I was reading a recent article from Nature magazine titled, “How Trump damaged science – and why it could take decades to recover”. This has been the most astonishing, and terrifying, development of 2020; the demonization of science by the current administration. Although the President seemed to understand the dangers of the virus in his interviews with Bob Woodward, he shares a very different picture with the nation at large. Even after becoming infected, he has mocked the use of face coverings and continues to encourage and host super spreader events.
If Trump were acting alone, I would not care. Unfortunately, his base seems destined to follow him into whatever dumpster fire he intends to set. It is no secret that Trump is on the record saying that he, “loves the poorly educated” (February 2016, Nevada). A quick study of his most loyal supporters shows a substantial percentage without college degrees, or simply defined as, “uneducated”. I am not here to write a condescending or elitist post. I am here to connect a large part of those voting for him, with the dangerous precedent we are setting as a nation.
Sadly we have developed, yes developed, a portion of the population that no longer trusts science. A group of people that considers the scientific method suspect. People that think they know more or know better based on what they read on social media. They are more likely to believe false information passed around by nefarious sources than the common sense being shared with them daily by the most respected doctors and scientists in the world. The problem is, it will not stop with this group of people. This group of people will have children, and then another generation with reject science. Another generation of young Americans will avoid higher education due to distrust in “the system”. A cycle of ignorance continues.
A prime example of this phenomenon is what has happened to Dr. Anthony Fauci in 2020. I am disgusted how his reputation has been dragged through the mud by people who have never studied medicine let alone even graduated from a four year university! A man who has dedicated his life to fighting infectious diseases. A man who battled the AIDS epidemic. Dr. Fauci, who was recently labeled a Democrat by the President, received The Presidential Medal of Freedom from Republican President George W. Bush. He has a long and storied history as a giant in the field, but somehow, in 2020, we have decided he is no longer worthy of leading pandemic response in the United States.
I am sickened by this scourge on our nation most of all. The dismantling of the institutions that make our country great, through bold faced lies and derogatory comments perpetuated by people who can barely read. And I am even sadder, because their education has failed them. Sad they cannot properly synthesize information so they believe things placed in front of them without question. Discouraged that more generations will remain ignorant, distrustful, and insulated. Regardless of who wins in November, how do we reach them? How do we unite with them? How do we start to see each other as fellow Americans again?