There has always been a disturbing strand of anti-intellectualism in American life—the very title of Richard Hofstadter’s 1963 book—but never has an occupant of the White House exhibited such a toxic mix of ignorance and mendacity, such lack of intellectual curiosity and disregard for rigorous analysis (despite his untested boast that his IQ is “one of the highest,” certainly higher than Obama’s and a host of other worthies’). “The experts are terrible,” Donald Trump said during his campaign. “Look at the mess we’re in with all these experts that we have.” It is hardly surprising, then, that his administration is over-stocked with know-nothing fundamentalists. Across the board, he has appointed amateurs who are hostile to science and sport obscurantism as a badge of honor. Accordingly, the policies they have adopted are as stultifying as they are noxious.The noxiousness takes two basic forms. One is the suppression of inquiry and the entombment of truth. Although congress hasn't gone along with all of the administration's proposals, they wanted to drastically cut funding for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and other key government scientific resources. They have forbidden government scientists from speaking publicly and attending conferences (just today three EPA scientists were barred from a conference here in Rhode Island about Narragansett Bay, because it will include discussion of climate change); scrubbed scientific material from government web sites; and hired non-scientist cranks for scientific positions.
The other form of noxiousness is the resultant killing of people -- workers who will lose safety protections, people who breathe (I assume that includes you) and of course people who live on the planet (also including you) who will be subject to climate catastrophes.
The fact is that modern conservatism is not a socio-political philosophy. It is a set of demonstrably false beliefs. You may have heard about the cub scout who was kicked out of his den for questioning a state senator. Here is his specific sin:
“I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue to own a gun,” Ames said in a question that took more than two minutes. He continued, “Why on earth would you want somebody who beats their wife to have access to a gun?” The event took place not long after the Las Vegas shooting. As part of her answer, Ms. Marble, a Republican from Fort Collins, defended her position on gun ownership, saying that shootings in Las Vegas and Aurora, Colo., happened in so-called gun-free zones, and that “the more guns a society has, the less crime or murders are committed.”
No. The more guns a society has, the more crime or murders are committed. This is an empirical fact,. which you can read all about here. The U.S. already has the most firearms per capita in the world, and our gun-related murder rate is 25 times that of the other wealthy countries. Wayne LaPierre likes to say that "an armed society is a polite society." Uh huh. As the author of the linked study points out, "Offenders take into account the threat posed by their adversaries. Individuals are more likely to have lethal intent if they anticipate that their adversaries will be armed."
But as you know, federal support for public health research on firearms is forbidden. As Dorman puts it, "The administration is obstructing the collection of data and the publication and discussion of research, as if in expectation that inconvenient truths will magically melt away." It's not just the administration. It's conservatism in general. Being a conservative, being a Republican, requires believing what is just not true.