So Chris Christie, potential next President of the United States, says vaccinating children against deadly diseases is a matter of parental choice. One wonders if Christie feels similarly about parents “choosing” not to feed their children, or “choosing” not to buckle their children into a seatbelt or car seat.
I’m all for parental choice, but putting a child in direct mortal danger is not an option that should be available to parents–especially when that choice jeopardizes not just their own child, but the rest of the American population.
Even in cases of religious objection, where my instinct is to block government intrusion, a little thought changes my mind: We wouldn’t allow parents to cite religious justification for starving, drowning, or otherwise abusing their children, so why would religion be justification for depriving them of immunity to virulent disease?
Chris Christie is smart enough to see all this, so why his position? Might it be that he’s trying to carve out an identity and win the “insane parent” vote? Or might it be that the President recently spoke out in favor of vaccination, and the Republicans would hold their breath if Obama endorsed oxygen?