Sunday, February 27, 2011

Conservatives and Social Evolution

So many conservative politicians are hypocrites to an extent that has become legendary and comic. (This is an evolutionary, not political, blog; I will tie this political commentary in to evolution.) It is easily visible on the national and local levels. Here are some new stories.

The new speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner of Ohio, presents himself as the exemplar of pure ethics: to eliminate wasteful spending and earmarks. Everyone thinks he has a real heart for the American people, perhaps because of his frequent crying. But are these tears of altruism, or of deception, or of delusion? They are certainly not tears of altruism. Both President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates (who was originally appointed by George W. Bush) claim that the F-35 fighter plane engine is unnecessary; it would cost $450 million right now and as much as $3 billion over the next few years. If the commander in chief and the defense secretary think it is a waste of money, who could possibly support it? John Boehner, of course, whose state would be one of the places where the engine would be built. Boehner wants to cut all sweet federal deals except those that come to his state. On February 16 the House voted against funding the engine.

But should we be surprised that Boehner showed such hypocrisy? No. In 1995, Boehner handed out tobacco lobbyist checks to his fellow representatives on the floor of the House before debate on a bill to end tobacco subsidies.

Meanwhile, in my own state of Oklahoma, the House Common Education committee debated a bill introduced by Republican representative Sally Kern that would protect the freedom of students to not be penalized for creationist beliefs. The bill was totally unnecessary—students, like everyone else, are already protected from being so penalized, and the bill was a waste of time and money. This argument, which I made to the committee by email several times, seems to have prevailed, since several Republicans voted against the bill, which failed on February 22. Now here is the interesting part. Rep. Kern called two witnesses to support the bill. One was a former geology professor at the University of Oklahoma, whose strong political views (including what have been described as misogynistic ones) got him removed from his department and placed under the direct control of the dean; the other was a teacher who had stood up during Richard Dawkins’s University of Oklahoma lecture and called him a liar, and who was escorted out by security guards. Couldn’t Kern find anybody other than people with anger management issues to support her views?

It appears that reasonable and non-hypocritical conservatives are rare. And this brings us to social evolution. The conservative political position is not a matter of reasoned political viewpoint, nor is it based on evidence. If it were, conservatives would be consistent rather than hypocritical, and would be able to present evidence rather than to call upon rants by people who have anger management issues. The conservatives are the modern day equivalent of the cave man who says that his big club wins the argument. Don’t forget that natural selection favors the cave man with the big club, because he is the one that gets to have the most offspring. As described in the previous entry, I think that natural selection may be favoring demes of impulsive and voluntarily ignorant conservatives within a diverse Oklahoma population. And they use religion as a weapon.

On February 23, the Southern Poverty Law Center announced that there are 1,002 active hate groups in the United States. Most of these are conservative groups that hate the progressive viewpoint. Could it be otherwise?

1 comment:

  1. Thought this might add a little laughter to your day!

    Oh Dawkins, your accent makes it even better.