At the request of the Associated Press, eight climate and biological scientists graded the leading presidential candidates for scientific accuracy, on a scale from 0 to 100. The three Democratic candidates scored very well while all but one of the Republican candidates earned failing grades. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had the highest score among GOP hopefuls at 64 out of 100, or what in school would basically qualify as a “D” letter grade.
The remaining Republican candidates all failed, but the most miserable failure was Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose scientific accuracy score was an abysmal 6 out of 100. Cruz’s scientific understanding was so lacking that Pennsylvania State University Meteorology Professor Michael Mann described it this way:
This individual [Cruz] understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner. That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president.
Senator Cruz’s astonishing ignorance is all the more troubling because he is Ivy League educated, possessing a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. He graduated from Princeton cum laude, and from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. He was also valedictorian of his high school class.
However, like accomplished neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Ted Cruz has proven that a person can be highly educated, without being intelligent. Or rather, a person can be intelligent, but if he is blinded by a dogmatic political ideology he can look, act and sound incredibly stupid. Ted Cruz is willfully ignorant about science because scientific knowledge does not further his political ambitions in the Republican Party.
GOP voters have put a premium on scientific ignorance, and Senator Cruz knows full well that his ticket to the Republican nomination is to revel in his own ignorance because the know nothing Republican voters will reward him for that ignorance. While Cruz is welcome to pander to the lowest common denominator in order to win over anti-intellectual voters, Professor Mann is right. Ted Cruz is too dangerously ignorant to be president of the United States.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.