Here is a quick diagram I made to illustrate this point.

There are some issues that are helped by more debate. “Is political correctness a positive or negative force?” (I’ve actually enjoyed reading this discussion!) “What should we do about those people who spread their legs on the subway?”

“Should I vaccinate my kids for measles?” is not one of them. That this is the case is made obvious when you frame it as, “Would it be better if more kids got measles?” No, clearly.

I have yet to hear a case for not vaccinating your children that ran along any other lines than:
–My faith obligates me to pretend that it is the 19th century and therefore I am not allowed to access lifesaving technologies.
–One time I read a study that was wrong.
–I don’t think vaccines are “organic” enough for my child, whom I am feeding only the milk of a cow as white as milk.
–Someone on TV whom I could not reasonably expect to know about science said that this would be bad.
–I heard the word “toxins” and panicked.
–My child is made of magic and can withstand all disease.
–I am a bad parent.

Has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie been hearing the same debate I have? If he has, why on earth would he say that this is a subject where we’re served by “balance”? Parents have rights, absolutely. But this doesn’t just impact their own children. This impacts everyone else’s, too. People who do not understand how diseases work are making everyone else worse off, for no good reason, which we can tell because a disease we thought we had eradicated is now making a comeback. All because vaccines weren’t organic enough, or something.

Look, the science on this one is, as President Obama said, “pretty indisputable.” We don’t need “balance.” Another word for “balance” is “more kids with measles.” Christie is right to hope that reason will prevail without any need for government coercion. But the fact that it has lost this much ground is terrifying. There aren’t two valid answers to this question.

For the love of Pete, this is not a partisan issue. This is not a culture war, except in the microbial sense. Please do not make this something where we have to hear both sides. One side is wrong. We cannot say this enough.

And in the name of balance and fairness, balancing The Consensus of Pretty Much All The Data against A Vague Feeling You Had Once That Was Wrong, for these palpably asinine reasons, we are going to have to sacrifice our herd immunity?

It’s enough to make you sick.