When he said “we must stop being the stupid party”, Bobby Jindal could not have known how prophetic his words were.
The front-runner for the Republican party, Trump, is clearly relying on bigotry, generalized prejudice, half-truths (actually, mostly preposterous falsehoods), and other outrageous forms of speech (i dare not say thought). But how is it possible that he gain such traction among so many Republicans?
The answer goes back to Jindal’s comment.
Republicans have been, since the Reagan presidency, on a warpath against most science education, and against education in a more general way.
Biology and its precepts of evolution are considered controversial and evil, whereas there is no real academic controversy. Similarly with climate science, which most Republicans still repudiate while the entire world seems to have come to accept this un-controversial science (at least in it broad conclusions concerning climate change). Efforts such as the Common Core, intended to raise the woefully low education level of K-12 students, have been met with outright violence. Even the teaching of foreign languages is considered frivolous. And on, and on we go..
Republican leaders have now bred a generation and a half to respond only viscerally to their base instincts, to not think or question, and to refuse the give-and-take that is the foundation of democracy.
So, the stupid party is nigh, and it is selecting its leader in a grandiose (or ‘uuuge’) gesture resembling a raised middle finger, because, at this point, epithets, curses, fits of rage and racism are the only way this group knows express it frustration any more.
This is a very sad realization, and i hope that Republican leaders will truly grapple with their resistance to education in so many of its forms..