Natural Election Redux

I’ve never been a fan of political litmus tests. I suspect that being President is a challenging enough without having your hands tied behind your back by a bunch of idiotic pledges to avoid this or that specific thing that is the sole purpose for being for some special interest group. It’s kind of like asking a pilot to promise that he or she will never turn in this direction or go above this altitude before they take off. Sometimes having the freedom to act as is appropriate to the situation is the best way to avoid that mountain up ahead when the weather changes suddenly. I tend to see the world as a pretty complex assortment of gray areas and I always hope for someone who’s smart, can be calm and deliberate when it’s warranted, and decisive when it’s not. The exact character we need in the White House often ends up being a retrospective assessment based upon the events the President ends up facing.

It’s that last part that’s gotten me to reconsider the idea of a political litmus test. A candidate’s stand on Evolutionary theory is being bandied about as such a test by a number of blogs I frequent. I think it’s a good one and here’s why: A President may be required to make critical decisions that affect us all. Many of those decisions will be based on less than ideal information. I need to be confident that my President is committed to making those decisions on the best evidence at his or her disposal. Rejecting evolution is a clear case of just the opposite. The facts of evolution are some of the most solid knowledge in science and it’s hard to find anything else at once so elegant and simple and yet so powerful and broad in its explanations of life on earth. At this time in history there are only 4 reasons one can reject the fact of evolution: religious preference over the facts, ignorance of the basic science, political pandering, being an out and out liar, or some combination of the four.

None of those four reasons are characteristics I’m seeking in a President. If you can't see the overwhelming evidence of evolution then I can't trust you to see the truth in anything less clear cut when the time comes. If you think the jury’s still out on evolution then this judge says the verdict on your qualifications as President is clear. You’ll never get my vote.


Michael Lockridge said...

I would love to see a passion for liberty in a candidate. Regulation should be rational, purposeful and adjustable. Adding rules to pander, influence or regulate against what people MIGHT do if granted too much freedom simply makes little sense to me.

As to a litmus test, the problem with that is often the use of that to manipulate voters. The abortion issue is an example. Many politicians manipulate single issue voters by stating a position against abortion, but rarely champion the cause once in office.

The problem with politics is that it is a Groucho Marx club. Membership generally disqualifies the politician from any true service.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Rational candidates? There's a concept. An intelligent thoughtful and empathetic individual s mostly what I hope for. As you say though, that usually disqualifies them from office. Many people seem to want people who are as rigid as they.

Harvey said...

It has been said, "In a democracy like ours, we usually elect the kind of office holders we deserve."

GearHedEd said...

Here's one for you, Pliny...

Treacherous Cretins

mac said...

Agreed, Pliny.

I think some lack the courage to say they believe evolution. Believing in evolution means Genesis is wrong. Being the foundation of their religion means it all crumbles if Genesis is wrong.

I suppose that might be pandering. It's pusillanimous at best.

mac said...

On an unrelated note:

I was on a short vacation to visit my parents in The Sunshine State.

On my way home, I stopped to visit our friend, Stacy !
She and her hubby are as nice and sweet as one imagines they would be.