The Decline of a Nation: The Predominance of Political Cronies under the U.S. Bush Administration
In today's editorial column of the New York Times, David Brooks argued that he did not believe the United States was declining, as is often claimed in relation China. After all, the US still has more scientists and engineers, patents, and more investment in technological innovation than any other nation in the world. Certainly, the data provided by Brooks clearly demonstrates that the basis of economic growth are solid, and that they look bright into the near future. What he failed to mention, however, is that this robust infrastructure has gradually been sidestepped by the rise of ultra-religious political appointees of the far right during the George W. Bush Administration. A few weeks ago George Deutsch, a 24 year old Republican appointee to NASA's press office, instructed his employees to state that the Big Bang was just a theory. "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator." The fall of the US from predominance will not be due to the decline of scientific activity per se, but rather to the decline of its scientific ethos. That a journalist should feel free, without the slightest bit of worry or concern, to dispute ideas which have been so arduously established raises grave questions pertaining to that nation's value structure. Deutsche's comments were no different than if he were to claim that the Sun still revolved around the Earth. While we are at it, let's also claim that the universe is only 5,000 years old and that the moon is made of cheese.