He’s right you know, Krugman is.
But studies that find registered Republicans in the minority at elite universities show that Republicans are almost as rare in hard sciences like physics and in engineering departments as in softer fields. Why?…In the 1970’s, even Democrats like Daniel Patrick Moynihan conceded that the Republican Party was the “party of ideas.” Today, even Republicans like Representative Chris Shays concede that it has become the “party of theocracy.”…Consider the statements of Dennis Baxley, a Florida legislator who has sponsored a bill that – like similar bills introduced in almost a dozen states – would give students who think that their conservative views aren’t respected the right to sue their professors…His prime example of academic totalitarianism? When professors say that evolution is a fact. In its April Fools’ Day issue, Scientific American published a spoof editorial in which it apologized for endorsing the theory of evolution…saying that “as editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.”…Scientific American may think that evolution is supported by mountains of evidence, but President Bush declares that “the jury is still out.”…Think of the message this sends: today’s Republican Party – increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research – doesn’t respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn’t be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party.
This is something that puzzles me, actually. I’m puzzled that there isn’t more resistance to it from Republicans. I realize there is some, but I’m puzzled that there isn’t more – that there isn’t so much that it’s effective. After all, at least two large branches of conservatism – the libertarian branch and the country club branch – tend to have a lot of time for meritocracy, education, science, rationality, and the like. They’re kind of basic to capitalism, for one thing, and capitalism is sort of a conservative thing, at least in the US. Not classically conservative, but how many classical conservatives are there in the US? Six? Seven? Everybody else is all for creative destruction. So the death-grip that the Bible-bashers have on the party of the free market and competitiveness is…a source of a certain amount of cognitive dissonance. Maybe it’s just that Bible-bashing seems to win elections, so most Republicans don’t want to mess with it. Well, except when even they get fed up, as Shays apparently did. Party of theocracy indeed.