It’s no secret that conservatives are anti-science. Conservatives constantly rail against the science of Climate Change, vaccines and GMOs, as well as social science, and the most important science of all, economics. The right wing mind is eternally fearful of anything new, and of anything that might challenge historical dogma. New discoveries threaten many of the values that the right cling to religiously, such as the patriarchal family, property ‘rights’, traditional eating habits, and free market capitalism.
The science of climate change is rapidly influencing the way we organize society. We all know that we need to have fewer children, use public transport instead of driving, eat less meat, and live generally more frugal, more sustainable lives. The white working class however, has become accustomed to a culture antithetical to these goals. It’s a culture that worships capitalism and encourages driving large gas guzzling cars, eating steaks, and having large traditional families. Climate science is therefore a particularly inconvenient truth to this large segment of society, which explains this community’s irrational denial of climate change and hatred of environmental science.
The science of economics is also eating away at conservatives’ traditional ideas about capitalism, such as the notion that important companies should be allowed to fail, or that interest rates should be allowed to rise. Economists understand that letting a systemically important financial institution go bankrupt could send the economy into a serious depression, and that interest rates need to be controlled to manage the economy for the common good. Many conservatives reject these scientific facts in favor of traditional ideas of personal responsibility and free markets, attacking every economic policy implemented by our government and Federal Reserve.
Social science is also increasingly challenging the long held beliefs that gender is binary, and that race is purely biological. We now realize that gender and race fall on a subjective continuum defined by how we view ourselves and what we feel. To adapt to these scientific discoveries, politicians are taking new measures such as affirmative action and requiring gender neutral bathrooms, both of which conservatives vehemently oppose.
It’s sad that despite the advancement of science, conservatives remain committed to keeping us in the past. This is not only standing in the way of social and economic progress – it is also putting us in severe danger, as measures to tackle climate change such as a global carbon tax, are repeatedly shut down by bitter clingers. We need to focus more on early education, in order to promote the acceptance of scientific conclusions, so that we may continue to move forward as a society, and respond to environmental threats with decisive action.