The United States has, until now, been a (if not "the") world leader in scientific research and the development of technologies. This has been the backbone of public policies that navigate reality, and it has brought us our highish standard of living and our economy of relative priviledge. But I think we’re on the way out of that role. When ideologies replace knowledge, it is always the people who pay.
Certain fundamentalist groups, suspicious of all intellectuals, "eggheads," and independent thought, have moved us even further into a state of socio-pathology. Their effects on public policy, public higher education, biomedical research, family planning and sex education, environmental issues, the arts and humanities, freedom of inquiry, and even research funding for the common good are monumental, and I suspect that these effects will continue to feed into the sucking vortex of disaster created the skewed priorities of the neocons and crony corporatists.
This administration puts political interests above our well-being as a people. Knowledge and expertise has been pushed aside in favor of unqualified appointments (or those with clear conflicts of interest), the dissolution of advisory committees, and even censorship and suppression of reports from the government’s own scientists.
Across the board, "intelligence" (I use the term in its double meaning) is disregarded unless it supports a conclusion desired by power. There is nothing more deadly to truth than this. I believe such disregard is a substantial security risk that presents a clear and present danger to the American people. We are becoming a danger to ourselves as well as to others. There is still room in our current system for things to change. I hope that the momentum for such change is growing, and I hope that real leaders will emerge – soonest – in this nation’s time of need.