If you think that issues regarding vaccination should be part of the Democratic Party Platform
then I want to suggest that you discuss the issue in educated and insightful ways.
I recommend that you focus on the many benefits that they give to a civilized society. Such as allowing people to bring infants out into public (a very new concept, actually). Which then allows parents to leave children with caregivers without fear of the deadly childhood diseases that wracked our ancestors, and thinned the ranks of our species, as all pathogens do. Point out how the current lowering of overall herd immunity puts at risk our youngest, weakest and our oldest. Encourage, educate and discuss.
Refrain from ridiculing, bullying, name calling and pretending that you know more about the issue than others who have actually studied it (unless of course you actually do, but then be humble about it at least).
The general discussions on DU regarding this matter are appalling and a complete turn off to most anyone who comes here. The discussions come off as dictatorial and mean spirited. And not intelligent, or interesting. Plus the typical screaming posters appear just as crazed as the conservatives that so many of us on DU enjoy poking fun at. There are an abundance of liberal reasons to support universal and free vaccination of children. The most powerful political way that we as a community have helped increase the childhood vaccination rate has been through the expansion of the healthcare system through the Affordable Care Act. How about patting ourselves on the back a bit about making it FREE to get the vaccines (note each shot that my daughter got as an babe cost me $125 out of pocket- each shot- not each time I took her to the doctor!) So, making it free is a very very big deal.
Focus on what is good, what is important and how we have come to depend upon these conveniences of the day.
You will lose any chance of inclusiveness by ridiculing and accusing people of all the horrid things that you banter about. Your absolute need to vilify people is quite troubling.
The issue gets lost instantly in a bizarre ritual of verbal abuse
Nor can you be the Ultimate Net Nanny...been tried here year after year, but to no avail.
then they had better improve their talking points, as all they are doing now is turning people off.
by groups are from years and years of informal discussion (which to the outsider can look strange or wrong). I also think it worth noting that there are many forms of discussion going on and not all of them are the least bit serious.
I do tend to agree with you on the 'always with a vile comment' part. Some do seem to only be able to make negative comments and that drives me a little crazy.
that it breaks down into an informal debate...which can look like a total mess to the outsider.
And I understand what you mean, when you say you are always questioning science...as does every scientist worth their salt. If they ever stopped questioning their own theories and suppositions, we would be in a world of hurt.
It's an education/information issue.
In order to be anti-vaccine you have to believe that the CDC (and WHO) is in on a huge conspiracy and has been for decades.
There can be no acknowledgement of an arguments validity if step one is to question science and scientists.
Having said that, there may be legitimate reasons why people don't want to get vaccines, but those people need to understand that those who study disease day in and day out say that it's a good idea to get your shots, and the people selling herbs, produce and colonics (as an alternative) aren't studying anything except sales techniques.
at least I do and was a working scientist myself for decades. This is the nature of science- to question and test and work towards greater understanding and knowledge.
I question the 3% of scientists who deny climate change, etc.
If this is going to be a political issue, then we must discuss with intelligence and respect.
Perhaps there are actually people called "anti-vax" but I have yet to meet one, lucky me.
I have met people who did not vaccinate their children, though. Some I could understand (one man had been in a comma for almost a year and suffered significant brain damage as a child from a vaccine reaction, he was terrified that his children might have inherited his susceptibility to such a reaction. This I could understand, but found sad) , others could not afford to pay for the shots. This has changed now, thank goodness.
But on this board there have been interesting posts by people who have shared some insights and perspective. We all benefit by reading what they have to share with us. Name calling and lumping them into a camp does not get us closer to actually dealing with the current new problem (lowering vaccination rates in some areas) that we are facing.
And if they intend to make it a political platform, then the matter really needs to be properly discussed and not screamed into existence.
And not trusting the data because they believe that everyone at the CDC is in on a conspiracy to deceive them so that big pharma can make big money.
