Liberals, Ron Paul, and Science

By Luke Brinker

Ron Paul-friendly liberals have long mystified me. His bigoted newsletters display contemptible racial animosity, homophobia, and conspiracy-mongering. While he opposes American military adventurism, his foreign policy is anything but left of center. Paul may oppose the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act, and the military detention of American citizens, but is  a supporter of a Mississippi-style personhood amendment, an opponent of virtually every aspect of the social safety net, and a committed gold bug really a candidate liberals should admire, much less support?

Chris Hayes took to Twitter today to make a valuable contribution to the debate over the relationship between Paul and the left. “Since @ggreenwald on Ron Paul has stirred up an interesting debate about progressive priorities & allies, lemme offer a provocation,” Hayes tweeted. He followed up with, “I am stunned by how low on the list of priorities global warming is for most progressives.To me it’s the most important issue by quite a bit.” Hayes raises an important point I neglected to mention in my Paul-related posts last week. Paul emphatically denies the scientific consensus on climate change. And it isn’t only on global warming that Paul displays a decidedly illiberal attitude toward science. He may be an M.D., but Paul refuses to accept the theory of evolution. As Michelle Goldberg reports, the Texas congressman is deeply tied to far-right Christian groups, which helps explain his anti-science views. If Michele Bachmann’s science-phobic, religious fundamentalist views made her a liberal laughingstock, why should Paul’s denial of global warming and evolution not disqualify him from serious consideration, as well?

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