2008 leadership, religious right, right-wing tomfoolery, United States

Republican devolution

In last night’s Republican leader’s debate, Mike Huckabee was asked to explain his views on evolution v creation. Of course, this issued from the one-off hand-raise in the first debate when he and two other candidates raised their hands to the question “who here does not believe in evolution?”

To his credit he answered honestly and without pause, but he showed a bit of frustration with the question, knowing that his answer was unlikely to do him any favours:

“It’s interesting that that question would even be asked of somebody running for president,” Huckabee said. “I’m not planning on writing the curriculum for an eighth-grade science book. I’m asking for the opportunity to be president of the United States.”

Yes, it is indeed interesting. However, in a culture in which leaders run on their faith as much or more than any other thing, what is so unfair? And he’s right, no one should expect the president to have to write a science textbook, but for fuck’s sake, he/she should at least understand the contents of a grade 8 science textbook well enough to not make idiot statements like:

“If anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it.”

and responding “I don’t know” when asked if he thought the age of the earth was 6,000 years.

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5 thoughts on “Republican devolution

  1. Is this what would be called “Knowing where a significant portion of your support base is, and playing to it, whether or not they make any sense, and hoping no-one will ask the science question”?

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  2. TBH, Huckabee’s answer does not really bother me that much. I mean, I am as strong a supporter of real science over faith-based speculation as there is, but Huckabee makes the very good point that his personal views need not effect his performance as President. The current one has been quite open about the fact that his faith informs his politics and therefore questions about his faith are fair game. But for someone who is not taking that attitude, I think that their personal lives and personal beliefs are not a matter that the public should have any expectation to know about. I have this general overarching bias that politicians are expected to reveal way too much about their personal lives in general. Personally, unleses something is pertinent to how you are going to execute your office (if elected), I shouldn’t have any expectation to know about it.

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  3. Devin,
    I would disagree with you on the point of knowing somethings about a person’s belief concerning proven outright fiction vs facts. You have to consider that we the people “the employer” (this works in either country) are “hiring” someone to control our lives, politically. I would like to know a bit of how this person thinks. I do not want someone to believe fairy tales for scientific fact. This person may be more than willing to believe other bits of fiction and take it at face-value fact. I would prefer someone who is willing to question everything. I want someone who gets the facts and makes informed decisions. That being said, I have no problem with the person having faith in religion as a guide in his/her personal life. However, the government is not a religious institute, nor is science a branch of religion.
    Remember, you are the one hiring this person to control your life. I would want to know a lot about that person before I make that dicision.

    My $0.02

    Paul

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  4. I’d rather not have an ignorant brainwashed myth-supporter in the role of Supreme Leader. He may not be planning to write 8th grade curricula, but he will have the power to hire/fire the Secretary of Education, who will have the power to stop this sort of foolishness from getting into the schools. We can only hope that if elected, he’d hire an incompetant friend (great job Brownie!) than someone with the drive and ability to set the American school system back 100 years.

    Side note: Questions like this should probably be asked of voters, too, before they enter the booth.

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  5. I would definitely agree that I would be uncomfortable with a leader who espoused those types of belief. Realistically, if he is a believer in creationism, he is apt to take the precepts of the bible literally, including the often-used rubber mallet of anti-homosexuality, to name just one.
    We are, whether we acknowledge it or not (as he does, in fact) a product of the interpretive frameworks we have built over the course of our lives. My family’s lack of attention to religion as a general rule influenced the decisions I have made – alongside my experiences both positive and negative and my physical limitations, which also effect choices I make. If god the almighty creator of the universe is the framework or lens through which he sees and understands the world, then that will affect all of his decisions, not just whether he believes in Evolution or not.

    By the way, yes, I do capitalize certain words on purpose, just in case anyone was wondering.

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