For decades now, the Republican Party has been the home to science-denying politicians. It didn’t matter what the issue was; if facts and experts said one thing, you could bet someone with an R after his name would be on the other side. That was true when it came to evolution, climate change, fossil fuels, etc.
They’ve held the same mentality regarding COVID-19, too, downplaying the efficacy of face masks, focusing on the origin or the virus rather than where it’s going and how it’s getting there, and filing lawsuit after lawsuit to make sure super-spreader events can occur in schools and churches and everywhere else they can find base voters.
Now that their ignorance is finally catching up to them in the worst possible way, right before an election, will they learn anything? After holding in-person events, sans masks, to the point where the president has to tweet insane things from a hospital room instead of the Oval Office, is there any hope of them becoming a party that at least kind of acknowledges reality?
You should never bet on Republican suddenly getting smarter. But at least a few of them are recognizing that the Party’s desire to cater to the more ignorant Americans in the country has a downside, reports the Washington Post:
“There was a panic before this started, but now we’re sort of the stupid party,” said Edward J. Rollins, co-chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC Great America. “Candidates are being forced to defend themselves every day on whether they agree with this or that, in terms of what the president did on the virus.”
“Their extraordinary rejection of what scientists have been recommending is coming home to roost,” said Irwin E. Redlener, founding director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness.
… Republicans’ ability to escape being seen by moderate and independent voters as a party that has adopted a politics-first, science-second attitude could be difficult following months of cheering Trump’s handling of a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.
We’ll find out in a month if the Party of Stupid has finally repelled enough voters to put competent people back in charge of government. But until the Republicans who remain in power admit their own mistakes — good luck with that — there’s no reason to think they’ll finally wise up. Most Republicans in office are there because of voters who share their distaste for facts, which means office holders have no reason to tell them the truth about scientific realities. That means they’ll disavow any personal responsibility for the spread of the virus and embrace conspiracy theories that suit their needs.
We may as well brace ourselves for a 2021 battle over whether people should take COVID vaccines since the same Republicans currently in danger of testing positive for the virus will inevitably argue that people shouldn’t have to take them for reasons other than health. We won’t be safe until they’re all voted out.
(Screenshot via Twitter)