Republicans lurching towards an anti-science agenda
By Jacob Howard
The presidential hopefuls of the Republican Party have in recent weeks been displaying an increasingly dismissive attitude towards scientific values.
This follows recent polling in Iowa that shows a worrying precedent of anti-scientific sentiment amongst Republican voters.
The results of the Public Policy poll make apparent the boost in popularity gained by those candidates who carry a heavy suspicion towards issues like climate change and evolution.
Texan governor Rick Perry, in his debut poll, has emerged as the frontrunner in the all-important Iowa GOP caucus, after recently making headlines by dismissing evolution as “just a theory”.
He also had this to say about climate change: “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”
As worrying as this comment is, it is made more compelling when polling shows two thirds of Republican voters in Iowa deny the science of climate change, and almost half don’t believe in evolution.
Michelle Bachmann, who last week said, “metaphorically”, that recent storms along the U.S. coast were a sign god wanted less public spending, has also had a surge in polls.
Bachmann owns a Christian counseling clinic with her husband in Minnesota, revealed to be offering therapy for homosexual men to be “re-oriented”.
In a recent speech she called the scientific evidence behind climate change ‘manufactured’, and has vowed to make cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The only frontrunner in the Republican race who has publicly accepted the science of global warming is Mitt Romney, but he seems to be changing his tune in the face of voter opinion.
Romney, who has been consistent in his belief of human causes of climate change since becoming the governor of Massachusetts in 2003, said in a speech only a few weeks ago, “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans”.
After Bachmann’s victory in the Ames Straw Poll, and Perry’s sudden lead since joining the race, it is becoming more and more likely that the Republican candidate for president will contest with an anti-science agenda.
If Iowa turns out to be as reliable a gauge to the nomination process as it often has been, the US could have a president who has said gay culture is “part of Satan.”
The Iowa caucuses are widely regarded as one of the most important barometers of every election campaign since 1972.
Four of the past five winners of the Republican caucus have gone on to run as that party’s candidate for President, and the past four previous Democrat winners have entered the Presidential race.