Dear Anti-vaxxer: This is why I still do not care for you.
A while ago I wrote a post entitled, “Dear Anti-vaxxer: This is why I do not care for you”. It is coming up on two years since I wrote it, and I’d hoped that things would change in that time, but for the most part they have not–with one exception. The online presence of people who are fighting back against the misinformation and lies of the anti-vax movement is increasing daily. Voices for Vaccines is one new group that is organizing around the promotion of science to combat the anti-vax movement. I recommend that you look into their group if you haven’t already. I am not personally involved in this group, by the way, so before any anti-vaxxers reading this start screaming “conspiracy!” you can stick a cork in it already. I am not even sure if they want to be mentioned on this blog, but too late now.
In the meantime, I present my updated version of why I still do not care for anti-vaxxers.
1. You still believe that your opinion should be respected
One of the most common angry responses to my original post was that “all opinions should be respected”. This is bullshit. The people responsible for spreading this fallacy are ruining the next generation. For example, I do not need to respect the opinion of racists, bigots, or people who believe that Uggs are still fashionable, right? This type of attitude is bleeding into classrooms everywhere (though, as you might imagine, not mine). I must again refer to the Poland and Jacobson quote
“Ultimately, society must recognize that science is not a democracy in which the side with the most votes or the loudest voices gets to decide what is right“.
Anti-vaxxers still fail to understand that to have a scientific debate, you must have some science. The notion that I or anybody else must respect an opinion about a scientific subject, but about which the co-debater has absolutely no knowledge, is beyond ludicrous. Your opinion is dangerous and misinformed. No respect is forthcoming, now or ever.
2. You still think that you know more than 99.99% of the scientific community.
I have to wonder how you get out of bed every day when everyone around you is so stupid and you are so smart. How can you board an aircraft when the aerospace and mechanical engineers who built it do not know as much as you do? Oh yeah, that’s right. For almost every technological advance, you trust the experts. But not for vaccinations–oh, no. In a phenomenal feat of mental gymnastics, you and your peeps are still convinced that the more qualified a person is to talk about vaccination, the less he or she actually knows. You call them arrogant. You call them elitist. And yet, there can be no greater arrogance than that possessed by one with no degree in any field of biological sciences who still believes that she knows more than 99.99% ofthe healthcare community. Why have you decided that you are smarter than folks who have dedicated their lives to the science that keeps you from dying of infectious disease? It remains a mystery.
3. Yep, you are still selfish.
One meme circulating widely in the anti-vax community this year said something to the effect of “I am not responsible for the herd. I am only responsible for my children”. It is downright hilarious that you folks do not realize how selfish and disgusting this viewpoint remains. First of all, being responsible for your children means you should not be a numbskull and that you should listen to your doctor when it comes to medical advice. Second, the concept that you need to tend only to your little snowflake is a great example of how our society has devolved. By not vaccinating, you are jeopardizing every person in your community. But you really don’t care about your newborn niece or nephew, do you? I saw a lot of angst being posted online this year ,where anti-vaxxers were not being allowed to visit newborn family members, to which I say: HELL YEAH! You don’t think measles is disease to be concerned with, because you are not very smart, but your sister/aunt/niece/brother does. What is most amazing is your self-victimization when someone calls you out on your anti-vax crap. Here’s a novel idea: why don’t you try listening to their concerns? You are quite happy to parasite away off of the good health of your vaccinated community instead, and you are proud of it. There is something profoundly wrong with that.
4. You are still purposely trying to manipulate others.
Yes Virginia, the news story comment bombing by anti-vaxxers has finally met its match this year. You march right in after a vaccine news piece declaring that you shall educate us, one and all. Sadly, you still don’t have any useful information to share. You post emotional anecdotes and sketchy “articles” that don’t survive any sort of critical analysis whatsoever. Your strategy is to come in great numbers and make it difficult for any rational person to actually address all of your assorted links to anti-vax websites and articles. You don’t actually want to have a debate. You want to shout so loudly that no one can hear over you. You do not care that your posts are flat-out lies, because they support your worldview that you.are.on.to.something. But you’re not. You are, quite simply, WRONG.
5. You wield autism as a club in the most offensive way possible.
This is a tremendously sensitive issue, but one of the things that broke my heart when I wrote this post originally was hearing from parents of autistic children who are outraged that the anti-vax movement uses their children as warnings about vaccines. Yes, I have family members who are on the spectrum. No, vaccines did not cause them to develop autism. This has been shown over and over and over again. So, first of all, any statements warning parents not to vaccine or their child might develop autism is quite simply factually incorrect. Second of all: piss off. Your message seems to be that you would rather have a child who dies than one with autism. So, again: piss off.
6. You are still causing disease outbreaks.
Yeah, I know, you still don’t think measles are dangerous, but you are, as usual, wrong. In addition, the head of the CDC called you out this year for being a responsible party for the measles outbreaks worldwide. You don’t agree. You are, as usual, wrong. Your contorted attempts to rationalize why anti-vaxxers are not to blame for these outbreaks have been amusing to some degree, but they are yet another example of your inability to think clearly through this issue.
7. You still don’t understand that by spreading the anti-vaccine message, you are endangering your own children.
I understand: You refuse to vaccinate your own children. There is nothing I can say to change your mind about this subject. However, the vaccinated are protecting your children, every day. You crow about how “healthy” your unvaccinated kids are (though many posts and comments put the lie to these claims). You do not understand that the reason your unvaccinated child has not gotten a vaccine-preventable disease is because your neighbors did vaccinate. So why are you so insistent about spreading the word to eschew vaccination? You are popping your own protective bubble.
And that, dear anti-vaxxer, is why I still do not care for you.