Texas Governor Rick Perry is now the clear frontrunner in the G.O.P. presidential primary. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, he garners 24 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, which gives him a healthy lead over both Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann, whose numbers sit at 18 and 10 percent respectively.
This turn of events has galvanized the media against him. Politico ran a story headlined “Is Rick Perry Dumb?” Typically, the left goes with one of two narratives in order to dismiss conservatives. Since right of center views are so atrocious, either the holder of those views is stupid or he is evil. One could hardly characterize Perry as “evil” so the approved line of attack is to brand him “stupid.”
Paul Krugman of The New York Times is at the front and center of this smear. In his article titled “Republicans Against Science”, he claims that Rick Perry and the G.O.P at large is anti-science, because Perry expressed doubts about evolution and anthropogenic global warming.
Supposedly Perry and his ilk are on a “witch hunt” against “anyone who contradicts them.” Of course Krugman doesn’t provide any examples, so you’ll just have to take his word for it.
But the problems with Krugman’s line of argumentation are numerous. For one, Perry’s view of evolution is irrelevant to the job of commander in chief. It has no bearing whatsoever. The point of mentioning Perry’s doubts with evolution is, of course, to portray him as a fool.
I am no critic of evolution, but the assumption that those who doubt the theory must have a low IQ is simply wrong. Dr. David Berlinski received his doctorate in philosophy from Princeton and went on to do postdoctoral work as a fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University. He has been an outspoken critic of evolution in the past, and one could hardly dismiss him as an idiot.
Ronald Reagan was similarly criticized as an affable dunce and had his own doubts about evolution, yet his presidency is largely considered a success. In fact, a Presidents Day poll conducted by Gallup this year found that most Americans regard Reagan as the greatest president of all time.
And while nearly all scientists are in agreement that man has an effect on the climate, many do not believe the problem to be serious enough for a remedy.
Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist and professor of Meteorology at MIT argues that there is no need for all the alarmism. As one of the lead authors of the IPCC Third Assessment Report on climate change, he makes the blunt assessment that, “we don’t have any evidence that this is a serious problem.”
Lindzen’s tempered analysis is in stark contrast to Krugman’s predictions of global catastrophe. Krugman has even gone as far as labeling those who don’t share his view of climate change as “immoral” and “treasonous.” Apparently he does know a thing or two about witch hunts.
A more key failure of the Times article is the complete lack of self-reflection. Jonah Goldberg of The National Review points out that the left often cherry pick which issues get to be the “benchmark of science.” They decry conservatives for denying global warming, while simultaneously ignoring scientific studies on such topics as the heritability of intelligence or the distribution of cognitive abilities among the sexes.
Let’s not forget former President of Harvard Larry Summers who was forced to resign following a controversy in which science came into conflict with political correctness. Democrats place the mantle of science over themselves only when it supports their conclusions, and dismiss it when it does not.
Labeling Perry “anti-science” or “anti-knowledge” is also unlikely to be effective considering his record. He was commissioned in the Air Force as a C-130 pilot, has made a fortune in real estate, and has been elected governor of Texas for three terms.
With Perry as governor over the last decade, Texas has created approximately 732,800 private sector jobs. No other state in the Union even recorded an increase of 100,000. What’s more is that only 19 states even had any gains at all.
Additionally, between 2000 and 2009, 850,000 people moved from other states to Texas. California, meanwhile, where the Democrats maintain a monopoly on power, saw an exodus of 1.5 million people. And although the unemployment rate in Texas has risen to 8.4 percent, it is still well below the national average of 9.1 percent.
Despite the poor economy of the last decade, Texas saw incredible economic prosperity under the leadership of this so-called “intellectual lightweight.” For all the presumed superior intellect of Barack Obama, the nation as a whole cannot say the same about the last few years.