Saturday, October 25, 2008

The GOP becoming the Party of the Ignorant

Sarah Palin gave her first "policy" speech yesterday on one of her future platforms to focus on special needs children. I use the word "policy" very loosely. It was yet another emotional speech about how Palin understands and knows what she would do, just because she has a child with Down's Syndrome and because her sister has a child with autism. Parents have children, but that doesn't make them Pediatricians.

So I hardly see how this will make her an expert on Special Needs Children, particularly given her own relatively short experience as a mother of a special needs child, and the fact that it doesn't appear she seems to have done any research on the educational support that special needs children may require to help improve their motor skills and neurological development.

She didn't lay out any specific policy on research, education, or funding. It was all about prayer and how "In a McCain-Palin administration, we will put the educational choices for special needs children in the right hands their parents." - in other words you're on your own to deal with your own problems.

Then comes the most outrageous line, where Palin brings up spending or earmarks on a study about Fruit Flies.
Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You've heard about some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.
By this very statement, she displays her ignorance once again. If she cared so much about special needs children, and the challenges that parents face, she may want to know about the types of research that are being carried out to understand the protein deficiencies that lead to neurological conditions such as autism.

[S]cientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for..nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.

The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.

Professor Meyers, a Biologist with the University of Minnesota had this to say:
Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system — precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.
This is truly becoming the party of the "know-nothing". I have said it before, and I'm going to say it again - what does McCain and Palin have against science? Why do they paint any spending on science as wasteful?

They take great delight in valuing "gut thinking" more than intellectual discourse. What's worse is that they don't care that they are ignorant. Facts don't matter - only emotion. Any attempt to appear thoughtful or intellectual is just ridiculed with disparaging comments about "elitists".

The GOP Party needs to take a good long look at it's platform and rethink the future of their party as noted by several conservatives such as Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Buckley, Ken Adelman, Susan Eisenhower, Charles Fried, Colin Powell, and many others. McCain and Palin, along with their supporters, are in denial in their ability to attract a majority of Americans to their party if they continue this path of creating a more narrow party.

It seems increasingly apparent that the only people left who support McCain and Palin are either rabid Christian fundamentalists, ignorant or uninformed voters, or straight out racists. Having seen and heard the comments coming out of the mouths of the McCain/Palin supporters, it's just too much for anyone with a modicum of reasonable intelligence to tolerate.

Check out the Las Vegas Sun, where they have a video of a McCain/Palin Rally, in which the paper describes the "anger, fear, and racism" that is occurring more frequently at Palin's Rallies.
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