CNN commentator Jack Cafferty asks a very good question:
When it comes to presidential politics, why does America seem to be allergic to brains?
I’ve been wondering the same thing. Like, how did we end up with the current crop of Republican frontrunners? As The Onion satirically put it in a recent headline “White-Hot GOP Race Down To Two Mentally Ill People, Person Who Lost Nomination Last Time”. Cafferty agrees, comparing GOP superstars Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann to The Three Stooges, and saying that Perry’s quick rise in the polls is “a little scary”.
Richard Dawkins was recently asked about the anti-science stance of candidates like Rick Perry. An excerpt from his response:
There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.
Unfortunately, unlike homosexuality, which is not actually spread by gay people, people like Rick Perry are doing everything they can to spread stupidity. In Texas, where Perry has been governor for a decade, millions of students are heading back to school this week, and they face a dramatically revised, state-mandated social studies curriculum that deliberately pushes a conservative, and factually bizarre agenda. For example, students will be required to learn about Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, Phyllis Schlafly, and Estée Lauder. Indeed, Lauder is is designated one of the 68 most important historical figures in our country’s history, but that list strangely does not include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or John Adams. The curriculum also teaches that the findings of Joe McCarthy’s House Committee on Un-American Activities were confirmed, which is simply not true.