Anti-vaxxers are as American as apple pie

After Vietnam, Watergate, and the revelations of CIA abuses, liberals increasingly joined conservatives in an often-legitimate concern about government lies and secrecy. Disclosures of hideous mid-century syphilis experiments conducted by the Public Health Service on rural blacks at the Tuskegee Institute seemed to confirm the worst suspicions of blacks, some of whom came to believe in outlandish theories about the government injecting them with the AIDS virus.

Meanwhile, New Age alternative medicine and nutrition has turned into a multibillion-dollar business dependent on customers so addled by fear and distrust that they frequently favor something they read somewhere (anywhere) online over the advice of their doctors.

Skepticism of the medical-industrial complex is obviously warranted. But when that skepticism hardens into resistance to overwhelming scientific consensus (as it also has in the climate-change debate), then it’s time for a new movement dedicated to the separation of politics and science.