Beaton: Are Dems anti-science?
The Aspen Beat
Let’s approach the question scientifically. Let’s look at some evidence.
Exhibit A is astrology. The non-partisan and highly respected Pew Research Center reports that nearly a third of Dems believe in astrology. That’s more than double the number of Republicans who do.
Exhibit B is vaccines. Diseases that formerly killed or disabled millions have nearly been extinguished in America by vaccines.
Enter Robert F. Kennedy of the Democrat political clan. He’s a non-scientist lawyer campaigning to end vaccinations on the grounds that they cause autism.
That’s right. In the battle between vaccine and polio, he’s taken the side of polio.
Scientists at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and elsewhere say he wrong. And they say that the quixotic campaign to end vaccinations causes illness and death.
But because he’s a Kennedy, his pet issue still gets traction with Dems. He can secure meetings with Dem senators and their Dem supporters to promote it. He can get a book published on it, can get promotional interviews on his book with Dem news outlets and can get his claims backed by the Dem-dominated trial lawyers’ lobby.
So now measles is back. After being declared eradicated in the United States, there have been outbreaks in four states. Some 98 percent of those patients were not vaccinated.
Exhibit C is food. We’ve been genetically modifying plants and animals for thousands of years. Crops have been selected, propagated and bred for their taste, nutritional value and resistance to disease, weeds and drought. An American geneticist received a Nobel Prize in 1970 after his work on crop genetics revolutionized wheat production in Mexico.
Scientists have recently developed ways to do this better, by transplanting genes from one crop to another. (The genes themselves are still natural, but from a different organism.) Such crops go by the acronym GMO — genetically modified organisms.
These crops enable farmers to use less land, less fertilizer, less water, less herbicide, less pesticide and less energy to produce more food which tastes better and is more nutritious.
Food is regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration — the FDA. The scientists at the FDA have determined that these crops are safe. So too have the scientists at the CDC.
Over 70 percent of grocery store foods now contain GMOs and there has not been a single death or injury.
In the less-developed world, this has saved millions of people from starvation.
But some extremist environmentalists want to ban this food. They don’t have science on their side, so they instead name-call and sloganeer with frightful made-up words like “Frankenfood.”
Consider the irony. Dems are ready to entrust their health to the governmental administration of Obamacare by an Internal Revenue Service which persecutes people for their politics and “loses” computer hard drives (and the back-up drives, too) and which is operated by politicians who plead the Fifth Amendment when asked about it under oath.
But they are unwilling to trust health determinations by non-political government scientists at the FDA and the CDC, and instead mindlessly associate those scientists with the mythical Dr. Frankenstein.
Exhibit D is pot. Legalization of pot is supported disproportionately by Dems. Their argument for legalizing this cognition-impairing drug is that “it’s no worse than alcohol.”
That argument is not cognizant of two scientific facts. First, alcohol itself is not such a great thing. According to, once again, the scientists at the CDC, it kills more than 100,000 people a year in America; more than half of all traffic accidents involve alcohol; the leading cause of death among young people is drunken driving; and it is involved in a third of murders, half of rapes and two-thirds of other violent crimes.
Second, scientific studies show that pot is indeed worse than alcohol for the neurological system. A study by Harvard and Northwestern University scientists, which was published last spring in a leading scientific journal after peer-review by other scientists, shows that even occasional pot use produces brain damage.
And a study published this month by other scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in another scientific journal (also after peer-review by other scientists) found that pot is addictive and that teens experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
The ironies continue. These Dems who associate nutritious food that alleviates world hunger with a fictional horror movie monster are the same ones who want to legalize addictive cognition-impairing drugs that produce brain damage in real teenagers.
Exhibit E is the reaction of Dems to this column. They’ll be angry with me for reciting these facts. Watch how they express that anger not by contesting the facts but by calling me names, as if name-calling constitutes a rebuttal.
So are Dems anti-science? You decide. But make your decision a scientific one.
Glenn is a former aerospace engineer for Boeing. Correspondence (scientific or not) will reach him at theAspenbeat@gmail.com.
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