I’ve always claimed that if I have children, I’ll try to vaccinate roughly half of them at random. Everybody finds this Solomon Solution offensive, of course, because everybody’s pretty convinced of their position that vaccinations save children’s lives or that vaccinations poison and endanger them. I reckon I’m just indecisive like that, open to different opinions and inclined to hedge my bets.
Vaccines are vexing. They have indeed saved millions and millions of lives, and will surely save millions more. They’ve been a public health revolution. Furthermore, much of the research on the supposed dangers don’t really stack up to peer review. The evidence that vaccines cause autism and the concerns about this or that ingredient being dangerous haven’t been convincing for me.
I am, however, strongly opposed to mandatory vaccines for the following reasons:
#1: Diversity is Our Strength!
Medical science is not exact, with the science relating to the nature and function of the human immune system being perhaps the least exact of all medical sciences. Humanity’s immune system signatures are as diverse and distinct as our fingerprints and faces, and that diversity is a strength. Humanity’s been battling viruses since long before germ theory and modern vaccinations came along. While vaccinations might be a powerful new weapon in our arsenal, if we make them mandatory and universal then we’re depriving ourselves of the very diversity of responses which are a time-proven survival strategy for the human herd.
#2: Unknown Unknowns
Donald Rumsfeld famously opined that…
There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.
There, in the insidious unknown unknowns, lies another reason for my strong stance against mandatory vaccination. Playing with the human immune system is playing with fire. And vaccinating the entire herd is clearly unwise. Perhaps a vaccine currently being administered results in infertility, or Alzheimer’s Syndrome, or in Multiple Sclerosis much later in life? This is all scientifically illiterate and implausible speculation, but have all the potential problems that could come along been so definitively ruled out that we’re willing to place absolutely all of our eggs into that basket? Is the science really that reliable and precise that it warrants taking that kind of all-or-nothing gamble on it? Over and over again?
#3: My Body, My Choice
A rich irony is that the Center for American Progress think tank which published “Idea of the Day: Voluntary Exemptions from Childhood Vaccinations Threaten Our Public Health” and their fellow travelers are the first to demand personal freedom from government intrusion when the subject is abortion. In the case of abortion, there’s a valid debate over whether it is really the mother’s body. After all, a separate human being (whom the father also has a valid stake in the future of) happens to developing in her womb. There’s no such nuance or complexity in this debate; however. It’s a debate about whether the government has the right to inject chemicals into our children with syringes.
Is “public health” more sacred than our civil liberties? Founding Father Patrick Henry famously shouted, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” It’s bad enough that these Leftists are already orchestrating pervasive mandatory social experiments on us, but can we really tolerate them orchestrating pervasive mandatory medical experiments on us? With gene therapy and other options for meddling in our bodies coming up in the near future, what other “public health” choices will they unilaterally make about ourselves and our children?
I’ve been critical of the philosophical and political emphasis on individualism which has pervaded the West in general and America in particular for the last few hundred years. Taken to the extreme it’s been taken to, it results in selfishness, moral relativism, and an alienation from our ethnic and historic identities. But there’s an organic individualism, rooted in our human dignity, accountability, and equality in the eyes of God, which does confirm our right to free speech, our right to bear arms, and our right to raise and care for our children as we see fit.
While mandatory vaccinations would be overreach for even the most noble and righteous of governments, our current regime evidently can’t be trusted with the most rudimentary elements of statecraft. It certainly can’t be trusted with the power of life and health of our children. Most Americans aren’t yet ready for our identitarian or radical traditionalist message, but the millions of Americans who are choosing homeschooling and the millions more who are willing to take a stand against mandatory vaccinations are taking that necessary first step, losing faith in this system’s authority.