It is a profound understatement to say that the Republican Party is not the most scientifically minded of political groups. Federal science is now being censored and threatened like never before, and one little girl has had enough of it.
During a town hall-style Q&A session in Utah’s Salt Lake City, top GOP lawmaker Jason Chaffetz was not having the best of times, to put it lightly. Fielding questions about corruption and a lack of oversight, education, science, and the newly anointed President’s behavior, he was greeted with near-continuous boos, jeers, heckles, and even a tiny bit of strong language.
At one point, a grade school girl stood up and asked what Chaffetz would do when it comes to protecting the environment. Already sensing that he wouldn’t give an answer, she gave an answer that, for the GOP-at-large, has no comeback.
“Do you believe in science?” she asked. “Because I do!”
The room instantly erupted into loud cheers and applause. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what hope looks like.
Chaffetz gave a horrific word salad of a non-answer. “I don’t pretend to have all the answers,” he said, adding that “there are good people on both sides of the aisle.”
The implication here is that there are people that want to protect the environment and people that don’t want to. It’s rare you actually meet people that say, with no sense of irony whatsoever, “f*ck the environment.”
This particular exchange is glorious enough in isolation, but it takes on a more significant meaning when you think about what is happening to American science.
The President is a profoundly anti-intellectual man, someone who has no idea what wind is, who thinks vaccines cause autism, and who often thought that climate change is an international conspiracy specifically designed to hurt the United States.
His administration is full of climate deniers, people who want to ban the Environmental Protection Agency, and even want to destroy the Department of Education – something that Chaffetz himself has signed on to.
The video of the event. The exchange in question starts at 1:08:00. Salt Lake Tribune via YouTube
When he actually had the guts to say to the crowd that they would be “happy with the bill to abolish the Department of Education,” he was met with the vocal equivalent of being locked in chains and pelted with rotten fruit.
The point here is that despite this assault on science and knowledge, people aren’t burying their heads in the sand. The resistance against this willful ignorance is rising, and there’s no better example of this than a child standing up to the US government and tearing it a new one.
The best part was that, after she asked her question, she ran through the crowd high-fiving everyone.
[H/T: Huffington Post]