Republicans against common sense

Some conservatives are displaying an antipathy against statistics and science.

by Ronald Dixon


The Republican Party is known for its war against science; whether the war involves its ignorance on global warming, evolution or same-sex rights. Some conservatives have a difficult time attempting to justify their laughable misconceptions of reality.

Recent news shows that they continue to impress.

First, some Republicans have introduced and endorsed legislation that would eliminate the unemployment rate. No, this does not create jobs for all (their economic policies actually cut employment), but it removes the ability for the U.S. Census Bureau to collect the rudimentary data that is necessary for economic analysis.

The argument for this abolition is that the government performs an overreach of power, essentially hindering the right of privacy. This is specifically targeted against the American Community Survey, which collects data more frequently than other services within the Census Bureau. In reality, though, the ACS allows consumers and businesses to better track the market in order to make informed decisions. Even if the ACS was unconstitutional, the Census Reform Act would abolish the basic statistics that millions around the world rely upon to measure the state of the American economy.

Also, the Republicans wish to thwart aspects of the scientific process. Conservatives want to require the National Science Foundation to fund research that is considered groundbreaking, important and original. Of course, Republicans, abiding by their austerity dogma, want to slash spending in every sector that does not have a direct benefit for businesses, so their motives make sense. When considering the scientific method, however, we find that this measure catapults the Republicans back to the Stone Age.

How are scientists supposed to know the validity of a study before they begin their research? They need the resources before they can start testing, and this process enables scientists to determine if findings are original or even “groundbreaking.”

Add the attacks on fundamental statistics and the scientific method to the Republicans’ list of anti-science legislation and ideologies.