Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Viral delusion

Al Diamon

There’s no vaccine for stupidity, but it doesn’t matter. If such a serum existed, the idiots who need it most would refuse to take it.

Maine’s anti-vaxxers suffered a resounding defeat at the polls on March 3. Their People’s Veto campaign to continue religious and philosophical excuses for not immunizing their kids before sending them to school lost by a margin of nearly three to one. That kind of thrashing might induce rational people to accept reality. But we’re not dealing with rational people.

In a video posted on Facebook on election night, Cara Sacks, the campaign manager for the group seeking to keep the exemptions, said, “This vote is not a true indication of where the people of Maine stand on this issue.”

A couple of days later, Carroll Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, echoed that sentiment in a newsletter. “This is not over,” Conley wrote. “I do not believe Tuesday night’s vote accurately reflects the will of Maine citizens.”

Is there any evidence for that? Nope.

Nearly 270,000 votes were cast to require vaccines, while barely 100,000 preferred taking the chance their kids wouldn’t get seriously ill and infect others.

A few discrete inquiries turned up some indication of why the anti-vaxxers refuse to accept defeat. A source, who asked not to be identified because he hasn’t been inoculated against vicious reprisals by fanatics, told me, “Lots more Democrats voted than Republicans, and they think that skewed the vote. If more Republicans had voted, our side would have won.”

It’s true the original bill restricting exemptions for vaccines to those with medical issues narrowly passed the Legislature with little GOP support. And it’s also true that in the March balloting, only about 91,000 members of the GOP showed up for an uncontested presidential primary, while the Dem field attracted more than twice as many. But that’s not the whole story. Over 91,000 independents, who couldn’t participate in the party primaries, cast vaccine ballots. The results would seem to indicate they voted pro-vax overwhelmingly.

Would a larger Republican turnout have propelled the anti-vaxxers to victory? It’s doubtful, at best. In Piscataquis County, where Democrats are rarer than mountain lions, voters turned down the religious and philosophical arguments. In fact, the People’s Veto lost in every single county in the state. In the GOP stronghold of Caribou, the pro-vaccine side prevailed by a two-to-one margin. In conservative Amherst, over 68 percent supported vaccination.

If twice as many Republicans had voted, it’s unlikely the results would have been much different.

But why let facts stand in the way. The anti-vaxxers are considering another referendum, this one timed to coincide with a general election, perhaps in 2022. They cling to the notion that if the GOP candidate for governor that year (Paul LePage? Bruce Poliquin? Some pock-marked weirdo?) is on their side, it’ll sway the Republican electorate to switch sides in massive numbers. There’s no reason, other than common sense, to think that won’t work.

Vaccine opponents are also supporting a measure in the Legislature to exempt students of online charter schools and private and religious schools that don’t accept public funds. Because everybody knows those kids never go out in public.

Finally, there was a half-page ad in the Morning Sentinel on March 8 from a Concord, Massachusetts-based group called We the People threatening a “WHOPPING 1 DOLLAR LAW SUIT” to force the state to restore religious and philosophical exemptions. It claims the vaccine requirement is “a violation of human rights that is so fundamental in nature, so entrenched in its practice, and so deliberate in its purpose that the violation is no longer recognized as such.”

Whatever that means, it seems unlikely that somebody from the Bay State has legal standing to overturn a law that doesn’t apply to them, and even more unlikely any court would take this blather seriously.

The vaccine debate in Maine is over. It’s time to turn our attention to other matters. Like when is there going to be a coronavirus shot.

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15 Responses »

  1. I am not anti-vaccine, however, it should be noted that the earliest dog whistles on this vaccine subject came from individuals closely tied to the Maine chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Based on the virulent comments that came from this group in regards to the religious exemptions from vaccination, this whole thing was nothing more than a fat, salty finger in the eye of religious people. It is also interesting to stand back and see the Yes on 1 supporters called “science deniers” by commenters with close ties to TFES (The Flat Earth Society). People should really wake up, do your research and start figuring out who is leading you around by the nose.

  2. I was born in the 40s, went to school in the 50s and 60s, have had the measles and the mumps and I'm still kicking. If this referendum had been delayed until November it would have been a much closer vote. I'm a believer in freedom to make your own choice.

  3. Old Maineiac, Freedom to make your own choice to do what? Cause harm to another person, get COVID-19 and walk into nursing home, prove to us all how your freedom of choice works, you have freedom right? When it comes to causing injury to people you don't have the freedom. it is why this SARS-CoV-2 has the world on damn near lockdown, it is to try to keep the ill from injuring the healthy.. If there were a vaccine for COVID-19, the level of precaution would't be necessary to the degree it is. And if we had forced quarantine with the flu, that wouldn't be nearly as widespread as it is every year.

  4. @Old Maineiac - and you didn't get the polio vaccine when it became available?

  5. Omg HB,,
    My sides hurt from laughing..
    "You" suggesting it's ok to force a flu vaccinne for the "public"good.
    But you're the "frig the public" guy who freaks out about "private property rights" any time you can squeeze it in.

    Tell ya what,, you stick a needle in my arm and I'll tell you what to do with your property.

    You seem confused.
    Is there a vaccinne for that?

  6. @Hrtlss Bstrd, maybe you should move to Cuba where there are no freedoms. You seem to want fewer and fewer for us Americans.

  7. @Marie E., probably not. We were Christian Scientists.

  8. Rights, You are aware that those are two entirely different things. I will provide you with just a couple things you may not be aware of, Your personal property is just, your personal property. You can build on it, play on it, sell it or whatever. guess what isn't your property, your neighbor's property isn't your property. There are trespassing laws in place to keep you from entering your neighbor's or anybody else's property without permission. Hey, wait a minute that sounds like a law against your personal freedom, to protect the property of others, yup it is, funny how that works isn't it? Now for the fun part, I'm assuming you have some muscles attached to bones and are capable of hitting someone, do you have the freedom to hurt someone just because you have the ability to hurt someone, of course you don't, no one does. The government trusts us not to use our ability to hurt people to actually hurt people and hopefully we respect other humans enough to not hurt them. That is how we protect other people, by our own self restraint, and a few laws as a safeguard against the people who can't restrain themselves. But who protects the people from things that can harm them that they can't see like a virus, why the government does. the state can't force you to anything while you are on your property unless you pose a threat to other people, like fire a gun in their direction, then the state will come visit you and odds are, you're not going to like the results. But people don't stay on their property do they, they need to work, buy groceries, go to school. And to accomplish that, they have to get on state property ie the roads, and go to somebody else's property, and what don't you have the freedom to do, harm them, and if you have something contagious and somebody catches it and dies from it, you caused them harm, it doesn't matter if it was on purpose or inadvertently, you harmed them. Since the government nor public knows who is sick and who isn't, the only way to protect everybody is to vaccinate as many people as possible by force if necessary, or you can just stay on your property and live happily ever after, for however long that may be.

  9. Al, I would have to disagree with you about the numbers. The vote would have been a better representation of the people of Maine had it been in November, not during a one sided primary. Hrtlss bastard go ahead and let the “all knowing” government tell you what you have to inject into your body. Hey there goes your rights based off from misinformation fooling the herd because you are afraid. Answer me this why are their more vaccinated kids now than in the 90s?

  10. Old Maineiac I understand what you mean any time the herd mentality is challenged people like Hrtlss start yapping.
    Hrtlss we don’t have the right to hurt someone but what We do have a right to do is defend ourselves if they harm us and ya that means We get to hurt them. Personal property like you like to say about CMP isn’t so personal because you need permits to do anything on your “property”. The only thing we actually own in this country is our personal assets guns,clothes,vehicles etc. If you don’t pay your taxes you will loose your “property”, house and if it’s to the feds your freedom. The scary part is people have become such a herd that they don’t realize they keep giving up their freedoms. Had this been voted on in November there’s no doubt it would have a different outcome. Change my mind hols another vote in November!!

  11. Great article; have to agree with people I never agreed with before on these forums... which means the issue is not partisan as Al argues well here with a look at the numbers from conservative strongholds. In my own bubble, I can add that there were plenty of liberals who were arguing Yes on 1 to my dismay -- trying not to judge them as it is just an opinion that they hold at the end of the day.

  12. Logic does not apply here. Many of the very same people who will fight you tooth and nail on the abortion issue have no problem killing you off with their disease. The reason for my choice is easy as I come close to being done in by the chicken pox when I was young I wish no child to have to go through what I did. What I wish the most is that children were born with the ability to reason and make their own decisions but as this is not the case we all do the best we can with the reasons we have. At least mine are my own and nobody elses. How about you.

  13. J.S.,
    If one is truly concerned about people's lives (childrens), Is it "logical" to push for vaccines while at the same time supporting abortions?
    Obviously not.

  14. I have a question for The folks who demonize and categorize anyone who questions this vaccine issue .
    You "do realize" what country supplies us with the vast majority of our drugs,,,,right?
    Ok, so since when does "Made in China" represent Top Quality Product?
    Counterfeits, anyone?

    There are many legitimate reasons to raise concerns about drug sources and quality.
    Ridiculing/Demonizing/Catagorizing opponents of pushing drugs is ,, well just plain dumb.
    Nice job again, Al.

  15. Not wanting a blanket mandate on vaccinations doesn't make people 'anti-vax'. It is intellectually dishonest to say that. And now, with 'corona', ANYTHING AT ALL the gov wants to inject into school kids is GOING to happen, whether you like it or not, and you cannot object.

    Cue big pharma. Awesome. And you almost BEGGED for it, ha ha.