On President’s Day, let’s think about our country’s leader, Donald Trump. Do we have to? Yeah, sometimes we do.
For the first time in my lifetime, I see the President of the United States as a serious threat to overall science & to our country’s democracy. Trump is not well-acquainted with fact-based reality and that’s a big problem for American scientists and our country as a whole. It isn’t great for our world in general either.
Other presidents have made mistakes of many kinds, goofed up on specific policies that relate to science in various ways, and held philosophies on specific topics relevant to science with which I disagreed (which is natural, nobody can agree on everything, right?) For instance, I disagreed with Bush on embryonic stem cells (and the idea of his supporters that he deserves credit for IPS cells somehow). However, in every case with past presidents since I became a kid aware of the world around me, they didn’t broadly espouse their own self-serving fantasies more than fact-based reality.
With Trump, after just a year I’m convinced he’s a threat to our country and I see his disdain for facts (what we scientists call “data”) as a direct challenge to science. For our democracy as a whole, he and his words are like a growing crack in our liberty. Often when he tweets or opens his mouth, the crack grows.
Rather than go on and on about the various harmful things he’s done and said, I made the symbol included in this post, which speaks for itself and perhaps more strongly than any words. If you agree, please share this symbol.