“The consequences are already playing out in Columbus, Ohio, where a child with measles was able to wander around a mall before showing symptoms in November, potentially spreading the highly contagious disease. The state legislature in 2021 had stripped the city health commissioner’s ability to order someone suspected of having an infectious disease to quarantine.” — from a WaPo story about how Republicans, shrieking FREEDOM, have justified gutting public health powers. It’s an unholy alliance of sincere anti-vax sentiment, blind loyalty to God-King Trump, and greed (right-wing attorney Mat Staver begging for money to fight evil vaccine mandates). Or Ron DeSantis wanting anti-vax votes.
For years Republicans have insisted that they’re the party that cares about children. Protects children. They have more children that liberals so they care about the future more; J.D. Vance has suggested parents should get extra votes for their children because having children means you’re invested in this country. They’re banning drag shows to protect children from groomers! Purging school libraries to protect children’s innocence!
It’s the logic by which Oklahoma State Rep. Warren Hamilton thinks aborting ectopic pregnancies is bad: it doesn’t matter if the fetus can’t survive and the mother has serious health risks, it’s a baby — you can’t kill it!
Yet somehow, when it comes to protect them from serious illness, they’re on the side of Plague.
Or consider Lauren Boebert. Her son is about to become an unwed father at 17, but according to her, that proves conservative values are awesome: “‘Teen moms’ rates are higher in rural conservative areas, because they understand the preciousness of a life that it’s about to be born,” and don’t get abortions. Birth control and better sex ed would cut the teen birth rate and the abortion rate but they hate those things. Of course, this is the party that resists any attempt to ban child marriages so what do I expect?
Having kids grow up in a healthy environment is good for them too, but Republicans don’t support that.
And unsurprisingly, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill making it easier to use child labor. Teaching poor kids their place and reducing the pressure to pay workers more — a win-win (if you’re a shitty human being). She’s part of a trend (supported, the article notes by some Democrats) and in at least one state they’re considering immunizing employers from liability, even in cases of negligence.
They protect kids the same way they support cops and the military — when it advances their political agenda. Otherwise, children (other than their own) are just lumps of flesh to them.