Turning Science Into the New Welfare Queen

Ronald Reagan created a mythological character — the “Welfare Queen” — and taught America that it was OK to be racist, OK to hate poor people, and OK to resent paying taxes. More than 30 years later, a substantial number of Americans still believe that lazy black women make millions of dollars a year by popping out babies and signing them up for welfare.

In an article in Politico, Rand Paul attempts to create a mythology that he hopes will convince Americans to hate science. Paul knows that if he can get voters to resent scientific research as much as they resent minorities and poor people, then he and his fellow Republicans will be free to ignore inconvenient facts about climate change, population trends, and other data that goes against the Republican agenda.

Paul questions the wisdom of paying for research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF is the primary source of government funding for research in economics, mathematics, computer science, and social sciences — basically things that Republicans don’t understand. Paul pointed to a study of Tea Party activity on social media, another study to determine whether Turkish women wear a veil because it is fashionable, and —> Read More Here


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