John Andrist: Even Libertarians Need Vaccination


“Service in the legislature can make a hypocrite out of anybody!”

Who said it? I did, but I’m not sure if it is original. In any event I repeated that axiom many times over the years.

It usually happens when you face a bill and vote against what your core values are.

This is a case in point. I believe pretty strongly in parental rights. I am a libertarian thinker, after all, and it’s a principle I rarely violate.

But the argument over mandating children to be vaccinated for Measles is one of them.

I’m not certain I could go so far as requiring adults to be vaccinated, but it’s difficult for me to defend parents who won’t vaccinate their children.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]I’m not certain I could go so far as requiring adults to be vaccinated, but it’s difficult for me to defend parents who won’t vaccinate their children.[/mks_pullquote]

I remember suffering a severe reaction to a childhood small pox vaccination. But it was a small price to pay for eradicating a disease that once killed tens of millions of people.

I also remember visiting a young friend who spent his teen years in an iron lung before dying from polio. Polio was the ultimate terror in those days

At last, along came an effective vaccine, and the disease is virtually gone.

The risk of vaccination, if indeed there is one, is a small price to pay for the human responsibility all of us share in alleviating suffering of others.

Not running for president

I’ve decided not to run for president. Howard Dean convinced me.

Speaking about the potential candidacy of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Dean said the presidential candidate really isn’t qualified, because he doesn’t have a college degree.

I don’t either, so I’ve decided to not run. Truth is, however, there are at least eight presidents who never acquired a college degree. Abraham Lincoln was one of them. Most folks don’t think he was too shabby.

As a youngster I thought Harry Truman was awful. He not only didn’t do college, but he was disliked by his president, Franklin Roosevelt, who even when he was dying, did not include his vice-president in cabinet meetings.

So he was both uneducated and unprepared, but historians have particularly warm assessments of his leadership in the closing months of World War II — and his work in rebuilding the peace during the difficult challenges of the cold war.

The most educated? Jimmy Carter and Barrack Obama. So much for cap and gown.

I went to college one year, then decided it wasn’t for me.

Part of the reason was I was smitten by my red-haired queen and I hated the goodbyes after spooning and talking on her family’s back porch night after night.

I was also a lousy reader and an even poorer studier.

In retrospect, I think there are some advantages of building a career on the outside of the ivy halls, even though Dean doesn’t think I could be suitable.

College is a wonderful and necessary preparation for most kids. Without it, I had to figure out things for myself. They like the term “critical thinking” these days.

I think it’s something everyone has to figure out for themselves, either in or outside of a university.

I fashioned enough of it to both build a happy career and still spend 57-years with the wonderful wife who was always at my side.

I wonder how President Obama would have done if he had spurned college? At this point I’m resisting the temptation to comment further on critical thinking skills.