I haven't followed all of the discussions about vaccines here at DU, and I believe there are legitimate reasons (as you pointed out) for why people don't get vaccinated.
The bulk of my discussions have been on Facebook. Primarily with a guy who has a 'colonic' business and states regularly that "80% of our immune system is in our gut".
There are several sites that they trust (Dr. Tenpenny, naturalnews.com) and they won't believe any data that refutes those sources.
It's crazy. I don't know how you can have an intelligent discussion with anyone that questions the CDC, but treats a site like naturalnews.com as gospel. It's a lot like a cult.
conspiracy theories (with the exception of one woman who cut my hair for a while, and although she was good, I just could not stand the discussions).
But on DU, there have been intelligent longtime DU posters who wrote up thought provoking histories and issues. But they got lumped in with the sort you seem to have encountered on Facebook. And then jumped all over. It is so very ugly and does not promote any understanding of the complexities a democratic politician might encounter while campaigning.
If anyone trying to run for office dared talk to potential voters the way these people approach the matter, they would lose votes fast.
And so, if we think this is an important topic, we had best speak about it with more tact and a quest for trying to understand.
And if you gathered up all of the horror stories - I'd expect that you would find that they'd fall within the percentage predicted to have problems with vaccines. There is even a court that awards damages to people hurt by vaccines.
The fact that a small percentage of people are damaged implementing a method proven to prevent a large number of deaths - does not encourage discontinuing the life saving program.
We can't make decisions based on a few horror stories when so many lives are potentially at stake.
Seriously, if a member of my family had had a severe reaction to a vaccine, or had died from one, as one of the DU posters discussed in the other big thread where everyone is name calling, then I might be very cautious about them as well.
Many parents chose to go slowly with them and so instead of vilifying people for trying to figure out a way to work within their fear barricades, how about encouraging them? And pointing out with eloquence the benefits to the society.
I have a brother-in-law whose boss went to get a flu shot decades ago and died within an hour of getting it, and he simply will not ever go to a doctor. That is how it effected him. And he is a brilliant financial guy. So, medical things that go awry are scary and some people respond by declining to participate, when possible.
But if someone is anti-vaccine for all occasions - it's not name-calling to call them antivax. Just as it's not name calling to call someone a 'birther' a 'prepper' or a 'truther' if it is the school that you belong to - then it is not name calling.
I agree that the assumptions people make can lead to some ugly accusations, but some of the things that the hard core antivax folk hang their hat on - can really get annoying.
For one thing - there is no connection between resparatol and autism. If young people were showing 'autistic symptoms' and they believe that it is because of the mercury in resparatol - then they would have mercury poisoning (which has symptoms similar to autism) and not autism. There are tests for mercury poisoning.
For another if they believe that there is a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism - they need to acknowledge that if, in fact, it is the MMR vaccine causing the autism it is not the resparatol because they discontinued resparatol in vaccines in 1999. Autism rates continued to rise after the resparatol was discontinued. If they want to posit a different theory, then I'm listening.
When you point that out to an antivaxer (the absense of resparatol) - and they don't respond, but later continue to repeat the same nonsense - it's difficult to maintain any respect for them.
Again, I'm basing my critique on conversations that I have had on Facebook, but I expect that's where a lot of the assumptions come from - there are key words, triggers that you recognize when you are engaged in a discussion that you've had before. I expect that others recognize those key words and assume their 'opponent' is carrying all that baggage.
And perhaps is why the rude crowd go on as they do. But here on DU we have a number of intelligent posters who bring up personal issues that are thought provoking and they get bantered and badgered and accused in such rude ways.
I do not see the point in discussing the topic at all with people who are not informed or interested in new knowledge. But for intelligent DU posters, who have something to discuss, it is insulting.
But you have opened my eyes a bit to how this frustration develops. Thank you.
I was getting the idea that people might be enjoying the name calling ones a bit more than the actual importance of the issue.