We’ve Finally Found The One Issue On Which Dr. Ben Carson Actually Makes Sense

ben-carson-fox-newsThe anti-vaccine movement is turning out to be one of the more intriguing debates I’ve run across. Not because I buy into any of the ridiculous “anti-vaxxer” nonsense, but because it’s an issue that some politicians seem unable to definitively answer – especially Republicans.


Unfortunately, many liberals are driving this readily debunked information behind the myth that vaccines cause autism. But on the flip-side of that debate (especially considering the recent outbreak of measles) lies the issue on whether or not vaccines should be mandated by the government. The obvious issue being that children of parents who buy into the anti-vaccine myths are putting other parent’s children at risk by not being vaccinated. So some Republicans are having trouble answering questions pertaining to vaccines because they don’t want to sound like a “crazy liberal anti-vaxxer,” but also have to avoid suggesting that they would support government-mandated vaccines for children. Even if that mandate could save lives and would undoubtedly prevent the spread of dangerous and potentially deadly diseases.

Granted, it is a tricky issue. Nobody likes the sound of “the government is making you do this,” especially when it comes to telling a parent what to do with their children. But at the same time, when there’s a legitimate public health issue that’s growing in this country based on misinformation, something clearly needs to be done. After all, is it fair for other children to be exposed to dangerous, or even deadly, diseases because another parent doesn’t vaccinate their children?

Well, former Fox News contributor Dr. Ben Carson chimed in on the vaccine issue and for once he didn’t come off as a crazy person.

“Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society,” Carson said.

“Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them,” he continued.


I consider these comments from Carson “shocking” since this is the same man who once said the Affordable Care Act was the worst thing to happen to this country since slavery. In fact, he’s one of the individuals I’m most excited about running for president in 2016. Not because he stands even a sliver of a chance at winning the nomination, but because he brings a level of absurdity that rivals Michele Bachmann. He’s going to provide a level of insanity to the GOP primaries that will be nothing but pure entertainment to watch.

However, when it comes to vaccines he makes a whole lot of sense. I guess that’s the doctor coming out in him. I even like how he shapes the argument as not a situation of government trying to control people by force, but that not vaccinating children is a public health issue. Such as we’re currently seeing with the measles outbreak that’s been linked to Disneyland in California.

Because like I’ve said before, this isn’t just about whether or not a parent wants to vaccinate their children. If that was the only issue, this wouldn’t be an issue. This is about those unvaccinated children getting others sick because their parents chose not to get them vaccinated. And it’s not fair to put other children at risk because some parents choose not to listen to just about every doctor on the planet.

Nobody wants to tell parents how to raise their children. It’s every parent’s right to raise their kids how they see fit. But when their parenting beliefs start impacting the health of not only their children, but others as well, then that becomes an issue. Especially when those beliefs are based on debunked nonsense that for whatever reason they continue to cling to.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Jim Bean

    Jon Stewart did a fine piece about this back in June titled ‘Liberal Idiocy Over Vaccines’ or something like that.

    It supports what I’ve said in that past that Liberalism is the compulsion to take anything regarded as ‘conventional wisdom’ and announce that you’ve discovered something wrong with it that only the rarest and most brilliant of intellects could have detected.

    The Liberal interviewed in Stewarts segment is a perfect example.

    • BobJThompson

      And right-wing paranoia about RFID chips and big government poison in vaccines is any better? No matter what reason is, if you don’t vaccinate you’re an idiot.

      • Jim Bean

        There we can agree.

  • I-RIGHT-I

    Something is causing autism that should be clear enough.

    • Pipercat

      Genetics.

    • Daniel Plotkin

      Something is – what is clear is that the “something” is NOT vaccines.

    • BobJThompson

      On one hand you have the infamous debunked study from the 90’s that this whole idiotic movement is based off of.

