The Spokesman-Review reports that Spokane City Council member Mike Fagan, who is a health board member, expressed on his Facebook account serious doubts about the use of vaccines, and he blamed the “the comeback of these diseases" on the "influx of illegal aliens.” These comments have met heavy criticism from health officials and other council members. Spokane City Council president Ben Stuckart wants to remove Fagan from his seat on the health board. But Fagan's way of thinking is by no means isolated, and the ease with which he connects one issue, public health, with another that's unrelated, illegal immigrants, is not unprecedented. This is Fox News's bread and butter.
What connects the dots is fear. And the source of this fear is a sense of powerlessness that persists only because it has considerable market and political value for those in power. Fagan, like millions of Americans, also thinks that the science behind the theory of climate change is dodgy. But our political situation is such that it's practical to be a skeptic rather than an informed citizen who is stuck in the mad position of facing a real crisis that our democracy is incapable of solving or providing paths to action. The mediated magic of American capitalism has transformed scientific reason into a Cassandra.