[T]he deepening anti-intellectualism of the political right, both within and beyond the G.O.P., extends far beyond the issue of climate change.
Lately, for example, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has gone beyond its long-term preference for the economic ideas of “charlatans and cranks” — as one of former President George W. Bush’s chief economic advisers famously put it — to a general denigration of hard thinking about matters economic. Pay no attention to “fancy theories” that conflict with “common sense,” the Journal tells us. Because why should anyone imagine that you need more than gut feelings to analyze things like financial crises and recessions?
Now, we don’t know who will win next year’s presidential election. But the odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect.
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
Most observers seem to believe that Bachmann’s 15 minutes are about up. We’ll see, God-willing. Meanwhile, newly minted R frontrunner Rick Perry has been re-asserting that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.” Jonathan Bernstein concludes that Perry either doesn’t know what a Ponzi scheme is, doesn’t understand Social Security, or is lying.
Bernstein leaves out the possibility that all three are true, but that it’s all God’s plan – in which case only godforsaken leftists need be concerned, amiright? Unless “God” is just another name for “gut” (they sound a lot alike!) or “common sense,” and gut and common sense are just other names for Perry’s aides and most influential lobbyists.
My own common sense God instinct tells me that Perry and Bachmann are the punishment, not the hurricanes and earthquakes.