      On the other you have actual peer reviewed science showing that there may be a link between autism and air pollution.

      http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/fine-particulate-air-pollution-linked-with-increased-autism-risk/

      • I-RIGHT-I

        Not good enough. Whatever it is it seems to have come upon us rather quickly. Not unlike the epidemic of pills being prescribed to precocious boys. Smells funny.

      • BobJThompson

        Neither is the “link” between autism and vaccines.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        I have no idea but it’s horrible. I lived close to a “house” that kept several kids and looked after them. We need to find out what this stuff is and find out how to kill it. It’s too bad this little don’t have a ribbon or a slogan or something. All they have is people who are not getting answers and who do not trust our government or Big Pharma.

      • Cemetery Girl

        You live close to a “house” that keeps children with Autism?
        Actually, Autism does have it’s own awareness graphic (their ribbon has a puzzle piece), there is an awareness month, and charities dedicated to research. What is known about Autism is it isn’t something you can “kill”. This isn’t a virus or bacteria. It is a condition of how the brain works. Autism used to be treated more like a mental delay, but many kids with Autism have been found to have average or even high intelligence. Autism and either genius intelligence or profound natural ability at something (music, math, whatever) isn’t uncommon. I did massive research when my son was undergoing testing. Even though he ended up having a different diagnoses I try to keep up to date because I have several friends with kids on the spectrum.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        Good luck and God bless with your child. Yeah, in Dallas about 15 years ago. I forget the agency but the kids and the attendants lived there together. I think it was five or six kids.

      • Cemetery Girl

        Fifteen years ago there wasn’t the understanding that there is now (which still isn’t great, but better), but a group home approach isn’t common. I would imagine it would be an approach possibly for some further along on the spectrum. The people that I know that have kids with Autism, it isn’t profound. It causes challenges, but they’re raising their children themselves. My son isn’t Autistic, he has a different disorder that caused delayed speech and outbursts (kind of red flags for Autism in young children) and he’s had a more difficult path but he’s still a great kid. If not for the pediatric neurologist that was familiar with the small differences in these neurological conditions he probably would have been diagnosed Autistic, which would have altered his therapies (which then he wouldn’t have had the help he needed.) That’s one of the trickiest parts of things like Autism, Asperger’s, and other neurological disorders. There aren’t clear cut tests that can be done to confirm or deny a diagnosis. The reasons for these disorders aren’t known, exactly how they work isn’t known, so diagnosis is really a process of elimination.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        I hope you’re right, or I hope the government boys are right because that’s who is in charge of this operation. I will say a vaccine that is actually 10 vaccines in one seems a little ambitious at first blush and knowing how the government operates/doesn’t operate if I had skin in this game, meaning a child I’d be very, very careful and do as much homework as I could.

      • BobJThompson

        Vaccines had been in use for decades before the autism “explosion”. Anti-vaxx is based on junk science and needs to be called out for the destructive nonsense that it is. Thanks Disneyland. 🙂

      • I-RIGHT-I

        Oh I know a little about them got a few myself. There is something vaguely disturbing though in why they feel they must package these things together. Ten different vaccines at once would give me the heebie-jeebies if I had a kid. I don’t know what Disney has to do with this but I will say that with all the unvaccinated foreign kids trotting across the border and distributed around the country and some sicker than dogs I’d bet there’s some fire near that smoke as well. We’ve seen a few new diseases as well haven’t we. I’m not sure I have that much faith in our government. Right and wrong seems to be up for grabs with that bunch the last few decades.

      • BobJThompson

        Disney has to do with this because there was a high profile measles outbreak there. That’s why this is now in the media spotlight.

        New diseases happen because the organisms causing them evolve.

        I like how you tied the whole thing together with a bow made of xenophobia and big government fear. Good show.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        It’s in the spotlight because the slime ball media is going after another group of independent thinkers on your behalf.

