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Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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RFK Jr.’s belief vaccines cause autism makes him unfit for public office

Jul 12, 2023

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Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been called a fringe candidate and a conspiracy theorist for his crusade against vaccines. Even members of his famous family have said he’s part of a misinformation campaign because he won’t accept scientific evidence proving vaccines don’t cause autism but actually save lives. Despite the backlash against him, the son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy is holding double-digit approval ratings in recent polls.

Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence, who describes herself as “on the spectrum,” has a personal take on the anti-vax presidential contender. She believes his refusal to acknowledge scientific data on autism — which affects 75 million people worldwide — is dangerous and makes him unfit for public office.

For nearly two decades, the son of former U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy has promoted the scientifically-discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. RFK Jr. has even started an anti-vax nonprofit advocacy group for children. He’s pushing this nonsense, despite the scientific evidence confirming the fact that his outlook is wholly inaccurate, shall we say.

You would think that an Ivy Leaguer with two advanced legal degrees would have the common sense to listen to the experts. But no. So if I may disabuse this man of his ignorance, bear with me.

Here’s a good question: If vaccines cause autism, why is there plenty of historical evidence of autism existing long before vaccines? For example, shepherds from biblical times. Individuals were tasked with that job because they have the ability to look out over the hills and instantly detect whether a sheep was missing. Yeah, what type of mind has the ability to visually calculate hundreds of items instantaneously and determine whether one is missing?

Few things are as disturbing as a shirtless presidential candidate doing bench presses and push ups on camera. Yet Robert F. Kennedy Jr. seems to think that that puts him on the fast track to 1600 Penn. 

 

Now while I generally ignore the thrice sweat attorney and politician, I can’t help but address the fact that RFK Jr. is a problem — particularly for people like me. I’m a proud autist. RFK Jr.’s autism anti-vax propaganda is a nuisance that should intellectually disqualify him from office. 

 

As far as I’m concerned. This notion that vaccines cause autism is exhausting. As an over educated individual on the spectrum, I’m well aware of the peer reviewed research on the difference in neuro type that is autism. Autism is a difference in communication and processing. And indeed, it can very much be a disability, but it’s not necessarily always the case. 

 

So when people think lowly of autists, their ignorance is on full display, and RFK Jr. showcases his ignorance regularly in this area. For nearly two decades, the son of the former U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy has promoted the scientifically discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. RFK Jr. has even started an anti-vax nonprofit advocacy group for children. He’s pushing this nonsense, despite the scientific evidence confirming the fact that his outlook is wholly inaccurate, shall we say? 

 

You would think that an ivy leaguer with two advanced legal degrees would have the common sense to listen to the experts. But no. So if I may disabuse this man of his ignorance, bear with me. Here’s a good question. If vaccines cause autism, why is there plenty of historical evidence of autism existing long before vaccines? For example, shepherds from biblical times: individuals were tasked with that job because they have the ability to look out over the hills and instantly detect whether a sheep was missing. Yeah, what type of mind has the ability to visually calculate hundreds of items instantaneously and determine whether one is missing? 

 

We’ve been around for a very, very long time, and damn sure before vaccines, but RFK Jr. apparently prefers propaganda over facts. He also likely prefers to ignore the basic concept of labels. What the medical community describes as autism is ever changing. Tomorrow, they could say people with certain traits are goblins and people would go with it. Intellectually you think RFK Jr. could see the nonsense here. For instance, doctors just dropped the diagnosis of Asperger’s and moved it to the autism spectrum a whole decade ago. And the main reason for that? Well, it was because the name was tied to fascism. Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger was sending boys that he diagnosed two Nazis for further testing, all said just because some white dude in Europe didn’t have a conscience. Well, the medical community decided to drop the label with his name on it and move us all over to the autism spectrum. 

 

Anyway, the fact is that doctors do not have a full grasp on why autism occurs, but they damn sure know it’s not vaccines. And they also do happen to recognize that autism is a different neurotype, and some people engage in behaviors that other people generally may not engage in. That doesn’t mean autists are innately deficient or undesirable for society. Rather, we’re simply different. 

 

Mind you that difference has advanced this world considerably. Albert Einstein, John Nash, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Elon Musk, so many more autistic minds have invented, explored, discovered, contributed. Yet RFK Jr. and his infinite wisdom want to help this world prevent our existence by avoiding vaccines. Even if that were an actual ability that there was some connection between vaccines and autism, why would you want to prevent society from having minds like Bill Gates? 

 

Helped me help you help yourself Jr. Your stance is not only ignorant, but effectively harmful to humanity. The world needs minds like mine. All due respect, holistic neurotypes out there couldn’t get outside the box or even conceptualize it without people like me who process and approach the world differently. Putting his propaganda and conspiracy theories aside, RFK Jr’s simple failure to recognize our value as autists communicates to me that he is not fit to lead. Maybe bruh should just stick to the gym.

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