The New York Times writes that the insane “presidential vaccine controversy” we’re now watching raises important questions about “how to approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by conservatives.”
Here’s another question: How do we deal with the false perception that liberals are more inclined to trust science than conservatives? Or, how do we approach the media’s fondness for focusing on the unscientific views of some conservatives but ignoring the irrational—and oftentimes, more consequential—beliefs of their fellow liberals?
You’ll remember that it’s acceptable to ask a Republican candidates to raise their hands and demonstrate fealty to evolution, yet no reporter would ever think to ask a pro-choice politician if she believes life begins at conception. Outing a GOP candidate as a skeptic of evolution or global warming offers the secular liberal a feeling of intellectual superiority, though it has little to do with policy or morality. Now, if an American walks around believing that GMOs or pesticides will kill him or worries that fracking will ignite his drinking water or hyperventilates about the ocean consuming his hometown, we have a significant and damaging point of view. So how do we approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by liberals?