30 July 2018

A simple analogy for understanding Trump’s Putin meeting

Think about what it means to be a vaccine skeptic. There’s no real evidence that vaccines “cause” autism, and there’s an overwhelming scientific consensus that they are vital to preventing the spread of serious diseases. Trump’s argument that vaccines are dangerous is founded in basic ignorance about how effective they’ve been in eradicating diseases, and a misplaced confidence in his own mastery of vaccine science.

Political scientist Matt Glassman sees Trump’s skepticism about NATO in a similar light. There is a huge amount of evidence that the Western alliance has played an important role in deterring conflict on the European continent, much in the same way that vaccines have helped eradicate diseases: War in Western Europe today seems about as unthinkable as a polio outbreak in Manhattan. 

Zack Beauchamp