The ‘stupid party’ – Guest Voices

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently urged his Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party.” In order to win elections, he also advised Republicans to reject anti-intellectualism. While this sounds like an excellent step forward, it will depend on their interpretation of “stupid” and “anti-intellectualism.”


This is the same Jindal who, in 2008, signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which also sounds good on the surface. The act allows local school boards to approve supplemental materials for public school science classes as they discuss evolution, cloning and global warming.

Though marketed as support for critical thinking in classrooms, the law was actually designed to open the door to teach creationism and scientifically unwarranted critiques of evolution in Louisiana public school science classes.

Although the bill had been opposed by every scientific society that voiced a position, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Jindal ignored the plea of his former genetics professor Arthur Landy, who wrote, “Without evolution, modern biology, including medicine and biotechnology, wouldn’t make sense.” Instead Jindal gave credibility to Seattle’s Discovery Institute, the home base of “intelligent design,” which helped write the bill.

The Louisiana governor apparently doesn’t understand that neither he nor the Republican Party can avoid being stupid and anti-intellectual when they oppose scientific discoveries established for more than a century. It’s demonstrably unintelligent to weaken scientific standards for public schools just because those standards conflict with a literal interpretation of a “holy” book written in a pre-scientific era.

Written By: Herb Silverman
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

30 COMMENTS

  1. Good luck, Governor Jindal, you’ll need it. Many Republicans actually seem to take pride in their own idiocy, and not just those at the voter level. Remember this quote from former candidate for the Republican ticket Rick Santorum:

    We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country.  We will never have the elite smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do.  So our colleges and universities, they’re not going to be on our side.  The conservative movement will always be – and that’s why we founded Patriot Voices – the basic premise of America and American values will always be sustained through two institutions, the church and the family.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

  2. @OP:disqus  – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently urged his Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party.”

    There is a pretty basic understanding of his position which has been well explained by psychologists!
     

    The Dunning-Kruger effect occurs when incompetent people not only fail to realise their incompetence, but consider themselves much more competent than everyone else.  Basically – they’re too stupid to know that they’re stupid. –
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/D… –

    The idea that people who don’t know enough also don’t know enough to realise that they don’t know enough (“Dunning-Kruger effect” is so much simpler to get your tongue around) isn’t particularly new.

    Bertrand Russell in The Triumph of Stupidity in the mid 1930s said that “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
    Even earlier, Charles Darwin, in The Descent of Man in 1871, stated “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”.

  3. Doesn’t Richard Dawkins support the Tories, or at least doesn’t he back the Tory-led Coalition?

    The Tories have the same policies on green energy and public welfare and much else as the Republicans. So it seems a little hypocrtical to post articles about “the stupid party” when Richard Dawkins himself votes for the Tories or their Lib Dem partners.

  4.  I’m pretty sure Richard is on record stating he has never voted conservative and doesn’t support their policies.

    However, there is no real comparison to be made between the UK Conservative party and the current US Republican party, the Republicans of today are far more right wing than any UK political party.

  5. Doesn’t Richard Dawkins support the Tories, or at least doesn’t he back the Tory-led Coalition?

    Liberal Democrats…which is not the same as supporting the Conservatives, or even the conservative led coalition. No one voted for a coalition.

    The Tories have the same policies on green energy and public welfare and much else as the Republicans. 

    But Dawkins doesn’t vote Conservative though. At least as far as I know he doesn’t.

    So it seems a little hypocrtical to post articles about “the stupid party” when Richard Dawkins himself votes for the Tories or their Lib Dem partners.

    WTF are you on about? Richard Dawkins doesn’t select what gets posted on this site. There is a team of admins for that. What on earth has Richard Dawkins’ political affiliation got to do with the articles that get posted on here anyway? He isn’t a physicist, but there are physics articles posted. He isn’t religious, but there are religious articles posted. He isn’t a creationist, but there are creationist articles posted…does any of that make him a hypocrite? As far as it goes, the GOP are fuckwits, RD’s political affiliations are a non sequitur on the subject.

  6. Dear Rossie. I dont think your question is quite right. Prof.Dawkins stood up at the LibDems conference of ’09, and said effectively, . . . “I am against the UK’s blasphemy laws, alt medicine and faith schools”. In the GB general election of  ’10, Prof.Dawkins officially endorsed the Liberal Democrats, in support of their campaign for electoral reform and for their refusal to pander to “faith”. Bravo :) 

  7.   So it seems a little hypocrtical to post articles about “the stupid party” when Richard Dawkins himself votes for the Tories or their Lib Dem partners.

