulter, saw no point in white people treating diseases suffered by Africans and urged instead that we treat rich Jews and convert them to get their money.

This linkage of skin tone to disease is not lost on Republican Rep Mo Brooks, who jumps on board as well to blame, not people who refuse to immunize against easily preventable disease, but the Brown Other (who cannot wait to get vaccinated). The Party of Personal Responsibility continues to make itself a natural haven for anti-science faddists and bigots with a tactic as old as blaming the Jews for the Black Death.

Anti-vax woo woo used to be a thing for boutique lefties in Marin County and talking hairdos like Jenny McCarthy. You heard it from libs like Bill Maher.

But increasingly, as with the folly of identity politics and speech codes and attempts to shout people down with recycled early 90s Womyn’s Studies Gendershriek (I was called an “intellectual rapist” by a *conservative* the other day for saying I don’t buy GOP agitprop), the right seems to be picking up all the dumbest ideas of the left and rejecting all the best ones. And so it is increasingly from conservative sources we are seeing this festival of crazy against vaccination, right in the middle of a measles outbreakand despite the fact that the Church says vaccination is a moral obligation and the science makes clear the overwhelming benefits to public health.

The good news is, this embrace of folly is not uncontested on the right. Simcha Fisher and the Rational Catholic blog have done fine work educating people. Many others are out there as well, including the redoubtable Dr. Dan Conway (an expert in immunology who you can hear interviewed on the February 2 broadcast of “Connecting the Dots” here). In the world of much larger media fry, Megyn Kelly (one of the few voices at FOX I have some respect for) dares to contradict the Hive Mind with the shocking idea that the state has as much responsibility to mandate vaccination as to mandate laws against letting your two year old stand on the seat while you speed down the freeway at 80 MPH drunk:

Of course, in FOX World, such common sense is anathema to its vast audience of Ron Swanson wannabes. Accept the reality of “public health issues” and the next thing you know Obama will be mandating forced abortions and a One Child Policy in the bizarro world of fear that FOX labors to create. I suspect she will get a sternly worded reprimand from on high as the toxic logic of deranged libertarianism corrodes yet another region of the right wing brain and individualism with no conception of the common good continues to eat away at the soul of a once noble political tradition.

In the meantime, a rear guard of conservatives who have not lost their minds continue to battle a growing conservative base who believe that Google and Reading a Thing or Two by One’s Favorite Conspiracy Theorist is an adequate substitute for education. This is on a rapid trajectory to become a darling issue with Tea Party conservatives right up there with creationism. I won’t be surprised to see “Germ Theory: Teach the Controversy” T shirts popping up soon.

Meanwhile, people die, are blinded, and are left severely brain damaged or sterile of with a host of other problems. I’m a tolerant person. But when highly paid fools in media and government threaten to blind, brain damage or kill my grand-daughters I become veddy. put. out. These fools prancing the high places of media, state and culture must be made as radioactive as the KKK to ordinary people.

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