Your Volgi sent us this little link, which explores why scientists hate Republicans. The Czar appreciates the assumption that it is worthless asking whether or not scientists actually do hate Republicans—by God, actually they do.
The article covers the Pew Research Center’s conclusion that only 6% of scientists consider themselves Republicans, 32% were independent, and 55% were Democrats. The other 7% show no interest in politics. But, the poll also found, if forced to pick a side, the Democrats claim 81% of scientists, and only 12% go to the GOP. The Czar is surprised it is even that high.
The write-up pretty much argues that the GOP needs to start courting scientists rather than continually write them off; factually, scientists have good reasons to lean toward the GOP: nuclear power, animal research, child vaccinations, and so on. But scientists lean Democratic because they tend to be liberals. True, all true, but this does not explain Why They Hate Us.
The Czar will tell you why scientists go left. Some things to know: first, scientists rarely vote. Many do, but most do not—this is shown the initial Pew poll. Political science is, to them, an oxymoron: politics are messy, unstructured, lawless bits of chaos. Best to avoid it and stick with variable much easier to control.
Second, science thrives in academia, especially as more businesses cut out research and development. Many scientists are uninterested in the financial aspects of what they do: they are interested only in the experiment and the conclusions. For them, this means lots and lots of public funding, grants, DoE dollars, and well-furnished labs on campuses. These are things that Democrats love to provide—in popular myth, because Republicans tend to have done more to push science and technology historically. However, the liberals claim to be more science friendly, and the GOP stupidly ignores this hypocrisy at is own peril.
Third, there is the Bush problem. The Bush administration is popularly perceived to have been the least science-friendly presidency ever. Undeniably, some truths exist here: Bush made no secret that where faith contradicted science, he tended to lean toward the former. As a terrible result, those under his command altered information to accept Creationism and suppressed discussions that contradicted Biblical fables. Bush himself did not do so: his underlings did to curry favor. And while Bush is credited with some major pushes in scientific research, that he did not eliminate these asinine people from his circle makes him quite a conspirator.
Fourth, the McCain Lie. In response to the Bush administration, the scientific community expected both McCain and Obama to address their views on science. Eventually, a community of more than 38,000 science-related professionals compiled a 2008 questionnaire of 14 key topics for each candidate to answer. Both candidates responded in depth, with McCain dominating half the questions and Obama the other half. Many felt McCain provided tighter specifics and clearly understood the topics, while Obama spoke in generalities and wish-lists. The Czar feels both answered very well.
However, the erroneous story went out that McCain never answered the questionnaire, and this clinched his anti-science attitude. Within days, the Obama camp capitalized on this, advertising their candidate as the pro-science guy who would never let politics get in the way of scientific fact. Obama was championed and McCain was ridiculed, intentionally. The scientific community was fooled by this, as was the rest of America. This continues today: the Obama administration has appointed dangerously fantasy-prone people into key scientific advisory positions and has already suppressed research that contradicts his legislation in exactly the same manner as Bush hangers on did. Ask your average scientist about this, and he or she will deny hearing about any of it.
So here is your scientific attitude toward the political parties: “I don’t care much either way, but the Democrats say they keep getting me funding; and working at this university, everybody else here seems to like the Democrats a lot. So I guess I do too. And after all, Bush hated science and worked to keep us in the dark. And McCain was no better for flipping us off, too. Thank goodness Obama is putting science first and turning it all around.”
The Czar assures you he is not exaggerating that hypothetical comment. Millions of people like science, and would more or less echo that response. What you should but do not hear: “The Democrats have actually done very little for science except try to cut our research funding for their social programs. Bush at least tried to give us a vision that increased our money. McCain would have definitely followed, especially since his naval background gave him a tight grasp of current scientific topics, but now we have Obama…who surrounds himself with the same wacky pseudo-science guys that the Soviets loved, and suppresses research that exposes how off-base those guys are. Yeah, I’m staying Republican, because they fire up small business ownership and defense development, and those are the guys who actually pay us for the stuff we invent.”
The GOP has the power to change this perception. Whether they will is up to them.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.