Cruz (Out of) Control

Wingnut World is freaking out over a new video by Peter Sinclair of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication that points out the duplicity of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s assertion that global warming somehow stopped in the late-1990s:

After watching the video, you can’t help wondering whether Texas voters feel any embarrassment about sending a shameless liar like Cruz to the United States Senate. Then again, you can say the same for the folks who are showing up to Donald Trump rallies, the folks delusional enough to think the bigoted billionaire knows a damn thing about “making America great again.”

What attracts somebody to a con like Ted or Don? I can’t help going back to those old articles about Americans addicted to right-wing media. If your cognitive abilities have been compromised by the filth of Fox and the lies of Limbaugh, you’ll believe “anything…except the truth,” as Janeane Garofalo observed in 2009.

A civilization simply cannot survive if large portions of that civilization have declared war on facts. When you think of the legions of Americans who truly believe that either Trump or Cruz are fit to be the forty-fifth president of the United States, don’t you wonder if something has gone deeply wrong in American society?

There was a fascinating exchange on the January 15 edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher in which Maher, interviewing former Vice President Al Gore, suggested that religion was the main driver of anti-science sentiment in the United States. In response, Gore suggested that religion and science can coexist, citing Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si. We can dispute who’s right–but we cannot dispute the fact that Trump and Cruz have become de facto deities in the eyes of far too many Americans.

The rise of Cruz and Trump proves that President Obama was very, very wrong a dozen years ago when he declared, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America–there’s the United States of America.” As much as we wish it weren’t the case, there are indeed two Americas–one that embraces science and one that lies about it, one that welcomes immigrants and one that wants those immigrants to go back to where they came from, one that wants to move forward and one that is backward. Those are facts–and like the evidence of human-caused climate change, we ignore those facts at our peril.

UPDATE: More from Peter Sinclair, Dana Nuccitelli, David Appell and Benjamin Santer and Carl Mears.

SECOND UPDATE: More from Peter Sinclair, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the AP and Eric Boehlert.

THIRD UPDATE: More from Media Matters, the Young Turks and Kevin Drum.

FOURTH UPDATE: More from Peter Sinclair and Media Matters.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.