This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
The "anti-elitism" stance of the right wing reminds me of the teasing the "gifted" kids received when I was in elementary school, or the eye rolls aimed at those who (choose one or more) make healthy food choices, exercise frugality, exercise regularly, base their parenting choices on developmental information, or otherwise show a preference for rational, informed decision-making. Why are people so eager to tear down those who make thoughtful, evidence-based decisions and/or those who engage in intellectual pursuits? Shouldn't it be enviable instead of the object of scorn? And why would anybody prefer to elect a president who could share a beer with them and join in mocking the smart kids, rather than somebody who is, well, smart enough to run a country? It bothers me that there are people holding voter registration cards who think this way. Gosh, we don't want those brainy nerds in office! We'd much rather pull the string on our Barbie again to hear her say "science is hard!"
Do you really want to elect somebody who says
"This is a matter of how we prioritize the money that we spend. We've got a three trillion dollar budget, and Congress spends some 18 billion dollars a year on earmarks for political pet projects. That's more than the shortfall to fully fund the IDEA. And where does a lot of that earmark money end up? It goes to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good -- things like fruit fly research in Paris, France, or a public policy center named for the guy who got the earmark. In our administration, we're going to reform and refocus. We're going to get our federal priorities straight, and fulfill our country's commitment to give every child opportunity and hope in life."
...while talking to a crowd about her backing of funding of projects that benefit children with special needs? Hmm, would that include children with autism, Governor? If she or any of her people had stopped snarking long enough to google, they might have discovered that drosophila (that's fruit flies to you anti-elitists) research is giving scientists greater insight into autistic spectrum disorders. Did she take a single biology class at any of the four colleges she attended? A basic awareness of genetic research and its benefits strikes me as very Bio 101. But maybe that's my elitism talking. But hey, if my snobbish educated background has resulted in my knowing a few things about the world - and in my knowing when I don't know something and shouldn't act like I do - then give me elitism any day.
More from PZ Meyers: Sarah Palin: ignorant and anti-science
Yes, science is hard. And those who study it deserve our respect and admiration, not playground taunts. We need intelligent, informed individuals - people who understand science and math and history and economics, and who can surround themselves with other smart people to help fill in the gaps in their own knowledge - to hold public office so these people who make decisions for our country actually know what the hell they're voting on.