America the Stupid
by Kelvin Wade
Stupidity just may be the undoing of the republic.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) recently told a banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, GA, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.” He also said that he believes the earth to be 9,000 years old.
It’s stunning coming from a man who is a medical doctor.
Then there’s Todd Akin (R-MO). Remember him? The man who believes that if women are legitimately raped their bodies have a way of shutting down a pregnancy.
Finally, there’s Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who posted on his website last year, “I do not believe that CO2 is a cause of global warming…” Now, the Republican line is at best that man is not the cause of global warming to, at worst, it’s a flat-out hoax. Rohrabacher goes the extra mile and says CO2 doesn’t cause global warming, which is completely asinine.
If these three guys were a comedy troupe or three morons having a drink in a bar, I’d have no problem with what they believed. But they’re Congressmen that are on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The Science Committee was established in the late 50’s in response to the Soviet Union’s Sputnik program. Today, the committee oversees NASA, FEMA, the Department of Energy, EPA, FAA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Fire Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies.
And it should embarrass and scare the hell out of us that we have such anti-intellectual folks sitting on this committee. How are we supposed to compete with other nations if our leaders are hostile to science? Research and development are important for us as a nation or at least it should be.
These idiots represent one side of the anti-intellectual, anti-science movement in the Republican Party. I’ve no doubt that they actually believe what they’re saying. They’re wrong, but at least they believe it. This is America, where one is free to be wrong and free to believe what they want. But it hurts us when it’s our leaders who are wrong.
The other side of the anti-intellectual, anti-science movement are leaders who know better but are pandering to dumb voters. Last month, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told GQ Magazine that he didn’t know how old the earth was and that he wasn’t qualified to say, arguing, “I’m not a scientist, man.” This past week he came out and admitted, “There is no scientific debate on the age of the Earth, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old.”
Rubio isn’t an idiot but it’s shameful that he felt he had to act like an idiot in order to appeal to his base. We see it again and again. There was a time when mainstream Republicans accepted man-made climate change. George W. Bush even campaigned on reducing carbon emissions in 2000! Now Republicans have backed off of the science to cater to the mouth-breathing dimmest bulbs in their party.
And this past week, Public Policy Polling (PPP) came out with a poll that showed just what these dim bulbs believe. In a new poll half (49 percent) of Republican voters think ACORN stole the 2012 election for Barack Obama. Perhaps we should feel good about that since 52 percent believe ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama. Nevermind the fact that ACORN no longer exists.
The poll found that 25 percent of Republicans are so unhappy with President Obama’s reelection that they want their state to secede from the union. Another 19 percent are unsure. So more than four out of 10 Republicans are at least considering the possibility of their state leaving the union. The jury is still out on if they’re aware that we fought a war that cost 600,000 lives to test the theory of states seceding from the union. Here’s a hint: they can’t.
Progressives laugh at the folly of know-nothing Republicans but it’s not funny anymore. Fox News, right wing radio and Republican politicians are harming the nation by being the Pied Pipers of ignorance.
Republican voters who are still stunned at Romney’s loss (and are blaming a stolen election) no doubt drank the Kool-Aid that Karl Rove and Dick Morris were selling on FOX that Romney was going to win. Conservative pundits savaged statistician Nate Silver whose calculations consistently showed an Obama victory.
We can’t have half the country wiling away the hours, conferring with the flowers and consulting with the rain. We can’t compete with China and other emerging global players if our workforce is a Jeff Foxworthy punchline.
The only way to do this is for Republicans to call out their leaders on this nonsense. Turn off a radio show or TV show that’s spewing untruths. We need politicians that will stop playing to folks’ ignorance and fears.
Abraham Lincoln famously said, “The thing about quotes on the internet is it’s hard to judge their authenticity.” Okay, I was just testing you. He said “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free” and he was right. Well, I believe this country cannot endure permanently half-educated and half-idiotic. We can’t thrive with half of the country using it’s own separate facts. We can’t innovate in medicine, science and technology if we’re not producing intellectually curious students. We can’t grow if we’re going to allow the Michele Bachmanns, Sarah Palins and Richard Mourdocks of the world set the standard.
We’ve got to get on the same page or else we’re going down.