When we asked Patrick Madden – a pioneering computer scientist out of New York State – how everything’s going on his end at the start of our call, the response was definitely not what we expected to hear.
“Oh, well a tornado just tore through the area. The power’s out in a lot of places, there’s a fair bit of damage – but you know, it’s all good,” he said, nonchalantly. Talk about remaining calm under pressure.
Madden is one of the 5,000 STEM professionals that have looked upon the ascendancy of President Trump, and the emboldening of his anti-science Republican colleagues, with a mixture of horror and outrage. Deciding that he could no longer just stand by and watch, he’s working with 314 Action and running for Congress in New York’s 22nd district in the upcoming midterms.
Sitting down with IFLScience, he told us why he thinks change isn’t just necessary – at this point, it’s inevitable.
“After the election, I just stared at the ceiling for a couple of weeks on end,” Madden explains.
“I’ve long been politically aware, and I’m a progressive, I’m a liberal guy. There are Republicans and conservatives that I can communicate with and respect and understand. Trump, though, is a completely different animal.”
“I do not believe he is a Republican. He is out for himself and his cronies, and he is bringing the very worst of human nature to the forefront. He is engaging in Olympic-class lying.”
Madden notes that if the election would have gone to someone like [John] Kasich, or even Ted Cruz – “I’m no fan, mind you” – he said that, despite his major disagreements with them, he could have lived under their presidencies. Trump, however, is “anti-fact”.
“And it’s not just attacks on the scientific community,” Madden says. “He’s going after the mainstream press, he’s going after judges – he’s a con man, he’s a fraud, he’s a hoodlum, and a grafter. He has poisoned American politics.”