May 21st, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Activism, Politics, Metro, PDX News, PDX Votes

Rest of Nation Mocks Portland Over Fluoride Vote

lede_3927(opposition)SIGNS OF OPPOSITION: Anti-fluroidation activists dislike modern-day opposition to past campaigns fueled by right-wing groups. Of today’s opponents, says anti-fluoridation volunteer Kristi Parson, “It’s a whole different generation now.” - IMAGE: Kurt Armstrong
People of Portland, the rest of America is watching us. And some of them are laughing.

The fluoridation fight (to be decided tonight! Vote!) has hit the national media, with a slew of articles titled "What's the Matter with Portland?" and "Quacks of All Political Persuasions Fight Fluoridation in Portland."

Slate and Gawker offered those headlines, and they join recent stories by Mother Jones, the Washington Post and a host of media outlets that have published articles about the debate raging in the Rose City.

The Wall Street Journal, took a light Portlandia-mocking tone, and dug up Tacee Webb, who runs what she calls "an all-Gluten-Free Preschool."

"Many 'No' activists say they oppose fluoridation because it represents lack of choice," the WSJ reads. "'The government does not have the right to make a major medical decision for the public at large. That decision flies in the face of everything it means to be a Portlander,'" said Webb.

Gawker goes the harshest route, calling the anti-fluoride leaders "fear-mongers" and comparing them to anti-vaccination activists.

"I lived in Portland for four years, and having subsisted on the fluoridated water of New York City for some years now, I can assure Portlanders that the only thing they have to fear from fluoridation are teeth so hard and healthy they can cut through the wires of a suspension bridge (which could pose a unique security problem for a city as bridge-laden as Portland)," Adrien Chen writes.

(Full disclosure: WW alum Chen also made fun of Portland when he still lived in Portland.)

So read on, Portland, and no matter what you think of the issue, turn your ballots in before 8 pm.

 
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