    Regardless of Richard’s voting patterns and the enormous gulf between right-wing in the UK and US which others have pointed out you are making the mistake of assuming every article posted on this site somehow carries Richard Dawkin’s seal of approval.  This is not the case.

    Michael

  8. To associate Tories with the morons within the GOP ;who in effect want to overturn the secular US constitution, is
    total nonsense .(Jindal seems to have realised that creationists and anti science idiots are dragging the party down)
    There are a lot of relatively right wing Tory/Libertarian people who passionately support that which doyens of common sense like RD do.
    Although I would be opposed to the banning of religion ,homeopathy, and alternative medicine .I see no reason why these items of nonsense should not be the subject of satire and derision.
    As George Orwell said “Freedom if it means anything is the right to tell others that which they may not want to hear.”

  9. I think that a healthy conservative political force is a good thing in America.  Liberal values such as the right to healthcare and social progression are admirable. But the flipside to this is that such programs require beurocracy to administer and as such runs the danger of being all consuming. Such groups like most groups seek to grow bigger and power struggles inevitably ensue. A european model of social inclusion will not work in America because of its sheer size. Also the extreme liberal model of manufacturing social rights where there are no rights at all is just another form of control akin to Religion.

  10. Now let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was genuinely misinformed. Others have already given a healthy dose of criticism, now let’s see if she’s willing to learn or just here to troll.

  11. Define healthy. 

    At the moment the conservative political force in America is straying far from both fiscal and social conservatism. It has pursued economic policies that have been calculated to be ineffective or harmful, calls itself the ‘small government’ party but legislates an enormous amount of intrusions in people’s personal life and choices, etc. etc.

    I agree with you that a conservative party is necessary to apply the brakes and offer fiscally responsible alternatives every now and then, but the Republican party isn’t it. I’d much rather see their political muscle wither away and the Libertarians filling the gap.

    Cheers.

  12. @rdfrs-315b725ad72bb1bc949490a42bd36c2c:disqus A non-delusional conservative force in the US would be a welcome change, but I’m not holding my breath.  Fears of run away government bureaucracy should be addressed through a more open and transparent government, not by “drowning the government in a bathtub” and letting the magical free market solve all problems.As for “rights”, all rights are manufactured.  What makes a right unalienable is we assert it is so. Humans make the rules to the game either through force or consensus.  The sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can have rational discussions about what rules we want to play by and how to measure the utility of the rules.

  13. I agree on both counts.   I’ve never heard Dawkins endorse the Tories.  While he advocates for reason and science and against religious control of schools and politics he seems to try and avoid endorsing or critiquing specific candidates except when they say something really outrageously stupid (which happens a lot in the US these days unfortunately). 

     I also agree there is just no comparison between the current Republicans and the Tories.  The Republicans are just completely divorced from reality and rational thought. My own politics have evolved quite a bit over my life time, in some ways I can be conservative on some issues but I could never have anything to do with a party as irrational as the Republicans have become. 

  14. The problem as I see it is that Republicans have, at least since the 1980s with the ascent of the “Moral Majority”, structured their entire party platform to appeal to the most uneducated, regressive, and religious elements of American society.  This is not because some Republican leaders ARE uneducated, regressive and religious (although they are) – it is because many Republican leaders (i.e., the wealthy CEOs of certain kinds of businesses) cynically depend on an ignorant, uninformed population who either can’t understand, doesn’t care, or is just constitutionally preprogrammed to respond to issues in a shallow, knee-jerk fashion.  Ignorant people are people who can be controlled.  They are people who can be turned into slaves who will work until they drop dead to put money into their overseers’ pockets.  Republicans are a modern slave culture. In order to thrive they need a permanent underclass to do all the actual work while they reap the profits.  This is why they oppose social programs that help the poor; this is why they oppose equality for women.  This is why they seek to undermine public education. This is why they promote the patriarchal class structure of the Christian religion – it fits their aims and goals like a tailored suit.  

    Republicans will change when greed stops being their driving force….in a word – never.

