Thursday, August 25, 2011

Elephants no longer "grand"

In my recent blog post entitled This Texan is a raving loony [display], I said I look upon Rick Perry as an idiot. Richard Dawkins has just reacted publicly to Perry's description of evolutionary science as "a theory that's out there" which has "got some gaps in it". The Dawkins response appeared on Tuesday in On Faith, the Washington Post's forum for news and opinion on religion and politics [display].

Dawkins starts out by declaring that the GOP nickname has become "ridiculous", because the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt can no longer be looked upon as "grand". Then, in a single devastating sentence, he explains the behavior of Republican voters:

Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

I ended my above-mentioned blog post with a rhetorical question that has often intrigued me:

How is it possible that a great nation such as the USA, with its vast resources in the domain of scientific knowledge, can give birth to, and encourage the ascension of, a shitty gutter-level specimen of shallow stupidity such as Perry, who doesn't even know what's happening in his home-state schools?

Dawkins (whose writing style is more refined than mine) seems to be puzzled by this same kind of question:

The population of the United States is more than 300 million and it includes some of the best and brightest that the human species has to offer, probably more so than any other country in the world. There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.

It's interesting to note that Dawkins blames this situation on the Republican "system for choosing a leader". I wonder what kind of alternative system of choice would get the Republicans more credible (less stupid) leaders.

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