The storm of revelations about Sarah Palin, post her joining John McCain’s campaign as the presumptive Republican Vice Presidential nominee with seemingly no serious vetting prior to the decision, might be equated to at least the equivalent of a 100-year flood. Where to start? Separtist? Serial pork barreler? Disgraceful and dirty campaign style? Disingenuous (lying) about the flagship issue of opposing the Bridge to Nowhere (lie?)? Association with serial Republican corruption in Alaska? Lack of foreign policy experience and disdain for key international issues? Lack of experience? Extreme anti-choice stance? Serial Abuse of Power? Tyrannical governance style? Close allegiance to the fossil fuel industry and evidently lack of understanding of America’s (and the globe’s) energy options and challenges? Anti-environment views, including support of aerial hunting of wolves (see)? John McCain’s insult to the nation’s collective intelligence through suggesting that she is even in the top 100 list for viable people to be a heart-beat away from the Presidency? Abuse of Power? And, the list can go on and on and on and on … As noted, a 100-year flood.
Amid all of this, one song keeps going through my mind, a song that could represent Sarah Palin’s love ballad to John McCain and the Republican Party: What a wonderful world it would be …
Don’t know much about history
don’t know much biology
don’t know much about science books ….
Don’t know much about geography
don’t know much trigonomitry
don’t know much about algebra
How does this relate to Sarah Palin? In brief, Palin
- Rejects the Theory of Evolution and believes that, at a minimum, “Intelligent Design” should be taught alongside Evolution in science classes.
- Rejects human causation in Global Warming.
These two, immediately, put Palin in the anti-science and anti-knowledge element of American society. We have to question whether, in the face of 21st century challenges and opportunities, the United States really wants someone in the corridors of power who is able to so blithely reject basic fundamental science and scientific method.
Palin’s anti-knowledge crusade and ignorance credentials don’t stop there.
- Much has been made of her historical ignorance in answering a question about the Pledge of Allegiance. In this case, she directly linked the Pledge of Allegiance to the Founding Fathers when the Pledge was written in the 1890s (over 100 years after the Founding Fathers) and the relevant words (”Under God”) are younger in the Pledge than her running mate (having been added in in 1954). Okay, trivia, how about another example … an anti-knowledge one.
- When elected Mayor of the bustling 6000 person metropolis of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin sought to ban books from the public library.
Palin is a strong supporter of abstinence-only education. Putting aside the question of her own family situation, the analysis is clear: abstinence-only education does not work, it is a waste of taxpayer-resources (over $1 billion), and does not solve problems like HIV-AIDS transmission.
Let us return to evolution and “intelligent design” for a moment. When pushed on this, her is Palin’s words:
Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, “I believe we have a creator.”
She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.
“I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she said.
Not knowing seems to be a common refrain from Sarah. It is not that she should “know” everything, but that as Vice President, that she would act based on reasonable knowledge and information. The Theory of Evolution merits education and discussion in science classes. “Intelligent Design” merits (perhaps) discussion and debate in theology and philosophy classes … and until it can meet basic tenets of scientific theory, it does not merit entry into science curricula.
Sarah Palin’s stated beliefs and positions clearly show her to be an anti-knowledge and anti-science zealot. She is, to me, the clearest anti-science, anti-knowledge VP selection in, perhaps, US history. With this decision, impulsive John McCain kowtowing to the ‘know-nothing’ fringe of the Republican Party.
We are going on eight years of having an Administration focused on sound science rather than embracing the value of scientific knowledge. We cannot afford four more.
But i do know that i love you
and i know that if you love me to
what a wonderful world this would be
As much of a romantic as I might be, this is one romance that America, Americans, and the Globe can’t afford to see consummated.