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Perry Gets State’s Rights; Romney, Bachmann & Santorum Out of Touch

September 13, 2011

This is not necessarily an endorsement of Rick Perry.  I don’t know enough yet, and my Texas friends don’t seem to like him.  That said, I think the dog-pile on Perry about the mandated immunizations revealed a lot, and was personally humbling for me.  I pretty much hold to the belief that all politicians are necessary evils (and often unnecessary evils), but we so often ascribe evil motives where none may exist.

Perry rightly proclaimed the mandate was a state’s right issue.  After some thinking, I agree.  Bachmann put her foot in it, yet spoke for a lot of people when she accused him of being a traitor and getting paid off by Merck.  Admit it, you were thinking the same thing, weren’t you?  I was.  Then I thought about it.

The mandate was to immunize all 12-year-old girls for HPV, an STD that can lead to cervix cancer.  It cost $2M,  and included a parental opt-out.

Santorum and Romney proclaimed it should be an opt-IN and Santorum used tortured logic to suggest kids only contracted HPV at schools, since that’s where the immunization was (he said it as if no kids do the deed at school; I went to school decades ago, and yes, all sorts of things happened there, so I’m pretty sure it still happens today).  In so doing, Snatorum and Romney AND Bachmann proved themselves out of touch with what really goes on in this country outside their own states.

Here’s why I think Perry did that.  Texas (like Florida) has a large amount of poor people (forgive me, this is going to sound classist and racist, but it’s reality).  There, like here, teenagers are wildly sexually active.  PERHAPS, middle class and upper class will use “protection” but the unwed mothers rate clearly points out the lower class struggles with this a lot more than the other classes.

Perry’s wife is a nurse.  He’s well aware of the link between HPV and cancer, and through his wife probably has a ground level view of it.  What happens when poor, uninsured people have cancer?  They get government-provided health care.  Think that’s a lot more the $2M?  You bet.

Why the opt-out instead of opt-in, like S, R, and B want?  Perry knows that it isn’t the involved parents that are the problem, but the absent or uninvolved parents.   The kids who most need the vaccination are those without parental guidance and so opt-out, because the uninvolved parents won’t even know about the vaccinations.

Such health measures wouldn’t be necessary in Mass. or Minn. but they certainly can be in the Deep South.

Perry can’t explain this without alienating the poor or the minorities.  Heck, I expect to get flamed by my two readers for this.

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