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Posted by on Oct 16, 2008 in Politics, Science & Technology | 14 comments

These People Are Smarter Than You

Does this open letter to the American people by just about a gazillion Nobel laureates endorsing Obama help or hurt him? All 2008 US Nobel Laureates in Science Endorse Obama! – Scientists & Engineers for America Action Fund. The answer is neither because it doesn’t matter, but I’ll give my 2 cents. I think one of Obama’s advantages is that everyone knows he’s smart. Any idiot can get into Harvard, but some would argue Editor of the Harvard Law Review is a harder job to get than POTUS. However, certain segments that he is trying to win over; especially the white working class, see those Ivy League educated elites, which are presumed to be weak socialists or extreme liberals, as a negative.

Despite the fact that these are all Americans, can’t you just see Sarah Palin looking at the names and mentioning that there are a lot of foreigners? I appreciate intellect and logic, but I was initially unimpressed. That was until I read the letter. I wouldn’t say it was impressive because it was rather predictable this is who they would support, but I saw it as kind of thoughtful and found their excitement around a president who appreciates science and technology hilarious. Was Bush really that bad?

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • jdave

    Yes, Bush was that bad. Science suffered badly. It’s all related to that “We make reality around here” mentality that his administration had.

  • kritt11

    Maybe we can put aside faith-based government for a while and return to the age of reason and rationality. Too many fundamentalists in government weakens our democracy. The government needs to stay out of our religious life and Christianists need to stay out of the political realm.

    To think we had 3 candidates in this day and age who did not believe in evolution!

  • kritt11

    jdave- You are right about the arrogance of the administration’s positive affirmation. A bloc of evangelicals voted for Bush, he felt like he’d been sent by God to lead America, and who wants to argue with that kind of authority???

  • jdave

    Just to be clear Kritt, I very much like the idea of honest Christians in government. Bush just wasn’t one of those. I’m always a little wary of Evangelicals because they often have great animosity towards science, and Bush was one of those too.

    I must confess too, that it will be nice to say “Bush was…”.

  • The GOP war on science and reason (go ahead and shoot the messenger, but Gore’s book “Assault on Reason” does a pretty good job of detailing it) has cost us plenty. Formerly, the world’s best students wanted to study in the USA. Now the best places to study and research in many fields are in Europe and Asia.

    The GOP decided long ago that they were never going to appeal to “liberal academic elites” so as is their wont, they set out to demonize them. Now maybe we can reverse course and reclaim our respect for smart people.

  • Slamfu

    The general disdain for education, or more specifically the educated, among conservatives is another reason I’ve been running left these last few years. What really boggles me is that it seems to be prevalent even in educated conservatives. Needless to say, I doubt the letter will have much impact other than further convincing the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world that smart people disagreeing with them only proves smart people don’t know what they are talking about.

  • kritt11

    jdave — I don’t mind the idea of Christians in government as long as they don’t allow their faith to interfere with reason and science or force their religious views on others – as some branches of the military recently did.

    I actually am a Christian- but believe that you should live the teachings and always express tolerance for other POV. This was not done by Bush.

  • kritt11

    Greendreams- the eastern academic elites usually figure out the GOP’s ulterior motives- and publish their views-which is why they have to be demonized.

  • rudi

    GD: Formerly, the world’s best students wanted to study in the USA. Now the best places to study and research in many fields are in Europe and Asia.

    I believe this isn’t true, I think that after 911 student visa dried up. The worlds brightest still want to come here, we just don’t invite them with student visas.

  • DLS

    Liberal academia _and_ the lies of the Left such as on here about the Right rather than (in truth) the Left being anti-science (nuclear power, food irradiation, contemporary genetic engineering, chemicals, the petroleum industry) as well as anti-business do raise resentment among those of us who know better.

    I was irritated by a news story I saw this morning about the two candidates and which offers a better program on “innovation.” It reminds me of the other side of the Left, which when not frequently anti-science is stupidly childish, expecting instant, magic solutions. And of course, because pretty-boy Obama makes many Feel Better when compared and contrasted with McCain (the Feeling Better is the main reason Obama will do so well this election year among his true fans), naturally many people see Obama as better on “innovation” — instant stem-cell magic (almost completely devoid of science itself in the Left’s case, but used as an emotional idol and a political weapon against the Religious Right, an object of the Left’s irrational hatred), fantastic (truly, related to fantasies) “green jobs” and rapid magic with alternative energy (the reality of which will be slower progress involving existing and new industries, i.e., Evil Big Business eventually), and other mainly-vapor-ware feel-good stuff to accompany emotional and political opposition to science otherwise, as well as politics and lurid fiction associated with global warming and the Evil Developed Nations, Principal Offender Being the USA. “Innovation”; “party of reason” — *** SNICKER ***

    Some long-overdue maturity and true devotion to _real_ science would help y’all.

    Any time you engage in reptilian opposition and worse to nuclear power, irradiation of food, genetic engineering, the petrochemical industry, engineering progress on all the conventional energy sources, rational near-term assistance we can engage in now to help ourselves (coal to liquids, propane-powered automobiles, attacking right away air pollution rather than being stupidly carbon-obscessed with politics in place of science where global warming is concerned), you belie your real attitude toward science and reason.

    But we who have known better all along have already known this.

  • DLS

    “liberal academic elites”

    Well, they can’t win, because they seem cowardly bandwagoners coming out with their political statement (which is what it is, a political statement and stunt) now, whereas they have chosen to avoid more well-earned criticism had they chosen to release their statement earlier, in an effort to influence the outcome of the election earlier than now.

    “I actually am a Christian”

    There are no Rushdoonies in the federal government; have no fear. And I suspect we’ll see an end (for at least two years) to the Religious Right’s being exploited with a sop thrown to them now and then to keep them voting, such as trying to extend the scope of US citizenship to fetuses.

  • DLS

    [yawn] “Action” fund — what kind of “action”? (Political.) Oh, and I like that childish exclamation mark use. The only thing missing was the emphasis on some of it IN ALL CAPS!

  • rudi

    DLS Please show where the Lefties are against research and science as opposed to haphazard implementation of science and technology. Favoring the negligence in Bopal India makes one supportive of advances in chemistry?

  • jdave

    kritt – I agree.

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