Letters to the Editor

Anti-intellectualism is hallmark of right wing politics

Our country has had a certain anti-intellectual, anti-science element for a long time. It exists because there is a distrust of “elites” in academia and in the science establishment. It is feared by many that these elites are perpetrating hoaxes about some scientific issues to further particular agendas. Typically in the case of biological evolution the agenda is to further anti-religious sentiments and in the case of climate change it is to further anti-business considerations for some nefarious purpose.

Anti-intellectualism is a hallmark of right wing politics. Now that the nation has taken a sudden hard turn to the right, this anti-intellectual sentiment is dominant in our government. This is dangerous. It places populist thought, based on emotion, above evidence-based thought based on reason. What this means is that if reason, science or logic does not agree with certain conservative political and/or religious values, it must be wrong! This contorted view of science, and for that matter reality, is extremely detrimental to society, especially regards climate change.

Climate scientists universally agree that climate change is real and the U.S. military has said that it is a threat to national security. Yet it is denied by the leaders of our coming administration and called a hoax perpetrated by China by our president-elect, who seems to routinely fall for conspiracy theories.

The good news is Trump is not stupid. Concerned citizens must let the new administration know climate control is critically important. Our new president just might listen.

Paul Neff , O’Fallon