  15. “Anyone who thinks much is not suitable as a party member. He soon thinks himself right out of the party.”-Nietzsche

    The democrats used to be the anti-intellectual party, the party of racism. It suited them better. Now that anti-intellectualism has taken its home in the republican party, it just looks goofy. Republicans are not supposed to pander to plebes. Republicans are supposed to be the ones keeping the rabble in line, not giving them a platform.

    The NeoCon coup did this. Democrat fanboys are just as much to blame. Neoconservatism was like a Trojan Horse spawned by hyper-liberals who claimed to have been ‘mugged by reality’. As the republican party devolved into the madness of Evangelicalism, many democrats stood by and licked their chops. There was no loyalty to the nation, and so democrats were pleased to see the republicans mutate into an irrational horde. Taking the moral high-ground, they could survive the flood. This caused a lot of damage to the nation. The democrats were complicit in empowering the anti-intellectual element as a way of sinking the GOP. This is similar to Richard Dawkins not debating creationists, because if he did, it would empower creationists.

    What if Dawkins decided the end justified the means? He could debate creationists, validate them, have them rise to power until they pose such a threat it would inspire a revolution. A lot of suffering would occur, and a twisted mind might think it a rational course.

    I’m reminded of something Saul of Tarsus wrote, that God chose the stupid to be his followers, that way the victory would be even more glorious… erg, can’t remember the chapter and verse.

  16.  I agree with your observations on republicans. However, the democrats thrive on poverty as well. They are poverty pimps. They benefit from growing poverty, and systemic determination takes influence over the agenda of individual democrats. It’s a bottom line drive. Social services are not inherently good. They can even be harmful and cultivate more poverty. From my own estimation, the US has had more harmful welfare program than other nations, which allows the republicans to criticize it.

  17. I think that rights should be derived , its a far more organic process that shifts the focus on to justice, even necessities and gaps therein.

    Granted Justice is interpreted in many ways. If people are wondering about what is a ‘right’ , they should speak it, ‘Is their an injustice here’. I just feel that link is sometimes missing.

  18. I see healthy as a political force that has as its first preference as the personal persuit of wealth. I think that it is far more healthy for nations who peoples talk more using ‘I’ statements and less in the collective ‘We’. Thats not meant to be vague. I just think money and wealth represents personal ambition , I think that peoples who talk more in terms of the collective are medelling and represents a form of passive control. A kind of control by stealth.

  19. Pauly_
    I see healthy as a political force that has as its first preference as the personal persuit of wealth.

    Otherwise known as irresponsible selfish greed! – as with the robber-barons, warlords, and pirates (of old and of present times)?

    I think that it is far more healthy for
    nations who peoples talk more using ‘I’ statements and less in the collective ‘We’.

    You don’t seem to recognise, that ALL civilised and technical societies and even primitive tribes, function on teams and communities working for common objectives and giving consideration to the welfare of their members. (companies, corporations, states, professions, towns etc.)

    Thats not meant to be vague. I just think money and wealth represents personal ambition , I think that peoples who talk more in terms of the collective are medelling and represents a form of passive control.

    Of course there is some sort of control.  How else are any sort of standards, quality controls, agreements, laws or rights enforced.

    A kind of control by stealth.

    It is the selfish powerful (elites), who usually operate by stealth, and oppose open information for others to make informed judgements about their activities. 
    They, like religious groups, are noted for circulating disinformation and false information to further their pursuit of “personal wealth” (eg. Bankers’ & oil-executive bonuses) usually while suppressing the truth.

    Community rules and laws are published for all to see and follow, and reported on, when enforced.

  20. its the balance of the these forces that makes democracies great. One world view should not go unchecked by the other. I just think that a conservative opposition and at times government are really important. I would worry for America,for example,  if the conservative voice is quite simply bred out. 

  21. I would as well.  If
    conservatives were satisfied with the simple pursuit of personal wealth, I wouldn’t
    be concerned.  It’s their attempts to
    translate personal wealth into political power that bothers me

     

    When people like Mitch McConnell and other conservatives support the notion that
    money is much more than just personal property, it is speech and its use in
    politics is protected by the 1st amendment.   Also,
    with regard to risk management, corporations often have more rights than
    individuals (Of course I’m speaking of the US). 
    Issues/positions such as these make me deeply suspicious of conservatives.  Ironically (or maybe not) the religious right
    champions these same policies.

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