(NaturalNews) It's perplexing: Conservative political thinking is naturally skeptical of big government while supportive of more individual liberty and personal responsibility. These positions have been cornerstones of constitutional conservatism since being defined by William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater and other early conservatives in the 1960s.
But when the topic of vaccines comes up, conservatives by and large echo the big government line that all vaccines are good and, anyway, what would humanity do without them?
This point was raised recently in an American Thinker column by Lawrence Solomon, who noted that, on this point, conservative skepticism "falls short."
"[W]hen it comes to one issue in particular -- government mass vaccination programs -- many conservatives forget their principles and accept as dogma studies from government bodies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." Solomon goes on to note that conservative "deference to government-promoted science" is difficult to understand "because of the parallel to global warming," another area of government-promoted science that is innately controversial for all its contradictions, each of which conservatives have regularly challenged; these contradictions have come both from our own government and from international panels like the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"Many conservatives have had a blind spot when it comes to vaccination, buying the government line. In fact, the list of scientists who have been skeptical of the merits of various mass vaccination programs reads like a Who's Who; it includes, for example, the former head of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. and the former chief scientific officer for the U.K., whose job involved assessing the safety of vaccines," wrote Solomon.
'A CDC talking point'
He noted that a colleague, Sierra Rayne, at the same online magazine, which has a strong conservative bent, similarly failed to question government-promoted vaccine policy.
"Taking issue with my Financial Post column last week on the failure of the measles vaccine, Rayne claimed that '[t]he measles vaccination program has an undeniable track record of success' over the past 50 years."
That, claimed Solomon, was little more than "a CDC talking point." http://business.financialpost.com, in 1968 and again in 1975, due to a number of negative results that included some deaths. There were successors to them that were also proven to be unsafe.
He wrote, "in the 1980s, a measles vaccine became part of the MMR combination shot (measles, mumps, rubella), only to be withdrawn in 1992 by the manufacturer after reports from Canada, the U.S., Sweden, and Japan of febrile convulsions, meningitis, deafness, and deaths."
History of failure
In addition, all safety concerns aside, vaccines worldwide failed repeatedly during the 1980s and 1990s. In a 2004 report written by Canadian government officials and academics, they charged that "despite virtually 100% documented 1-dose coverage in some regions, large outbreaks of measles involving thousands of cases persisted.... Clearly, because of primary vaccine failure, Canada's 1-dose program was insufficient." Adding a second dose also proved ineffective, Solomon noted, which manifested in the widespread outbreaks again occurring with the second-generation MMR vaccine.
One of the world's largest and most respected organizations, the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, has deemed the measles vaccine to be a failure but is advocating its replacement. Still, if that marks an "undeniable track record of success," then, asks Solomon, "what is the standard for failure?"
"The CDC credits the vaccine with the elimination of measles deaths, but measles deaths ended a decade before the vaccine was in widespread use across the U.S., and deaths had all but ended prior to the first child receiving a shot," Solomon wrote.
In the meantime, conservative thinkers ought to rethink their over-reliance on government agencies that obviously have government policies and programs, rather than American citizens, in their best interest.