A reader quotes the previous one:

To me the idea of adding medicines to drinking water seems to be the nanny state operating at its finest (there is no other reason for adding fluoride to water beyond the prevention of tooth decay). If I want to use fluoride, then it’s super simple for me to just buy a fluoridated toothpaste, giving me a degree of choice and control over what I put into my body that federally-mandated fluoridation just doesn’t give me.

This statement is so full of naivety that I barely know where to start. Does the reader also oppose all other federally-mandated water requirements? Does she realize how many chemicals (or medicines) are required to get water treated and safe? Why are they not nanny-state? Why not abolish those? People are perfectly able to buy bottled water in the supermarket, no? Or would that not be possible because most bottled water is just tap-water from elsewhere, and you need some standards to keep that safe?

Another reader:

The post from your Seattle correspondent could have been drafted by my lesbian sister and her naturopath wife. Nothing that wasn’t organic ever crossed their daughter’s lips and she was never sick. Until she had nine cavities. And until she was diagnosed with leukemia. It nearly killed her parents to subject my niece to general anesthesia for dentistry and chemotherapy for cancer, but now she is healthy and thriving.

Ignorance of science and medicine is a luxury that is great so long as you’re basically healthy. When you’re really sick, however, you’d better toss all that alternative crap out the window.

Another:

It never ceases to amaze me how oblivious self-identified “progressive liberals” are to the defining characteristic they share with the Tea Party: nostalgia for a world that never existed.

When in American history did everyone - rich or poor, white or black – “have access to nutritious food grown in proper soil by local farmers”? Is this the same “earlier simpler world” as the unvaccinated utopia where no one was ever crippled by polio or killed by the measles?

I especially like the repetitive linking to an advocacy website reliant upon selective quotation and interpretation of scientific literature. It’s a perfect example of how the simultaneous blind reverence for and total ignorance of science permeates so much of this community.

Another piles on:

I can’t believe we’re still talking about this crap. Are there legitimate concerns about fluoride? Possibly. Should our diets contain less sugar and processed junk? Yes. But the bottom line is that fluoride is great for those among us, especially children, who can’t afford to go to the dentist. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need fluoride because everyone would receive basic healthcare despite their ability, or lack thereof, to pay for it. Maybe we’re working on creating that kind of world, but we’re not there yet, and fluoride is something that even the smallest municipalities can do right now. The fact that the citizens of Portland couldn’t find it in their hearts to think of the welfare of their least fortunate community members (who are not so gradually being pushed into the suburbs by gentrification anyway) instead of a bunch of reactionary pseudo-science is a travesty.