October 25th, 2004


Dream a little dream for me!

This poll (PDF File, needs Acrobat) indicates what I've been suspecting all along: the Republicans, from the President on down, believe what they want to believe. Inconvenient truths can be successfully ignored.

Liberals have their own illusions, to be sure. But you can change most liberals' minds by showing them evidence to support an opposing view. They may be skeptical of the evidence, and seek to test its veracity, but liberals, by and large, believe in the scientific method.

I have no problem with real conservatives -- I can find a lot to agree with people who want Government to be responsible with our tax money. I think the government should not put roadblocks in the way of businesses operating profitably. I think that gun control laws should be evaluated with skepticism, and only enacted when it's clear that public safety is enhanced. I think the skepticism of conservative thinkers is a necessary and beneficial check on liberal proposals. I believe that the dialectic between liberals and conservatives in this country is good for us all. Ideas that survive to become consensus after thoughtful debate have the greatest chance of being implemented and succeeding.

The core of Bush's support in this election are people who think the science of Evolution is a lie told by evil people, and that fossils of dinosaurs were put in the ground by God to test their faith. They believe that Saddam Hussein is behind 9/11 even when FOX FUCKING NEWS reports that no one has found any evidence to that effect. This may seem screwy to most people, and it is, but to dismiss it as screwy is to miss the point. The point is that they derive great comfort and sense of purpose from their rigid belief structure. They are not trouble by doubts; they do not have to spend time trying to weigh conflicting evidence to decide what to think. They have faith.

I'm all for faith; I see the comfort and solace people derive from faith in God. You can't see God or prove that his hand acts on the world, but most people's lives are improved when they find God. So believing in something you can't prove true isn't all bad. The fact is that the things we can't know for sure outnumber the things we can, so everyone is working from an imperfect model of the universe.

But you need to distingush between beliefs that can't be tested, and don't ultimately merit testing -- like "God Loves You" -- and beliefs that can be tested concretely by evidence in the real world. This in a nutshell is the error of Bush 43 Faith-based ideology: They don't distinguish between testable and untestable beliefs.

It's really scary when people like that get into power. The Bush adminstration has made a giant bloody mess of Iraq because they never tested their belief in the NeoCon articles of faith against facts on the ground. They made such a mess of it, that if Kerry gets elected, I am concerned that there won't be any way for him to fix the situation. Just as Lyndon Johnson was sunk by a war he didn't start, Kerry could be down the crapper no matter what he does in Iraq.

Oh well. The sun will come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun!