Whenever the current crop of Republican presidential candidates make a public utterance, I think, Reality is a terrible thing to waste.
WIth a single exception, Jon Huntsman, they don't care whether what they're saying is fact-based, scientifically-defensible, or otherwise firmly rooted in demonstrable consensual reality.
They just spout off about whatever is politically expedient. If Republican primary voters demand crazy talk from a candidate, that's what they're given.
This is dangerous.
What if one of these reality-deniers somehow becomes President of the United States? Who wants the leader of our country to be out of touch with what is really happening in the world? How could this person make sound decisions if he or she capable of understanding the difference between truth and illusion?
Recently one of the leading candidates, Texas governor Rick Perry, opined that evolution is "a theory that's out there." Yeah, just like there's a theory out there that the Earth wasn't created fully formed by God ten thousand years ago. And that our planet isn't flat, but round.
Perry also doesn't believe in global warming, another sign of his reality deficiency. This caused his rival, Jon Huntsman, to warn about the consequences of the Republican Party becoming ridiculously anti-science.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s denial of global warming poses a “serious problem” for Republicans trying to take back the White House in 2012, presidential rival Jon Huntsman says.
“The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012,” the former Utah governor said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“When we take a position that isn't willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it,” he said, “I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.”
Perry's talking points on global warming are, simply put, lies. He said, “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their — to their projects.”
Not true. Every investigation of climate scientists has cleared them of charges that data has been manipulated in some nefarious fashion. Here's the truth:
While the anti-science extremists who rule the Tea Party and the right-wing bunkosphere keep shouting lies about the Hockey Stick and Mann — and urging their followers to “shout down” science-based commenters on independent websites — the vindications of the science and the man are reported as quietly as if they came from the Whos of Whoville.
And so after countless investigations — 3 in the U.K., 2 by Penn State, the EPA, the NOAA IG — that have all unanimously found the allegations against climate scientists and their research conclusions based on the hacked “ClimateGate” emails to be wholly unsubstantiated, a top GOP presidential candidate backed by the fossil fuel industry still gives voice to the Texas-sized lie (see “Denier Rick Perry Takes $11 Million from Big Oil, Then Claims Climate Scientists ‘Manipulated Data’ For Money“).
We reality-lovers have to keep fighting back.
I don't want my four year old granddaughter to grow up in a country led by politicians who ignore the truth about what is happening in the world. If I got on a bus and saw that the driver was blind, I'd change my mind about trusting that means of transportation.
Hopefully voters will realize that the Republican Party is similarly deficient in the clear vision needed to guide the path of the United States. When leading politicans aren't willing to look reality in the face, citizens should ignore them in the voting booth.