Monday, October 08, 2012

rep. paul broun, my rep. #fail

Athens is kind of a delightful town. Moving here after years in New York wasn't much of a culture shock at all. The people in the town are educated and engaged. There are farmer's markets, music venues, theaters, and art galleries. The food here is incredible. The town isn't cut off from the world. It is about as cosmopolitan as a small Southern city gets.

I was a little worried before we moved here. I grew up in Mississippi and Alabama; both states that I love, but both states that have hard won terrible reputations as ignorant backwaters. They continue to work to keep those reputations. I feared I might be diving back into the same sludge that I'd fought so hard to escape. I'd secretly love to live in Alabama again one day, but even though I think Birmingham is a great town, I'm not ready to face the intensity of the ignorance and bigotry that thrives there. So I was relieved to find Athens the opposite of all my fears. It is an incredibly open town. People have been wonderful. It is because I've found this such a welcoming and progressive town that I'm so intensely horrified to discover that my congressman is an idiot and an asshole.

 I'm having a really hard time dealing with the idea that this douche bag was elected here. I'm having an even harder time dealing with the idea that he is running uncontested! Why can't I vote against him? There is absolutely no reason he should be in congress. Anyone who is ignorant enough to be anti-science is a danger to us as a nation, but somehow this clown in on the science committee in congress?!

I've said it before, if you don't believe in evolution, you are against the scientific method. You are fighting against the way we measure our understanding of the physical world. You don't get to just be all like, "I don't believe in evolution" and then still believe in physics. The same standard is used to measure all this stuff. If you are anti-science, fine. You don't get modern medicine, you don't get television, you don't get a friggin' car. Because none of those things are possible without science! If someone wants to bitch about evolution being untrue and live in a primitive commune, sure, I can take that person seriously. I still think they are ignorant, but at least they have a little bit of conviction. If you drive a car and trust the science that built it but deny evolution or suggest that the world is less that 10,000 years old, you are an imbecile. Should science be questioned? Sure, of course, that is the whole point of it. But denying the basic (and intensely tested) underpinnings of our understanding of the physical world is just ridiculous. I can understand how someone who hasn't had a decent education could misunderstand some of these subjects. That someone who is a doctor can espouse ignorant ideas like young earth theory and anti-evolution? It is shameful.

To get a medical degree involves an incredible about of work. Much of the study is scientific. When we turn to a medical professional we assume that they have been trained to know our physical bodies more intimately and scientifically than we do. If they disavow science, why would anyone trust them? Why would I go to a doctor who has shat upon his degree? congressman broun has made a joke of his degree. The "m.d." after his name which should indicate a strong grasp of science instead can only be worn by him like a clown badge. He's made a mockery of his education; he's treated his constituents like fools.

I'm ashamed to learn this man represents me in congress (I would be ashamed to learn that anyone saying such ignorant things is representing anyone in congress, but when he is representing me; that's personal). His ideas do not represent me or the wonderful community I live in. I would vote for a linoleum floor before I would vote for him. I'm going to write in the tree that owns itself if we can't find someone else to run against him.

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