Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano defended Sen. Rand Paul’s recent remarks on vaccinations in his WorldNetDaily column today, writing that proponents of vaccination mandates want the government to “own our bodies” and create a society much “like Big Brother in George Orwell’s novel ‘1984.’”
“[I]f the government owns our bodies, then the presumption of individual liberty guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has been surreptitiously discarded, and there will be no limit to what the government can compel us to do or to what it can extract from us – in the name of science or any other of its modern-day gods,” he said, warning against giving power to “Big Government politicians” who seek to intervene in all realms of society.
The science is overwhelming that vaccinations work for most children most of the time. Paul, who is a physician, said, however, he knew of instances in which poorly timed vaccinations had led to mental disorders. Yet, he was wise enough to make the pro-freedom case, and he made it stronger than Christie did.
To Paul, the issue is not science. That’s because in a free society, we are free to reject scientific orthodoxy and seek unorthodox scientific cures. Of course, we do that at our peril if our rejection of truth and selection of alternatives results in harm to others.
The issue, according to Paul, is: WHO OWNS YOUR BODY? This is a question the government does not want to answer truthfully, because if it does, it will sound like Big Brother in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” That’s because the government believes it owns your body.
What do the states have to do with this? Under our Constitution, the states, and not the federal government, are the guardians of public health. That is an area of governance not delegated by the states to the feds. Of course, you’d never know this to listen to the debate today in which Big Government politicians, confident in the science, want a one-size-fits-all regimen.
No less a champion of government in your face than Hillary Clinton jumped into this debate with a whacky Tweet that argued that because the Earth is round and the sky is blue and science is right, all kids should be vaccinated. What she was really saying is that in her progressive worldview, the coercive power of the federal government can be used to enforce a scientific orthodoxy upon those states and individuals who intellectually reject it.
Paul’s poignant question about who owns your body – and he would be the first to tell you that this is not a federal issue – cannot be ignored by Christie or Clinton or any other presidential candidate. If Paul is right, if we do own our bodies and if we are the custodians of our children’s bodies until they reach maturity, then we have the right to make health-care choices free from government interference, even if our choices are grounded in philosophy or religion or emotion or alternative science.
But if Paul is wrong, if the government owns our bodies, then the presumption of individual liberty guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has been surreptitiously discarded, and there will be no limit to what the government can compel us to do or to what it can extract from us – in the name of science or any other of its modern-day gods.