      • BobJThompson

        The media are slimeballs, but just because you “think independently” doesn’t make you right. There are absolutely no valid backing studies for the fear mongering about vaccines. And before you go on about “paid off scientists” just remember that they have to be paying off scientists from the government, the ones employed by rival vaccine manufacturers, and scientists all over the world to keep their “poison” in use. Perhaps it might be cheaper and easier to, ya know, make a safe effective vaccine. Like the ones in use today…

      • I-RIGHT-I

        I’m not right and I’m not wrong because I’ve got no idea and wouldn’t be able to spot the medical BS if there were some. Ditto man made climate change, peak oil, over population and sustainability and all of those other popular crises.
        What bothers me is the demonization of these people (anti-vaxers!)who simply want answers or at least information that can be explained to them and understood by them. I’ve yet to see the question address publically EVER. There’s something wrong with that right there don’t you agree? You don’t have any small kids and you haven’t had a real dog in this fight for thirty or more years but something should bother you about this.
        An old preacher once told me that the deep thinking guys present not so much as deep thinking but muddy thinking. He pointed out that properly addressed a question and the thought behind the answer is deep but still clear not something that resembles a mud puddle.

      • BobJThompson

        You don’t like the explanations given so you choose to throw out the info given. As for conflating vaccines with other man made disasters, they are all slow moving. I’ll live in a hotter, more volatile planet in 30 years because of decisions by short term thinkers.

        But you just go on thinking that the media is always lying to you. I’m not going to change your mind.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        I’m trying to change yours Sir. lol

      • BobJThompson

        You can’t change my opinion about this. Scientific studies can, but you can’t. If your claim is out there, and vaccines causing autism is, then you need a lot of proof to sway me over. Not a false study and a couple of incidental anecdotes.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        That’s not the part I’d change Sir. I’d change the part where you trust what you’ve been told without the benefit of a clear explanation of why you believe what you believe is true. That’s what I’d change about you. Like I said, I don’t trust policy that hasn’t been properly hashed out and made public.

      • Julia JAG

        I have yet to find a single person who decided not to vaccinate based on the Wakefield study.

        I spent countless hours poring over studies found through PubMed, such as the ones below and numerous others, and information from the CDC which persuaded my husband and me not to vaccinate. Please stop insulting our intelligence by assuming we made this decision because of one debunked study.

        http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/30-scientific-studies-showing-the-link-between-vaccines-and-autism/#sthash.d0hFbtre.qjtu

    • Cemetery Girl

      Vaccines are not the cause. If so then there would be no children that had not been vaccinated that developed Autism, but that isn’t the case. Right now Autism is considered (cause wise) to be much like Alzheimer’s, both are conditions the effect the mind and genetics is likely at least a factor in both. Now that there is a couple of decades of investigation into Autism they are learning more. There is an increase in odds if a close family member is Autistic (demonstrating a genetic link.) There is a theory floating around that Autism is genetic but triggered by an external factor. Similar to the big theory of Alzheimer’s (for now); in that genetics plays a factor (there is clearly signs of it occurring more frequently in some families) but possibly head trauma during their life being the trigger (explaining why some members develope it and others don’t.) Considering science is still unraveling the brain I wouldn’t count on solid answered anytime soon.

    • Sunnysmom

      If we’re seriously looking for a cause, I’d start with the rise in GMOs..which ironically starts about the time we see a rise in autism.

      • I-RIGHT-I

        I don’t know. We eat a lot of processed food that I would bet are worse than any GMO food stuff but that’s as good a theory as anybody’s.

  • BobJThompson

    Thank you Disneyland for showing people the error of their ways. Maybe now the backlash against anti-vaxxers will put this idiocy to rest finally.

    BTW this MAY be causing the spike in autism.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/fine-particulate-air-pollution-linked-with-increased-autism-risk/

  • Cali Jeff

    Just research areas that eat traditional organic non GMO and the lack of cancer they have. Hillary and Obama protect Monsanto and their poisoning of the world.