GOP candidates should concentrate on what matters

By Jen Lassen

Contributing Writer

The recent Republican debate about mandating the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young girls created a rift between politicians Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. The issue has inevitably turned into something that the candidates can use against one another to gain followers. Bachmann’s personal attacks on Perry for his support of the vaccine are very public, and Perry has not kept his mouth shut about his desire for the mandate. The idea of arguing about something like this seems a bit out of place when there are many more important issues to examine.

Our world is dominated by debt, lack of jobs, a slumping economy and international pressures. Many solutions have been proposed to solve these seemingly never-ending problems, but they have not been executed. Since these problems are controlling our world, why not devote more discussion time to them?

I understand that the issue of cervical cancer and HPV among women is a very serious issue. Every woman should be safe, whether by choice or by mandate, in terms of the vaccine before she engages in sexual activity. What I do not understand is why Bachmann and Perry are using their differences over this one issue to determine who the better candidate is.

During the Tea Party GOP debate on Sept. 12, many issues were publicly discussed: the state of the economy and jobs, the national debt and social issues such as healthcare. It was intriguing to see the varying opinions of the candidates over these important topics. Bachmann and Perry had differing opinions about all of these issues, so I find it almost silly that they are using the HPV vaccine debate to differentiate themselves. There are so many more apparent and urgent concerns to address.

I find it odd that although the HPV vaccine issue targets such a small part of the population, Bachmann and Perry have blown it into such a large issue that it’s currently overshadowing our country’s dire issues. I’m finding it hard to understand why these candidates are using this issue to prove who the better Republican is when they should be speaking up about other problems in our country right now.

Even though it’s vital for young girls to know the dangers of HPV and the importance of being protected, I’m certain that they can make their own decisions with their families about receiving the vaccine. This way, the politicians can focus on speaking about the issues that are affecting millions of people nationally rather than using a smaller issue to one-up their opponents.

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