David Harsanyi, The Federalist:
It’s no big deal for us to ask Republican evolution skeptics to raise their hands or force a bogus Senate vote to try and shame Republicans, yet no reporter would ever think to ask a pro-choice politician if they believe life begins at conception. Sometimes denialism matters and sometimes it doesn’t.
Though outing a GOP candidate as a skeptic of science may confirm the secular liberal’s own sense of intellectual superiority, it usually has nothing to do with policy. Then again, if you walk around believing that pesticides are killing your children or that fracking will ignite your drinking water or if you hyperventilate about the threat of the ocean consuming your city, you have a viewpoint that not only conflicts with science but undermines progress. So how do we approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by liberals?
There is little proof that conservatives are any less inclined to vaccinate their children than anyone else. If we’re interested in politicizing the controversy, though, there is a good case to be made for the opposite.
For starters, polls show that millennials (most of which lean liberal) are far more skeptical about vaccines than older Americans. You’ll notice that laws with easier loophole exemptions from vaccination are most often found in blue states, where we also find the most outbreaks. You might also notice that leading anti-vaxers like RFK Jr. are writing in the mainstream Rolling Stone, not National Review. As New York Times itself already reported, half of the children attending schools in Marin County go unvaccinated by their enlightened parents…
Hydraulic fracturing is as safe as any other means of extracting fossil fuels. It creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. It provides cheaper energy for millions of Americans. It has less of an environmental impact than other processes. It means less dependency on foreign oil. It helped the economy work its way out of a recession. So 62 percent of Republicans support science and 59 percent of Democrats oppose it. Even though numerous scientific studies— one funded by the National Science Foundation that debunked the purported link between groundwater pollution and fracking—have assured us that there’s nothing to fear.