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Scary

It scares the heck out of me that only one major Republican candidate "believes in Evolution" or supports teaching it in school. I suppose if an individual wishes to reject science, roll back all progress in learning and thought to the Bronze Age, and put an end to centuries of progress in human rights and learning, that's their personal right. But any person running for public office who professes those beliefs ought to be immediately disqualified; insane or dangerous beliefs are a quirk, not a platform.

Sadly, the other side offers flaccid resistance. It is not as if they are vigorously pro-science or pro-reason - they're just not-anti. I believe a significant source of this problem is the decoupling of electability from results. It is simply understood that any candidate's promises are empty, and that they will "govern" in a way wholly inconsistent with the way they campaign. Candidates spend so much time raising money and campaigning that actual governance is an after-thought. Indeed, doing anything at all is a mistake for nearly any elected official, because it gets in the way of more empty campaign promises. That said, no matter how asinine either party behaves, changes in incumbency are fractional, rather than monumental.

What is the answer? Voters must hold candidates accountable for their promises, and most especially, moderate voters have to be active in local party politics so that primaries aren't an exercise in extremism. When a candidate doesn't deliver what they promise, or indeed does precisely the opposite - he or she must be voted out of office pronto.

And anyone who says, "Evolution is just a theory and I don't believe it," shouldn't even be allowed to run for town council or school board, much less national office. Failing to educate an entire generation of children due to insane dogmatism would be an unforgivable lapse in our responsibility to the world, and our successors on this planet.

Comments

nephandi
Dec. 7th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
Part of the accountability problem is in what you might call bipartisanship. Take, for example, Obama's campaign promise to 'restore habeas.' As president he literally ordered the assassination of an American citizen on the basis of secret evidence. (Sure, the target was probably a bad guy, but that is never the point.)

But voting Obama out of office would not actually advance this issue, as his opponent would almost certainly be just as regressive. If not worse! Secretly killing people with drones is effectively bipartisan.

On evolution, I think you're on to something in that being anti-evo is important for the right wing, but being pro-evo is not that important for the left. And maybe it is because of the success of right wing capture at the local (school board) levels.
aghrivaine
Dec. 7th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
I know what you're saying about "bi-partisanship" but the effect of the "but the other guy is worse" phenomenon is that no candidate need do anything that they promise. As long as the other guy is worse, they can do whatever they want.

Unacceptable. Time to deal with short term losses to create a long term system in which candidates must govern as they campaign.

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