Sorry, “Daily Show”: Anti-Vax Nuts Come From Both Sides of the Aisle

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The Daily Show did a segment last night propagating the meme that anti-vaccine hysteria is mostly a pathology of the granola-crunching, hippie-dippie left. However, just in case anyone cares about the actual truth,1 here’s the truth: anti-vaccine lunacy has no special ideological valence. Liberals and conservatives share it in approximately equal numbers.

The basic chart is on the right. The black line represents how risky various groups think vaccines are, and it’s pretty flat: it starts at around 1.8 among the very liberal and ends at about 2.0 for the very conservative. That’s as bipartisan as it gets. I suppose it’s possible that if you broke out the tiny minority who think vaccines are extremely risky, you might find more hippie-dippie lefties than gun-toting righties. I don’t know. But it’s a minuscule fringe belief in any case: Fewer than 1 percent of parents refuse to allow their children to receive any vaccines at all.

1A quaint notion, to be sure.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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