General George Washington enters the vaccine debate

America suffers from a plague!  No, it’s not an epidemiological type, but a deadly strain of political cowardice and vacuous pandering.  Here we are in 2015, with supposedly educated “leaders” from both sides of the American political spectrum parsing and prevaricating on the wisdom of having children vaccinated against illnesses, which can prove fatal.

Up first, Rand Paul tweets a photo of himself receiving a booster vaccination Tuesday, after stating on Monday ( :

“In an interview with the network Monday, Paul said that vaccines are “a good thing” but that parents “should have some input” into whether or not their children must get them.

 And he gave credence to the idea – disputed by the majority of the scientific community – that vaccination can lead to mental disabilities.

“I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” he said.”

Chris Christie also straddled the fence on the vaccine issue, before coming down on the vaccinate children side, but including that parents should have a choice.

Then, yesterday,  Hillary Clinton, one never to pass up an opportunity to take gutless political positions, boldly proclaims she’s all for vaccinations, but in 2008 she was playing along with the totally unproven pop culture linkage of autism being caused by vaccines (full story here):

“But in the 2008 campaign, Clinton herself raised questions about vaccines. “I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines,” Clinton said in the 2008 campaign, suggesting a possible connection between autism and vaccines.”

Now, “Grandmother Hillary knows best” tweeted :

“The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and . Let’s protect all our kids.

Oh how I long for a strong, morally upright, forward thinking leader for America – in the image of my hero, General George Washington, who ordered the  inoculation of the Continental Army for smallpox in 1777.   He didn’t focus group test the matter, no,  he made an informed decision to best protect his troops.  George Washington survived small pox as a young man, despite small pox’s mortality rate of 30%.

In 1776 a small pox epidemic broke out in Boston, which was under siege by the British army.  General Washington forbade refugees from Boston to come near his troops.  From Mary V. Thompson, research historian at Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens:

“While Washington believed wholeheartedly in the efficacy of inoculation, in May of 1776 he ordered that no one in his army be inoculated; violations of this order would result in severe punishment. The summer campaigns were about to begin and Washington could not afford to have a large number of his men incapacitated for a month, vulnerable to attack by the British. Washington eventually instituted a system where new recruits would be inoculated with smallpox immediately upon enlistment. As a result soldiers would contract the milder form of the disease at the same time that they were being outfitted with uniforms and weapons. Soldiers would consequently be completely healed, inoculated, and supplied by the time they left to join the army.”

Really, this is 2015 and we’ve got politicians so afflicted by the disease, widely believed to cause atrophy of all functioning brain cells – full-blown political correctness.  Really, it’s true, just judge for yourself, as you watch them slither along, unable to articulate coherent thoughts.  Sorry,  there is no hope of survival for those afflicted by this dreaded disease and like General Washington’s policy in 1776, avoiding contact with them offers the best hope that you can emerge unscathed, a free critical thinker, with your brain cells intact and functioning.


Filed under American History, Culture Wars, General Interest, Military, Politics

3 responses to “General George Washington enters the vaccine debate

  1. Interesting article. In political terms this isn’t just about vaccinations though, it is about identity and the way that the right tries to evoke the sprit of the Constitution by promoting ‘freedom of individual choice’ at every opportunity. Its part of the race for candidates to align themselves with the issues at the heart of American democracy, so the fact that they end up espousing odd views is all part of a wider political game. Feel free to have a look at the article on Identity Politics (and vaccinations) here if you’re interested:

  2. Walt Slocombe

    Is it possible that in Washington’s day, the vaccine did produce a good deal of temporary disability, so it was rational to not vaccinate during campaigning season?

    • Yes, Walt, back then there was a wide variance of strains of cow pox and small pox used to inoculate people. There was little understanding of diseases, their causes and doctors often had no training or formal education. General Washington didn’t want large numbers of his troops incapacitated in 1776, but in 1777 he made inoculation part of the routine for new recruits.

      My feelings on modern day vaccinations is if individual parents choose not to have their kids vaccinated that’s their choice, but in public schools, for the safety of all students and teachers, vaccinations should be required for admission. I also believe in quarantines for the public good with more dangerous communicable diseases, opting for common sense policy over political ideological purity.

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