The politics of science

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by Hardball guest host Ron Reagan

Let me finish tonight with science and the Republican Party. Two out of the three presidential candidates generally considered frontrunners for the Republican Party nomination believe the moon is made of green cheese. Does that cause you concern?

You’d think it would. After all, astronauts have been to the moon and have brought back rocks that seem utterly cheese-free. And no giant space mice have been observed nibbling at lunar craters.

Ah, but Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman - the frontrunners in question - don’t believe NASA ever landed men on the moon. As for space mice, the Governor and Congresswoman think they may just be lurking out of sight on the moon’s dark side.

I’m kidding, of course. As far as I know, neither Perry nor Bachman really harbor any such thoughts about our planet’s satellite. If they did, they’d be laughed right out of any presidential contest. Wouldn’t they? I mean… the moon made of green cheese? NASA landings faked? That’s way too crazy for the White House, right? That’s out there where the buses don’t stop. Yeah…

Trouble is, both Bachman and Perry profess other beliefs just as crazy. For instance, neither seems to accept Charles Darwin’s idea that species - including the human species - evolve over time. Instead, they pretend there’s a scientific controversy involving evolution where none exists.

Both also reject the consensus of over 90% of climate scientists worldwide that human activity is warming our planet to dangerously disruptive levels. One of Rick Perry’s first pronouncements upon entering the presidential contest was to declare any such scientific consensus a hoax. Bachman seems to agree.

That would be a massive global charade involving not just the world’s scientists but the governments of virtually every nation as well. If they wanted to be taken the least bit seriously, anyone making such an extraordinary claim would have to back it up with extraordinarily compelling evidence. Wouldn’t they?

Perry and Bachman offer no such evidence. Not a shred. Any rational person would consider such wild, unsupported claims an embarrassment and the folks who made them unfit for high office. Yet here they are, Perry and Bachman, frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination.

That ought to tell us something - and it’s not something good - about the current Republican Party. And if either of these two were to actually move into the White House, it would say something even more tragic about our body politic. President and crazy are not two words we want connected.

 

 

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The politics of science

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