Originally Posted by kathymuggle
The Republicans do not believe in the state interfering in peoples lives. This means no social programs (blech!) but it also means they do not interfere overly in individual choices, such as vaccines. They believe parents should make choices for their children.
Well, in theory. In practice, both parties are prone to interfering in people's lives, just by different means.
Anit-circ and anti-spanking movements are more likely to come from Democrats than Republicans, though many who support them would consider themselves far to the left of the democratic party. While Democrats tend to be less supportive of big business and so more likely to be supportive of laws forcing the big pharma companies to prove their products are safe, the strong science arm of the party is also likely to pass restrictions on natural remedies, for instance not allowing claims on labels of herbal remedies that do not have strong studies baking them up (I.E. you can's say your fish oil capsules cure depression without scientific evidence showing it is so, no matter how strongly you believe it). This can be seen as limiting health options so interfering in individual choice. On the other hand, there is a strong naturally oriented arm to the democrats as well, which along with a push for tolerance for other ways of doing things including non-Western medicine will push for making it easier for a wider diversity of medicines/medical modalities. It is a party divided in many respects. Oh, democrats are also more likely to be behind requiring warning labels and banning certain chemicals and pesticides and such, and for requiring recycling programs and air quality controls and such which may be seen a as a limit on freedom.
Republicans do not believe in interring in people's right to make money (so long as it is not by some immoral means such as selling sex toys, but requiring big agriculture companies to pass food safety inspections is limiting freedom and harmful to business/economy!) Okay, here is the part where I should admit my own bias that I always vote Democrat, and really am to the left of the party average, so you can guess my view of the Republican party in general (though not of individuals who vote Republican, as there are many reasons why they may do so). But as far as personal freedom? Well, they want to protect the freedom to live by Christian values (as they see them, anyway) at least, to the point of inflicting those Christian values on those who don't want them through prayer in school and Christmas trees in government buildings. But they want to put restrictions on what consenting adults may do in their own bedrooms and who they may do it with, on what gender you may marry and what makes a family, on your ability to raise children in religions other than their brand of Christianity, restrict you from choosing to do pot or other recreational drugs (aside from alcohol or cigarettes, those are fine and your right to choose no matter how harmful to yourself/society!), restrict a woman's choice as to whether or not to continue a pregnancy, and so on and so on and so on.
So on the whole, my personal take on things,clouded by my own views and such, is that the Republicans are far more interfering in people's lives than Democrats. Whether you agree with the restriction or not, it is still a restriction. Restricting an individuals right to walk up and punch another individual in the face is certainly a restriction in individual freedom that I believe we all support (most of the time anyway).
Where that comes out in vaccines? I'm not really sure. On one hand, I can see Democrats being more restrictive on the basis for benefit to society, but on the other I can see them being less so due to the push of individual freedom of choice and bodily integrity and also the strong natural movement and anti-chemical/anti-big pharma push. and it would be interesting to take a look back at who is pushing for which laws/restrictions at both a state and federal level.
My province (um... in case I'm confusing anyone, I'm US citizen and a permanent resident of Canada) provides vaccinations for school-age children in the schools, but if I didn't want them, I'd just not sign the form, no need to claim I belong to a religion that doesn't vaccinate or even state my reasons at all. I do find it interesting that more socialist nations with government funded health care, which you would think would have the most invested in preventing disease in order to keep healthcare costs/treatment down) have so much less stringent requirements for vaccines in general than the US with private insurance companies (although, I guess those insurance companies are a big political push for vaccines since having to treat vaccine preventable disease would cost them) and touting freedom above all else is the one to limit the parental choice in this matter.