Earlier today I found myself catching up on another back episode of Real Time with Bill Maher (if you enjoy political commentary I can’t recommend it enough) as I was driving back from Seattle, of course stuck in traffic. In this particular episode the candidacy of Jon Huntsman was brought up as one of the many topics addressed over the course of the show. During the ensuing discussion with the guests, a member of the panel noted how impressed he was with Mr. Huntsman for the mere fact that he said he “respected the president” and believed that climate change was real. The panelist also took care to note that such views as these clearly made Mr. Huntsman a moderate among the GOP thus making him a possible dark horse candidate with appeal to the independent voting bloc. Maher happily questioned the panelist’s tagging of Huntsman as moderate but unfortunately didn’t go much further into that particular discussion, I however, will.
Really, talk about low expectations. When did respecting the president and ascribing to scientifically demonstrated phenomena supported by empirical evidence become a laudable position? One should not be impressed by such a stance and nor should one receive a moderate moniker merely for holding such views. No, these views at a bare minimum should be required of all legitimate candidates for any public office as well as an acceptance of the theory of evolution along with all the other major scientific theories and principles upon which our world and universe operate. Now, it is not entirely necessary for one to be an expert on such matters but one should at least possess an educated layman’s understanding of each. Such an understanding demonstrates a faculty for critical thinking and an ability to analyze evidence in a rational, intelligent manner. Again, such abilities should be ingrained into the very foundation of a candidates character, how could their judgment on any matter of significance be trusted otherwise?
These low expectations are pernicious and as such must be fought lest we permit ourselves to be governed by ignorant fools or worse yet, zealots. It is incumbent upon us to hold candidates for office from any party to a significantly higher standard and to dismiss those that do not meet this bar as nothing more than the cranks and attention whores they are.