One of the principal conceits of our liberal friends is that they are open-minded supporters of science while conservatives are superstitious bigots that persecute scientists.
In fact, of course, all people engaged in politics and religion are in the orthodoxy business. The whole point of politics and religion is the power to define what is allowed to be said.
This emerges clearly from an ambush interview on MSNBC where liberal host Rachel Maddow tries to ridicule Art Robinson, Republican candidate for Oregon's 4th District and scientist, for his controversal views.
First of all, she is shocked, shocked that there's a third-party group spending $150,000 on TV ads in his district. Who are these mysterious strangers, she wants to know?
Then we get to global warming. How could he deny the truth of man-made global warming?
Then it's AIDS. Robinson wrote 15 years ago that government was encouraging the idea that every disease suffered by gays was AIDS. Did he really write that?
Worse and worse. Robinson also speculated that maybe the way to deal with nuclear waste was to dilute it and spray it into the oceans.
Then it's on to hormesis, the idea that less radiation isn't necessarily better, that maybe we need a certain background of radiation to stay healthy.
Maddow unfortunately didn't have time to get to public education. Art Robinson is a noted home-schooler who has published a home-school curriculum, the Robinson Curriculum.
The point of the ambush interview was, of course, to present Robinson as a way-out crank. That's always the way of politics. And it is always the way of government-funded science. There are certain opinions, certain scientific theories, that are beyond the pale, and the whole point of practical politics is to demonize and marginalize people who dare to step beyond the pale.
In other words, in politics, conformism is the name of the game, even for liberals who advertise their non-conformism and their open-mindedness to the world.